By Eric Althoff
DANBURY, Conn.—The site of the former world HQ of Union Carbide will be seeing new life as a medical facility for Nuvance Health Systems. The 220,000-square-foot building, The Summit at Danbury, is being redeveloped by Danbury-based general contractor Rizzo Companies to relocate 500 jobs to this Connecticut city from the greater New York area.
The property, first constructed in the early 1980s, was purchased in 2018 for $17 million, when it was under foreclosure, by developers Summit Development and Crestline Investors. At that time, the property was less than 20 percent occupied and in need of a redevelopment to bring it into line with modern tenancy needs. Accordingly, executives at Summit realized that the property could be reconfigured into a healthcare-centric property that also incorporated residential and educational uses, as well as dining facilities.
Because Nuvance will be bringing all of its executive offices and clinical labs under one roof at The Summit at Danbury, the building will feature 600,000 square feet of Class A office space in addition to amenities including a fitness center and conference areas. Also complementing the apartments will be a school on-site.
Rizzo and its affiliates are pumping $20 million worth of improvement into the redevelopment. Project manager Michael Basile estimates the updates and Nuvance lease will increase the overall occupancy of the building to nearly 80 percent of the building’s total square footage. Further expansion, he estimated, would increase occupancy to near completion of the building’s space.
In a recent statement, Summit Development President Felix T. Charney said that not only is the redevelopment a positive for his firm, but that it will allow Nuvance to have a “unified, centralized headquarters” as well as provide a boost to both the local Danbury economy as well as the entire state of Connecticut.
“We have the zoning in place that … will allow us to begin creating 200 apartments in the building,” Charney said of increasing the facility’s usage beyond healthcare needs.
“Having Nuvance as the new anchor tenant will assure The Summit’s prominence as Danbury’s premier office and medical address,” said Crestline Director James Delaune.
Also chiming in on the value of the healthcare redevelopment project was none other than Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, who said that this initial development is only the first part of a greater investment in Danbury.
“Summit Development has made a lasting commitment to Danbury and to the State of Connecticut through their investment in this property, and their new partnership with Nuvance Health, a healthcare institution which provides world-class care,” Lamont, a Democrat, said in a recent statement.
Nuvance Health, which operates in the New York and Connecticut area, came into existence in 2019 as a joint venture of Health Quest Systems Inc. and Western Connecticut Health Network. According to reports, the combined healthcare firm employs nearly 3,000 doctors across its system. Nuvance’s healthcare portfolio entails seven hospitals that include nearby Danbury Hospital. In New York, the operation also runs Putnam Hospital and Vassar Brothers Medical Center.
Nuvance’s lease at The Summit will be for 12 years.