Senior housing planned for former United Healthcare property

The Planning & Zoning Commission has approved a zone change for the former UnitedHealth building, at 48 Monroe Tpke.
The Planning & Zoning Commission has approved a zone change for the former UnitedHealth building, at 48 Monroe Tpke.

A vacant and underperforming property in town could soon be put back to use, providing another senior living option and boosting the town’s tax rolls.

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro said the former United Healthcare building, which has been vacant since early 2015, has been sold to Senior Living Development, LLC of Fairfield, and Silver Heights Development LLC, of Westport. The companies have developed a number of age-restricted 55 and older communities throughout Fairfield County and are expected to submit plans for a senior housing community to the town’s Planning & Zoning Commission.

“This is really an exciting project,” said Economic and Community Development Director Rina Bakalar. “It’s a gorgeous site overlooking the Pequonnock River, it will help the small businesses in the area and will provide short-term construction and permanent health care jobs.”

The site, at 48 Monroe Tpke., consists of a 250,000-square-foot office building and a parking garage on 17.6 acres of land adjacent to the Pequonnock River Trail. Preliminary plans call for the building to be expanded, but much of the current building would be reused. The parking areas would also be reconfigured to reduce impermeable area on the site, Bakalar said.

Tesoro said the property’s redevelopment would allow Trumbull seniors a chance to remain in town. The companies intend to transform the property into a continual care-type facility, with active adult living, independent living, assisted living and memory care — long-term care intended for memory problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.

“If approved, this development will also be a win for Trumbull taxpayers, local businesses, and health care providers in the area,” she said. “A key emphasis of my campaign was to increase efforts to get our vacant properties back to productive reuse so we can grow our grand list.”

The proposed development’s effect on the town’s grand list is not clear, though Bakalar said United Healthcare currently pays about $500,000 in taxes on the property. Should the planned senior housing win approval, she said that number would be “significantly more.”