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Former Danbury ambulance site set to house used car dealership

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January 7, 2022


Rob Ryser  | Jan. 7, 2022Updated: Jan. 7, 2022 7:03 p.m.

DANBURY — A 90-year-old company that bills itself as the largest used car dealer in Connecticut has won approval to convert four properties that once housed Danbury Ambulance into a new office, showroom and display lot.

The company, which calls its new location near Interstate 84’s Exit 6 Blasius of Danbury, needed special approval from the city’s Planning Commission because part of its property is in the Padanaram Brook flood plain.

“The engineering department has looked at it, and they’ve signed off on it,” said Jennifer Emminger, the city’s deputy planning director, at a meeting this week. “They reviewed the retention basin and the stormwater drainage system, and all their comments have been satisfied.”

Emminger was referring to a plan by Blasius to demolish two of the four buildings at 14-16 Walnut St. — one of four lots that comprise the combined property — and to renovate the other two buildings into a garage and a showroom with offices.

The four properties, which are in a commercial zone, are on the northern bank of I-84, a half-block from Dunkin’.

“This (site) used to be the old Danbury Ambulance, which has been vacant since just before COVID (when) Danbury Ambulance moved into the hospital,” Emminger said during a Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday. “This site has been predominantly vacant.”

In its place Blasius proposes a renovated 2,500-square-foot garage, a renovated 3,800-square-foot showroom and office building, and an open area between the buildings for circulation and customer parking. The used car inventory lot would be to the east of the buildings, ending at Oakland Avenue.

Work in and near the floodplain includes “improvements to the existing parking area, construction of a new parking lot, associated grading, landscaping, storm drainage improvements, and the installation of curbing and sidewalks along Walnut Street and Oakland Avenue.”

The work in the flood plain is “minor” and in compliance with the city’s zoning regulations, the city determined.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the dealership’s flood plain permit.

There was no immediate word on Thursday about when the dealership would begin work, except a pop-up window on its website saying, “We are not open for business yet. Vehicles on this site are for testing purposes only. We will be open soon … promise.”

Blasius has dealerships in Stratford, Torrington, Waterbury, Middletown, and Holliston, Mass.

rryser@newstimes.com 203-731-3342

Former Danbury ambulance site set to house used car dealership