‘Lifestyle Center’ with residential and commercial space on 30 hectares west of Danbury

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DANBURY – A property developer has proposed a 425,000 square meter “Lifestyle Center” with apartments, retail, assisted living and office space on more than 30 hectares off Mill Plain Road.

The project, announced Friday by Westconn Park LLC Development, would be adjacent to Western Connecticut State University’s Westside campus and requires city approval. The plans were submitted this week.

“It’s a place where you live, work, play and train,” says Albert Salame, who has owned the 32-hectare property for 20 years.

The property will not have a school, but will have 200,000 square feet of residential units, 80,000 square feet for an assisted living facility and 50,000 square feet for a corporate building, three pad locations and mixed-use retail.

Doctor’s offices, corporate training facilities, and retail stores would fill the 100,000-plus square feet of additional square feet, along with a 3.4-acre recreation area, clubhouse, pool, and tennis courts.

The developers have already found tenants for 330,000 square meters, Salame said. These include its Salame Companies, Morganti Group Inc, an international on-site construction company, and Griffin Living, who would operate the assisted living facility.

It’s a good time to start the project as the city’s population grows, especially as New Yorkers move to Danbury, Salame said.

“Everything goes very well together,” he said.

If approved, the project would be a further asset to the booming west side of the city.

The developers of the Summit, a 1.2 million square meter facility in the former Matrix building, are developing a similar live work-play concept.

The west side encompasses the roughly 550-acre residential area known as the Reserve, where thousands of condominiums and apartments and thousands of square feet of commercial space have been built or approved. A recently approved project there is the $ 36 million Encompass Health rehabilitation hospital.

On Wooster Heights Road, the city has approved an 80 million dollar proton therapy center, Danbury Proton. Down the street is a new assisted living facility, Keystone Place in Wooster Heights.

The construction of the first phase of the “Lifestyle Center” could begin as early as spring, and the full development should hopefully be completed in three years, said Salame.

“As soon as the snow is gone, we can move there, provided we have approved the site plan,” he said.

The developers have been working with the city on the project for years, so he doesn’t expect any problems.

“It took some time to get to this point honestly, but we’re happy because every time we tweak it it seems to get a little better,” said Salame.

The developers plan to build 200 apartments, he said. Most will be one or two bedrooms, but some are studios and three bedrooms.

He does not expect families with school children to move in. City and school officials are concerned about overcrowding in Danbury schools.

“We think we will have a greater number of empty nests by this point,” said Salame.

Renters could benefit from the planned reopening of the Maybrook rail line, which would allow a faster journey from Danbury to New York City, he said.

The developers plan to create a walkway to the WestConn campus, which is home to the Visual and Performing Arts Center, which “makes us comfortable and attractive,” said Salame.


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