With the goal of moving as many as 60 employees to Bridgeport from its Westport base of operations, Gault Family Cos. formally applied for a site plan review of industrial property it owns on Seaview Avenue to permit the construction of a small office building.

Subject to the approval of the Bridgeport Planning and Zoning Commission, the offices would total nearly 20,000 square feet of space, sufficient for between 50 and 60 people. The building would include a rooftop terrace deck looking out on Bridgeport Harbor and Long Island Sound.

The family operates Gault Energy and Home Solutions and Gault Stone, also holding real estate in southwestern Connecticut. Gault’s history in Westport spans six generations to 1863, with the company evolving over the years from its early services delivering gravel, stone masonry and coal; to its sales and service of modern conveniences today like backup generators and an app and underlying systems to remotely control air conditioning and heat, detect water leaks and monitor security systems.

A Gault attorney told the P&Z Commission late last month that Gault wants the new office building to shorten commutes for Bridgeport-area employees. Gault has considered the Seaview Avenue site as a potential office since at least 2010, according to a city document, having purchased the 6-acre property two years before from Coastline Terminals for $2.6 million.

President Sam Gault told Hearst Connecticut Media the company did not consider leasing or purchasing existing office space at other locations in Bridgeport rather than constructing a new facility from scratch, preferring to develop the property it already owns and stating his belief it will improve Seaview Avenue. Bridgeport’s vacancy rate was 13 percent as of the second quarter according to JLL, nearly half the vacancy rate of Fairfield County as a whole.

“We will continue to have our existing offices in Westport, Stamford, and Bethel,” Gault stated in response to an email query. “Our stone yards and stone showrooms will continue at their existing locations in Westport and Bethel. The need for more office space is merely based on the lack of space that we have in our existing Westport company headquarters due to the growth of the company.”

Sandwiched between the Dolphin’s Cove Restaurant & Marina and a pier providing water taxi service to Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport, Gault uses the industrial property at 315 Seaview Ave. to store granite, marble and other materials for its Gault Stone division, also storing fuel on site. As part of the project, Gault has pledged to undertake sidewalk improvements at the site.

The office plan is being opposed by a handful of local residents, including Bob Karosy and Glenda Row, who voiced opposition that the building will obstruct water views of homes across the street that have been restored. The planned facility has drawn complaints from residential neighbors as increasing traffic on Seaview Avenue, in part for what they say is Gault’s plan to operate a “Gault University” training facility there.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; www.twitter.com/casoulman