Family must close 94-year-old Sanitary Cleaners to make way for Norwalk apartments: ‘Heartbreaking’

Sanitary Cleaners, which has operated on Westport Avenue in Norwalk, Conn., since 1996 with its distinctive drive-thru, shut its doors on Saturday. Photographed on Friday, April 28, 2023.(H John Voorhees III/Hearst Connecticut Media)

[ – 2023.04.30] NORWALK — After 94 years in business, Sanitary Cleaners closed its doors permanently on Saturday.

The decision, however, was one its owners, Eun Hee and Byung Hyung Chung, did not make.

“It was definitely hard on our family,” said their daughter, Sharon Chung, speaking on behalf of her parents. “We were not expecting it at all, and it was definitely a surprise.”

The location of Sanitary Cleaners is set to be developed into a 136-unit apartment complex, according to city planning records. The dry-cleaning business at 570 Westport Ave., in its distinctive glass facade under a drive-thru archway, is on the east side of the city near the Westport border.

Eun Hee “Ann” Chung and her husband Byung Hyung “Ben” Chung closed their dry-cleaning business, Sanitary Cleaners, which they had operated on Westport Avenue in Norwalk, Conn., since 1996. Eun Hee “Ann” Chung is photographed on Friday, April 28, 2023, at the business. (H John Voorhees III/Hearst Connecticut Media)

Sharon Chung said her family first learned of the development through word of mouth.

“They are turning this and the surrounding lots into an apartment complex, I believe, and we are not part of the development plan,” Chung said.

The property, which is owned by Jerry’s Heirs LLC, is under contract to be sold to Coastal Luxury Homes. In January, Norwalk’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved a plan from Coastal Luxury Homes to build new retail and an apartment complex at the site.

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