Developer plans 5-story building, 52 apartments in Trumbull Center

Photo of Amanda Cuda
Wednesday night, the Planning & Zoning Commission heard a pre-application for a plan to remove two buildings — an old professional building, and the building that used to house Starbucks and other businesses — at 900 White Plains Road, and replace them with a five-story mixed use property.

Wednesday night, the Planning & Zoning Commission heard a pre-application for a plan to remove two buildings — an old professional building, and the building that used to house Starbucks and other businesses — at 900 White Plains Road, and replace them with a five-story mixed use property.

Kristi Allen / For Hearst Connecticut Media

TRUMBULL — A plan to tear down two buildings in Trumbull Center and replace them with a single building combining retail and residential space might soon be in the works.

Wednesday night, the Planning & Zoning Commission heard a pre-application for a plan to remove two buildings — an old professional building, and the building that used to house Starbucks and other businesses — at 900 White Plains Road, and replace them with a five-story mixed use property.

“There’s a couple of buildings that really impede the development of the site and the view of the site and we think we can make a really nice, new mixed-use project that will continue with our clients’ restoration and reconfiguration of the buildings at Trumbull Center,” said Raymond Rizio, a lawyer representing Trumbull Center LLC.

Renovating Trumbull Center has long been a goal of many in town. The property at 900 White Plains Road features multiple unoccupied storefronts, including one previously occupied by Starbucks, and another that formerly housed Porricelli’s Food Mart. There have been multiple public meetings about reinventing the Trumbull Center corridor, including one that took place earlier this month.

Rizio said other nearby properties in town have been reinvented in an attractive manner, including the one across the street at 965 White Plains Road that now includes Starbucks and CVS.

The new building would feature about 40,200 square feet of space. The first floor would contain 13,665 square feet of retail space and the upper floors would have 52 one and two-bedroom apartments. The new building also would have a new basement garage with 33 parking spaces plus bike racks for the tenants.

Rizio said the retail space would also include “a nice new restaurant” with an outdoor dining patio.

The new structure could be transformative for the area, Rizio said.

“I think people would really like to see Trumbull Center get the fresh face it needs,” he said.

While many of the Planning & Zoning commissioners supported the renovation of Trumbull Center, most had issues they wanted to get greater consideration moving forward. Commissioner Tony D’Aquila, a Democrat, mentioned several concerns, including a further “opening up” of Trumbull Center.

“I would like the applicant to consider having storefronts located adjacent to White Plains Road,” D’Aquila said. “That will create a town center, as I had mentioned in a number of other meetings, like in Branford.”

He pointed to the fact that grocery stores have not shown interest in moving to Trumbull Center because the available space in the plaza doesn’t face the street.

“The applicant should consider that the view of a huge parking lot from the White Plains Road may not attract the public to this new Trumbull Center,” D’Aquila said.

After the pre-application — which lasted about half an hour and took place before the regular commission meeting — the next step is for the applicant to propose a text amendment to allow residential use in the business commercial zone, said town planner Rob Librandi. That amendment would have to be approved by the commission.

Librandi said the applicant would then have to go to other commissions for approval, then back to P&Z for a site plan and special permit approval.