'Nuisance property' frustrates Trumbull officials

Photo of Amanda Cuda

TRUMBULL — Considering it is unoccupied, 6 Cambridge Drive is a bad neighbor, according to Trumbull officials.

Rina Bakalar, Trumbull's economic and community development director, said the 60,000-square foot property is one of three buildings on Cambridge, the others being 7 Cambridge and 12 Cambridge. Those properties, she said, have been assets to the town, each housing several businesses.

But 6 Cambridge has been a problem roughly since it was purchased in 2015 by a company doing business as Cambridge Office LLC, Bakalar said.

"(The owner has) not kept the property up," she said. "He’s not invested in the property. He's made no aggressive effort to lease the property over the years. We’ve been upset over property for years. It's a nuisance property."

The owner had also, until recently, owed more than $279,000 in real estate taxes, sewer usage liens and blight liens. In January 2021, the Town of Trumbull filed a foreclosure complaint against Cambridge Office LLC in Superior Court in Bridgeport. 

Attorney Charles Willinger, who represented Cambridge Office LLC in the case, had no comment on the matter.

Bakalar said town officials hoped that the property would be ordered to auction if the owners didn't pay their debts. But, last month, the debts were paid and the owner has been able to hold onto the property.

However, town attorney James Nugent said the larger problem of the property itself isn't solved.

"They haven’t cured the problem," Nugent said. "The property is a mess and it’s dangerous. Although they satisfied and paid off the judgment debt, they haven’t fixed the problems."

Bakalar agreed. 

"We're going to have to clean it up again," she said. "We would like to see the property go to another owner who has more care and concern for the neighborhood."

In addition to looking run down, Police Chief Michael Lombardo said, because the property is essentially vacant, it has been the target of some illegal behavior, including illegal dumping and trespassing.

"The officers are checking the building on a regular basis," he said. "They have located people on property and told them to leave."

Lombardo added that there had been at least one trespassing arrest on the property of which he was aware.

The issue with 6 Cambridge is particularly distressing because the properties around it are thriving, Bakalar said. The building at 7 Cambridge Drive is home to businesses including DaVita Trumbull Dialysis and Nephrology Associates, while 12 Cambridge houses such businesses as SYNERGY Home Care and Visiting Nurse Services of Connecticut.

"We're just frustrated as a town," Bakalar said. "We’ve done so much to that neighborhood. This is the one thing that’s really bringing it down."