Credit: Town of Wilton (Aug. 17, 2023 letter from Toll Brothers)

WILTON CT: Thursday, Aug. 17, 5 p.m. — Toll Brothers, Inc. is interested in redeveloping a significant property in Wilton Center. Wilton’s Board of Selectmen addressed the topic at a special meeting today.

In a letter dated today and sent to First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice, Toll Brothers Regional Director, Acquisitions and Development Bryan Oos outlined the company’s desire to acquire a small parcel of Town-owned land adjacent to 15 Old Danbury Rd., currently the U.S. headquarters for Commonfund, an investment services firm.

The Town-owned parcel is a 0.56-acre right-of-way (ROW) which includes the driveway entrance to the Commonfund office building. According to Town records, the Commonfund building is on a 4.28-acre site, abutting most of Station Road.

Wilton currently owns a land parcel of interest to Toll Brothers, Inc. as the company considers redevelopment of 15 Old Danbury Rd. Credit: Google Maps

Vanderslice said Toll Brothers’ goal is to consolidate the two parcels and redevelop the site into multifamily housing.

In the letter, Oos described the proposed use as follows:

“Consolidation with adjacent property, 15 Old Danbury Road, which Purchaser intends to redevelop as multifamily rental housing. It is anticipated that the existing roadway in the right-of- way would continue to function as an entry drive into the redeveloped 15 Old Danbury Road property and that any ongoing maintenance obligations would transfer to Purchaser. It is anticipated that the remaining unpaved portion of the right-of-way would be utilized as open space or incorporated into a reconfigured parking layout for 15 Old Danbury Road.”

Vanderslice noted, however, that Toll Brothers could proceed without the Town-owned parcel.

“They do not need this [parcel] in order to redevelop this property… but it makes sense to have this piece of property be part of it,” Vanderslice said.

Selectman Ross Tartell commented that the site was prime for redevelopment.

“The conversion of the Commonfund building into housing fits the history and direction of the POCD and my sense of where the Town needs to move if it’s going to continue to thrive,” Tartell said.

Vanderslice agreed, adding, “This building is significantly underutilized and right next to the train station, so it’s ideal as a location for multifamily. And now with the pedestrian bridge, as we knew, there’d be interest in developing that side of the bridge.”

Tartell asked about the remaining triangular parcel along Danbury Rd., which is also Town-owned. Vanderslice indicated Toll Brothers was not seeking that parcel because it was “unusable.” In a follow-up phone call with GMW, Vanderslice explained the steep slope of the remaining parcel made it unusable for development.

“Planning and Zoning will have to address the issue of how to break this away separately,” Vanderslice said, noting her intention to follow up with P&Z.

Planning and Zoning has undertaken the Master Planning process and how this potential development near the Wilton train station could be impacted by any regulation changes is still an unknown factor.

Selectman Bas Nabulsi raised a question about the potential development area (shaded in pink in the photo at top) which appears to overlap with the parking area at the train station. Vanderslice acknowledged that was another question that “needed to be clarified.”

Selectwoman Kim Healy inquired whether Toll Brothers had considered developing housing units for sale, not just rental apartments. (Toll Brothers also developed the River Ridge single-family homes community, on River Road in Wilton Center.) Vanderslice responded that there was generally “less enthusiasm” for condominiums among developers in the area due to tax reasons.

Except for Selectman Josh Cole, who was not in attendance at the meeting, the selectmen voted unanimously to authorize Vanderslice to proceed with discussions with Toll Brothers about a potential sale of the town’s half-acre parcel.

She said she expected Toll Brothers would proceed with getting an appraisal for the property before making an offer. A public hearing would take place before the Town would take any action on an offer.

Vanderslice also said she expected Toll Brothers would request a pre-application discussion with P&Z in September.

GMW reached out to Toll Brothers for additional details but has not heard back as of publication deadline.

One reply on “BREAKING NEWS — Office Space to Multi-Family Apartments: Toll Brothers Looks to Redevelop Commonfund Building Near Wilton Train Station”

  1. Good. Hopefully they max out the density / height, minimize parking requirements, etc, to let this be as big as is feasible (with almost 5 acres I could easily imagine 100 units or more); this is an extremely valuable location, literally next door to the train station, and ought to earn the town a great deal of property tax.

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