Plans for an Infinity-Nissan dealership near Danbury Airport are the latest sign the high-end car niche is taking off

DANBURY — A Nissan-Infinity dealership wanting to take over an empty retail building near the Danbury Fair shopping center is the latest sign that an emerging high-end auto niche is taking off on the city’s west side.

“It was subtle a few years ago with some of these high-end automotive uses, but it’s anything but subtle now,” said PJ Prunty, executive director of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce.

Prunty was talking about a request from Danbury’s Bruce Bennett Nissan to renovate the 78,000 square foot retail building on Sugar Hollow Road that once housed Sports Authority and Bed, Bath and Beyond.

The 8-acre property in question, which will go to a public hearing on Tuesday, would become the latest addition to the premium car market along an industrial stretch that runs along the eastern perimeter of Danbury Municipal Airport.

The stretch is home to Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen dealerships, high end auto garages such as Speedsport Tuning and Collector Car Services, luxury auto garages including a soon to open 50,000 square foot storage and restoration center doors and billed as the largest of its kind in Fairfield County and specialty manufacturers including a company of filmmakers that makes $450,000 sports cars.

Last month on Sugar Hollow and Miry Brook Roads, the Danbury Wetlands Commission advance plans by a New York auto dealership to build a Mercedes-Benz sales and service center on a 2.5-acre building materials site.

“It says a lot about Danbury as a place to set up and grow your business, and speaks to the pro-business approach this economy invites,” Prunty said. “I also tip my hat to the commercial real estate brokers who are deeply involved in this process and contributing to the strong economic boom there.

Nissan’s proposal, which has already received approval from the city’s planning department and the city’s environmental impact commission, needs a certificate to sell new cars in the commission’s commercial zone zoning, which could arrive as early as Tuesday evening.

Counsel for the plaintiff said the proposal is part of the future of the corridor.

“There are other car dealerships near this property and therefore this site and neighborhood is suitable for this new Nissan car dealership,” attorney Thomas Beecher said in a letter to the city’s Zoning Commission. .

The proposal calls for the retail store to be remodeled with a showroom, office, 15-bay service center and parts storage area.

The emergence of the high-end automobile corridor is part of a wider commercial boom on Danbury’s west side. In addition to the redevelopment of the 1.2 million square foot Summit office complex on Reserve Road, a proposed complex of 11 apartment and retail buildings on Mill Plain Road has grabbed headlines. The city also approved a $36 million rehabilitation hospital and an $80 million proton therapy cancer center on the west side, among other projects.

“These commercial real estate brokers play a key role in bringing about these transactions,” Prunty said.

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