Medical office building to replace vacant funeral home in West Hartford

Don Stacom, Hartford Courant
·2 min read

A developer is planning a two-story medical office building to replace the former funeral home between West Hartford’s town center and the Rockledge Golf Club.

The nearly 60-year-old brick building that housed the Taylor and Modeen Funeral Home is on track for demolition, and 136 South Main Street LLC will then put up its 17,000-square-foot replacement.

The website reported this week that the building would be a two-story facility for Hartford HealthCare, and reaction on a West Hartford community page on Facebook was quick and extensive. Nearly 170 comments appeared on the Neighbors and Friends in West Hartford page in less than a day, mostly from neighbors concerned about traffic, aesthetics or what they see as further commercialization of the town.

Much of the conversation centered around hopes for a public hearing, but there will be none. The developer needs no zoning variance or special permit because medical office buildings are permitted in the Neighborhood Business District zone.

Town Planner Todd Dumais’ office already authorized it because, he said, 136 South Main LLC’s proposal meets all requirements of the zone.

“The developer designed this to meet all the standards,” Dumais said.

The new medical office building will replace the single-story building that housed Taylor and Modeen’s business until 2019. The funeral home relocated to 1084 New Britain Ave. and has left the building vacant since then; 136 South Main LLC has since bought it for $2 million.

The new owner presented a site plan to the town in late winter and got approval. The company is now seeking a demolition permit, and will then need only routine building permits for construction.

“This is a change of appearance from traditional brick architecture to a more modern two-story building, so the design review advisory committee held a review meeting in February,” Dumais said. “This is a premier corner and a gateway to our center. The committee unanimously agreed these are high-quality architectural materials.”

The building is at South Main Street and Park Road, just north of the Court of Saint James senior community and across the street from the Taste of India plaza.