New Senior Housing Proposed For Post Road West

The Residence at Westport — our first assisted living community — opened last summer, opposite Greens Farms Elementary School.

A second one is planned for the opposite side of town.

Maplewood Senior Living has proposed a 3-story facility for the former Dragone Classic Motorworks site, diagonally across from Kings Highway Elementary.

Site plan for the proposed assisted living facility. Post Road East is on the right; Kings Highway North and Ludlow Street are on the left.

The property has a long history with automobiles. It was for many years the home of the Small Car Company — for a while, the most successful Volkswagen dealer in the US. In 2018 it was rezoned to allow an electric car dealership (rumored to be Tesla).

The current tenant is Carvana, a used car dealer that sells entirely online. Nearby buildings include retail and residences, with 8 apartments.

The former Dragone property, and its neighbor, on Post Road West.

Maplewood’s corporate headquarters are on Gorham Island, off Parker Harding Plaza. They operate 15 senior living communities in 5 states. Other Connecticut locations include Southport, East Norwalk, Newtown, Darien, Bethel, Danbury and Orange.

Plans call 95 units: 49 for assisted living, 46 for memory and full care. Two of the assisted living units will be designated as affordable. The facility will be called Maplewood at Westport.

Artists’ rendering of Maplewood at Westport.

Because part of the property lies within the Kings Highway North Local Historic District, Maplewood and Landtech — the Saugatuck-based engineering and environmental firm — have worked with neighbors, and Westport’s Historic District Commission, since June.

Two “historic residences” — over 50 years old — will be preserved.

One house at 174 Post Road West will be relocated to 38 Kings Highway North.

The existing home at 38 Kings Highway North, with a rendering of the home that will be relocated from 174 Post Road West.

Another, at #172, will be moved slightly, and designated as affordable.

The new location of the house at 172 Post Road West.

Maplewood’s building will be tucked into the hill. Only the roof will be visible from Kings Highway. Landscaping and vegetation will be added to the site, and on some private property.

All contaminated soil — the legacy of decades as a car dealership — will be removed.

The proposal goes before the Flood & Erosion Control Board in March, with the Conservation Commission to follow. The target date for opening is late summer or early fall of 2022.

12 responses to “New Senior Housing Proposed For Post Road West

  1. Looks nice in drawing and ANYTHING, ANYTHING is gonna’ be better than Carvanna

  2. Carvana has got to be the poster child for the stupid excesses of the tech bubble: a used car chain store that loses $1,500 on every car, and whose signature achievement is a $5 million-a-copy “car vending machine” that dispenses the product after the buyer inserts a symbolic “coin” into a slot.

    No it’s not a gimmick, the stock’s boosters insist! Says stock-tout website, The Motley Fool:

    “One reason the vending machine isn’t a gimmick is because it has a very important task: to attract a generation of millennial consumers who have grown up sharing unique experiences through social media.”


    • Cheryl McKenna

      Interesting…. I will attend the meetings virtually now . Thank you Dan for continuing to inform the Westport public .

  3. I had heard that the Ross brothers (current landlord I believe) were going to relocate their existing Westport store to this location. Guess I heard wrong.

  4. The world makes a little less sense, when I know a smidgen of local history that Dan has missed. In 1998, the property was the site of a Saab dealership, where I took a test drive for the first car I would own in 16 years since returning to the city and then moving here. I bought something else.

  5. Seems like a nice upgrade from a string of half-baked car dealerships.

  6. The Carvana location is literally just a storage/staging area for them. No customers actually go there due to their mostly delivery only sales model. The price was right and why would they fix it up if it is only temporary?

    The real concern is how will this tax the emergency services in town? Fire and PD shouldn’t really be affected, but, EMS is already stretched thin.

  7. Elisabeth Keane

    Circa1989, and perhaps earlier, that property was the Saab dealership. In 1993 we bought the second Saab station wagon sold in southwestern CT. For the next 19 years, that car was flawless until we finally had to replace it. That’s when we learned that the Westport Saab dealership had closed as Saab had ceased producing cars. Aside from that very unwelcome surprise, our experience with Westport’s Saab dealership was wonderful and our Saab served us very well. Very well engineered; handled well, sturdy, reliable; the cabin was perfectly designed with every available space for storage; the gauges were intuitive, clear and well positioned; and the glove box also had a cooling function in case you were on a long drive and wanted to keep a sandwich and bottle of water chilled. The cup holder, hidden within the paneling, could be tapped gently to open it and it was quite entertaining (it takes so little sometimes…) when it appeared from behind the panel and twisted into the correct position. While I am well pleased with the car we eventually bought, I still miss our Saab.

  8. Cheryl McKenna

    I must tell you Elisabeth Keane I saw a new Saab wagon yesterday in Westport and was so thrilled as I too love the old Saab I owned . MGBGt after that did not hold up at all compared to my trusty Saub ! Let’s call Saub and get them back here at the original location lol 😂

  9. Scott R. Singer

    This is fantastic news for Wesport! The Maplewood facility in Darien is lovely.