SOUTHINGTON — Torrington builders proposed a two-story medical building for the corner of West and Curtiss streets.
During a preliminary talk with the Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday, Garry Capitanio of Borghesi Building & Engineering said Trinity Health might occupy the first floor and the YMCA could put athletic training and rehabilitation on the second floor.
John Myers, YMCA executive director, said the prospect is under discussion and “certainly intriguing,” but added that there’s a lot more work to be done to determine if it’s a good move.
“We’re just gathering ourselves together and brainstorming,” he said.
Trinity Health couldn’t be reached for comment.
Since the property is in a newly-created multi-use transition zone, PZC members urged Capitanio to create a building with a colonial and residential look.
The transition zone was intended to encourage development less institutional than the nearby highway interchange zone.
PZC vice chairman Paul Chaplinsky said he didn’t want the medical building to resemble the Hartford Healthcare medical offices under construction on Queen Street. While that boxier design was fine for Queen Street, he said it didn’t fit with the commission’s vision for this section of West Street.
“I’m a hardliner,” Chaplinsky said about the look of the building. “I made a commitment to the people on West Street.”
Capitanio said tenants were looking to brand their businesses with a building that’s more contemporary in design.
“This is their desire,” he said. “There is a lot of competition in that market place.”
Two properties, 1177 and 1193 West St., total about three acres and could be used for the new building. On the corner of West and Curtiss streets are two buildings, one of which houses Pet Tracks Country Club.
An employee of the business said she didn’t know anything about changes to the building or property.
Town Planner Rob Philips said he wasn’t given any information about whether those buildings would be demolished to make way for another structure.
Last year, the commission created the transition zone in an attempt to manage development radiating from the highway exit. Although residents had worries about further development and increased traffic, commission members said the new zone would prevent the type of heavy development seen on Queen Street.
Philips said the commission eventually wants an access road from Curtiss Street to Spring Street as part of a comprehensive development of large parcel of land owned by Roger Tolles.
“The overall plan is to connect Curtiss to Spring via private roadway,” he said.
Philips wanted to make sure any development at the West and Curtiss streets corner wouldn’t block that hoped-for roadway.