New owner says 40-year-old Trumbull building a real ‘sleeper’

Photo of Amanda Cuda
6515 Main Street, in Trumbull, Conn. May 10, 2022.

6515 Main Street, in Trumbull, Conn. May 10, 2022.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

TRUMBULL — The building at 6515 Main St. is, in Robert Von Ancken’s eyes, “kind of a sleeper.”

The building — constructed in 1980 and boasting roughly 25,000 square feet of space — is about 85 percent occupied with a variety of businesses, and sits in the up-and-coming-Long Hill area. But Von Ancken, who bought the property in January for $2.1 million, said there’s a lot of work to be done on the building.

A major piece of that is filling the spaces that remain vacant, including the 1,700-square feet in the front formerly occupied by Anchor Cruises & Travel, and giving the whole thing a bit of a facelift.

“This building was kind of a sleeper and it wasn’t really well-maintained over the years,” said Von Ancken, whose other properties include the plaza at 25 Lindeman Drive that contains Planet Fitness. “We’re just going to spruce up building and put in more character.”

This includes redoing the facade, repainting the building and gutting the former Anchor Travel and converting it into a “vanilla box” — a sort of blank slate space designed to accommodate a variety of businesses.

Since Von Ancken bought the property, at least one business has come into the building, Mary Gilbertson Wellness, and a few others have come in the past year, said Stephen Hodson, president of Hodson Realty, who worked on the sale of the building. He’s also a tenant at 6515 Main St., and said the building has a lot going for it, particularly its location.

The Long Hill area is experiencing a bit of a renaissance lately, with the opening last year of the Long Hill Market plaza at 6450 Main St., which includes Summer Evans Studio, Dunkin’, Elevate Physical Therapy, Premier Martial Arts, and the new Italian restaurant Ecco, which opened earlier this year.

Other businesses in the area include Franco Gianni’s and Layla’s Falafel, both on Broadway Road. There are also plans to convert the former Trumbull Pharmacy on Broadway Road into a new outpost of the restaurant Fryborg.

“The way it’s been beautified and buildings have been built — it’s become a nice alternate center of town,” Hodson said of the Long Hill area.

He’s been a tenant at 6515 Main St. for roughly 15 years and, like Von Ancken, he said it needs work but has potential.

“Our building is a bit of an older building but it’s always had character,” Hodson said. “The front space would be suitable for just about anything.”

Von Ancken said he would like to see an emphasis on health and wellness businesses in the facility moving forward, but his biggest priority is emphasizing local businesses.

“I really like local businesses,” he said. “If there are any start-up businesses looking to get out of their house and start up over there (there would be interest in that).”

The purchase of 6515 Main St. and the plans to reinvigorate it are exciting, said Trumbull economic and community development director Rina Bakalar.

“I am thrilled with the new ownership,” she said. “Rob is a quality owner and really cares about businesses and Trumbull. The facelift he has planned with enhance further the Long Hill Green area. The idea of attracting a retail-type use to the front of the building is very smart. We appreciate his investment.”