Norwalk Hospital-leased medical office facing eviction lawsuit

The owners of a medical office building leased by the The medical office building at 148 East Ave, Thursday, May 12, 2021, in Norwalk, Conn. Norwalk Hospital Association have moved to evict the medical provider, Norwalk Radiology Center, alleging in a lawsuit that the lease has expired.

The owners of a medical office building leased by the The medical office building at 148 East Ave, Thursday, May 12, 2021, in Norwalk, Conn. Norwalk Hospital Association have moved to evict the medical provider, Norwalk Radiology Center, alleging in a lawsuit that the lease has expired.

Erik Trautmann / Hearst Connecticut Media

NORWALK — The owners of a medical office building leased by the Norwalk Hospital Association have asked a judge to evict the hospital from the offices, according to a recent lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court last month, claims the hospital’s lease of more than a half dozen office suites in a condominium at 148 East Ave. expired in early April.

But despite requests by the owner to vacate the property, the hospital is still occupying portions of the building, according to a revised complaint submitted last week.

The building, which is located near Jennings Point on the Norwalk River, currently houses the Norwalk Radiology and Mammography Center — the largest medical imaging center in Fairfield County.

In 2011, the hospital signed a 10-year lease to rent more than 21,000 square feet of office space at the building for the center. The lease was never renewed and it expired on April 8.

“The Defendant’s right to have possession of the Premises has terminated because of the lapse of time,” Mark Sank, an attorney for the property owner, wrote in the complaint.

The property is owned by Norwalk Radiology Consultants, an independent group of physicians that specialize in medical imaging. The group founded the Radiology and Mammography Center, but in 2011 the hospital took it over and acquired the naming rights.

Now, the consultant group is suing the hospital to regain control of the building and to resume their independent practice. Dr. David Klein, the group’s president, said the team of nine doctors agreed to split with the hospital last year.

“We’re going to reopen our facility once they leave that building,” Klein said Thursday. “We’re going to have more fair and lower prices and we’re going to be just as accessible as ever to the Norwalk community for all their medical and radiology needs.”

Sank said despite a year of advance notice, the hospital still has not committed to a concrete move out date. He said the delay has cost his clients a signifigant amount of money.

“We really had no choice but to start this,” he said of the eviction suit.

According to an automated message played at a phone number listed for the center, Nuvance Health, the parent company of the hospital association, plans to relocate some imaging services offered to offices at 761 Main Ave. later this spring.

But it is unclear when or if the center will find a permanent new home. A spokesperson for the hospital did not return requests for comment and an attorney for the health system declined to comment on Thursday, citing the pending litigation.