State expected to approve funding for Trumbull mall, Make-A-Wish

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A view of Westfield Mall in Trumbull, Conn., on Friday, June 1, 2018. The new owners of the Westfiled Trumbull Mall are looking to get a zoning change from commercial to mixed use to include housing.

A view of Westfield Mall in Trumbull, Conn., on Friday, June 1, 2018. The new owners of the Westfiled Trumbull Mall are looking to get a zoning change from commercial to mixed use to include housing.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

TRUMBULL — The state bond commission is expected to approve roughly $1.2 million in funding for two major projects in town — one involving the headquarters of the local Make-A-Wish Foundation and one involving the Westfield Trumbull Mall.

This week, state Sen. Marilyn Moore, D-Bridgeport, chair of the Bonding Committee, announced the funding, part of a bond agenda set to be approved on Tuesday. Under the agenda, the town will also receive $200,000 to do a study on the mall, and to try and reinvent the property.

“The Westfield Trumbull Mall receiving funding will help provide improvements to a huge shopping plaza that employs over 3,000 folks from Bridgeport, Trumbull, and the surrounding areas,” Moore, whose district includes Trumbull, said in a news release.

The town will also receive $1 million to improve the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Trumbull. The money would be used to renovate a building — already purchased — which would be used by critically ill children and their families.

The foundation used to be in 5,000 square feet of space on Monroe Turnpike. It’s now in a 20,000-square-foot space on Commerce Drive in the Trumbull Corporate Park. The money would be to continue the renovation of that space.

Pam Keough, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut, Inc. said the organization “would like to thank the Governor and legislators for supporting our mission to grant life-changing wishes to children with critical illnesses across the state of Connecticut.”

“Local wish kids and families from all across Connecticut will directly benefit from this $1 million grant that renovates our facility in Trumbull, including playscapes, handicap-accessible play areas, audio and video experiences and information technology upgrades,” she said.

State Rep. David Rutigliano, R-Trumbull, also issued a statement on the Make-A-Wish funding.

“I am so grateful we were able to secure the funds for Make-A-Wish and ultimately for the benefit of children struggling through serious illnesses,” he said. “In the aftermath of COVID, children are facing serious physical and mental health risks, having an organization like Make-A-Wish permits these children a much-needed positive experience in their life.”

First Selectman Vicki Tesoro said in a statement that she was excited about the expected funding and it could mean great things for Trumbull.

“We thank Senator Moore for her outstanding leadership and support for Make-a-Wish and our Trumbull Mall,” she said. “Make-a-Wish is doing outstanding work for young people and their families out of their new headquarters in the Trumbull Corporate Park. We all know the challenges malls are facing, this funding will help us with a world class planning effort to set a course for the future of this very important area of town.”

Gov. Ned Lamont also expressed support for the funding. “The Make-A-Wish Foundation provides an incredible service to children throughout the region, and this Trumbull facility will enable the organization to continue the services they provide,” he said in a statement.