The owners of the Westfield Trumbull mall are thinking about taking their retail business to another level. They are a zoning change to make a new residential development on the mall property.

The proposal is for 290 units of luxury rental apartments within the property of the Westfield mall. Originally, the proposal came in May, but was continued to a July 19 public hearing. Nearly 100 people attended the Thursday evening meeting.

The hearing was to talk about the current zoning for the property with maybe some tweaks.

Presenters gave ideas of what Westfield could bring to Trumbull. They stressed the diagrams and blueprints that were displayed are an initial idea, and will probably be adjusted when they come back to get permits to build.

The 290 units are planned to be one or two-bedroom apartments, with the opportunity to rent a garage and/or a storage space. The buildings will be on slabs, four stories high, with elevator access. Developers are hoping for a clubhouse, with a gym and common meeting room, and a pool. The units would be marketed to professionals, young couples and older couples looking to stay in Trumbull, but who do not want to have a single-family home. Westfield representative Stanley Gniazdowski said he estimated the plan would result in $601,000 in annual tax revenue. In addition, he said market research indicated there would not be a dramatic impact on school enrollment. The buildings would be located in the Frenchtown school district.

“You should be embracing a multi-family,” said John Knuff, the mall’s attorney, to board Vice Chairman Anthony Chory, who raised concerns about allowing multi-family homes in the town. Chory said he it was possible that young families would to be drawn to the rentals and worried that people would be attracted to Trumbull’s school district and move into town from nearby districts.

Knuff said towns should not be opposed to things simply because they are different.

“I would reiterate that towns who don't want to see something they haven't seen before are in deep trouble,” he said.

More coverage coming