Medical building opens on Route 7

A former long-abandoned office building has undergone a multi-million-dollar improvement and has opened at 249 Danbury Road as a medical building, the Wilton Wellness Center.

The complex opened Aug. 6 and appears to be Fairfield County’s latest state-of-the-art medical facility. There is a long-term 15,000-square-foot lease with the Western Connecticut Medical Group, Inc., an affiliate of the Western Connecticut Health Network, to serve as anchor.

Western Connecticut Medical Group will provide primary care services at the new location including internal medicine, family care, women’s services and urgent care.

An additional 35,000-plus-square-feet of medical space on the second and third floors at the new medical center is also going to be leased.

When the building opened on Aug. 6, Jonathan Garrity, president and chief executive officer of Cambridge Hanover Group, the owners and developers of the building, gave a tour to Wilton officials including members of the Economic Development Commission.

There’s no other building like it in the company’s portfolio, and building it filled a void in the area, so to speak, Garrity said during an interview.

“Norwalk Hospital had a requirement, and we were in discussions to fill that requirement. Norwalk Hospital is taking up a third of the building for primary care,” Garrity said. “This is totally a medical facility.”

Several other tenants have committed to the project, and there is more leasing to do, he said.

“We’re 50% leased now, and we’re in discussions with tenants for the balance of the building,” Garrity said.

“It’s a nice addition to the town and the tax base,” he said.

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice spoke about the building opening at the Board of Selectmen meeting Aug. 6.

“It has a great view,” she said of the building, which “used to be an eyesore.” It has an outdoor terrace on the second floor complete with patio furniture.

Later, in an email, Vanderslice talked about how the center provides multiple benefits to the town.

“First, by being located in Wilton, it now makes it easier for residents who use the physicians and services of the Western Connecticut Medical Group and the other medical tenants who will also be moving in.

“Second, it allows those physicians, employees and patients at the building, who don’t live in Wilton, to see and experience more of Wilton. Hopefully, they will shop and dine in town and some may even want to relocate to Wilton due to its convenience.

“Lastly, it generates new property tax revenue, thus reducing residents’ proportional share of total property taxes,” Vanderslice said.

For the Oct. 1, 2017 grand list, the assessment for 249 Danbury Road was $3,112,970, according to the assessor’s office. The Oct. 1, 2018 grand list assessments won’t be available until next year.