Developers scale back Shelton apartment plan to 52 units

Photo of Brian Gioiele

SHELTON — Developers have scaled back an apartment proposal for the Bridgeport Avenue site that has long been home to Langanke’s Florist and Greenhouses. 

Langanke’s Landing, LLC presented revised plans to the Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday calling for construction of a four-story, 48,648-square-foot structure with 52 apartments and 93 parking spaces at 1055 Bridgeport Ave. The original proposal called for 62 units. 

The commission closed the public hearing and announced plans to further discuss the application at a future meeting. 

The commission has established a temporary moratorium on any new multi-family residential rental housing units throughout the city, except in the Central Business District, which encompasses downtown. The moratorium took effect June 10, but this plan was submitted prior to it taking effect. 

“An apartment complex has my strong support over (the) prior approved gas station/commercial usage,” said Paula Dressel, whose home directly abuts the Langanke’s location. 

“The need for quality apartments in Fairfield County and elsewhere has never been higher,” she added. “The location for commuters is ideal.” 

The developers reduced the number of units and removed underground parking, which allowed for an 8-foot reduction in the building’s height. The commission had expressed concern over the underground parking at previous hearings on the application. a concern raised by the commission at past public hearings on this application. The building length was also shortened by about 24 feet. 

The new plans call for 16 two-bedroom apartments, 22 one-bedroom and 14 studios. The developer agreed that 10 percent of the units, seven, could be set aside as affordable under the state statute 8-30g statute. 

The developer had already received approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission in 2020 for a Planned Development District at the property. The plan, at that time, was to remove the florist and greenhouse structures and build in there place a 4,400-square-foot convenience market and gas station with 10 fueling positions and two 3,100-square-foot buildings that could house either retail or offices.  

“(The developers) have decided that apartments would be the best use for the property,” attorney Dominick Thomas, who represents Langanke’s Landing, LLC previously said.

The developer is seeking to modify the PDD to allow the apartment structure. 

Stephen Lawrence, manager of the ownership entity which owns the adjacent property at 1077 Bridgeport Ave., agreed, saying they favored the apartment plan over the originally approved office building with gas station. 

"We are pleased that this is a residential project rather than the previous plan for a gas station and retail building which we believe will generate much more traffic than the residential project,” Lawrence said. “We are particularly pleased that the two-way entrance to Bridgeport Avenue has been moved a substantial distance from the entrance to our property.” 

Thomas said the new plans were appealing to the developer because of the lack of housing stock combined with the site’s location. The property sits near Exit 11 off Route 8 and has a public transit bus stop along the front of the site.  

“The creation of the apartments just seemed to fit,” Thomas said.  

Nearby residents had voiced concerns about the previously approved application, saying possible leaks from the gas station could pose an environmental hazard. Residents also were concerned about an entrance from the Huntington Street side.  

This new proposal, Thomas said, eliminates those issues and includes a single entrance along Bridgeport Avenue.  

Langanke’s Florist and Greenhouses owners stated during the initial application that while the plans, if approved, would remove the present structures — long a fixture along Bridgeport Avenue — the florist business itself would remain on a smaller scale in one of the buildings. Sale of the property is contingent on approval of the plans.  

With this new project, Thomas said the florist operation would be leaving the site, with the owners stating they would be relocating to another area in Shelton.  

The site is bounded by Bridgeport Avenue to the south, Huntington Street and Isinglass Road to the north and commercial developments to the east and west.