For several years, Bedford Square Associates (project developer) has been working on an exciting plan to redevelop the Bedford Square property in order to create a high quality, mixed use – retail, residential, office and restaurant – space consistent with the community’s vision to invigorate and expand the downtown area. This impressive team has a history of successfully completing development projects that fit seamlessly into the towns in which they are located, enhancing values.
Bedford Square will repurpose two iconic and historic buildings which will serve as the entrance to the reconstructed piazza area, its community gathering spaces, public courtyards, and plantings, antique-style gas lighting and tree-lined sidewalks. The team has created a plan that is both aesthetically designed and architecturally scaled to meet the towns’ high expectations. They are confident this mixed use development will enhance the area, create a ‘sense of place’, facilitate social interaction and will provide new opportunities for shopping, dining and living.
This project includes the complete LEED certified renovations and restorations of the stately 1923 Bedford Mansion and (early 1920’s) Firehouse, the removal and replacement of the YMCA’s 1970’s Weeks Pavilion Complex as well as the 4 buildings on the adjoining Gunn property. Together these properties make up the entire length of Church Lane – from the corner of Main Street and the Post Road, to the corner of Church Street and Elm Street – approximately 110,000 square feet of space will be atop 2.6 acres of land, creating one of the largest developments in the town of Westport.
Approximately 60,000 square feet will account for retail, restaurant, and office space, with the majority slated for retail ranging in approximate size from 900 s/f to 15,000 s/f. Leasing efforts may begin as early as December 2014.
Approximately 26 state of the art residential units will also be built, encompassing approx. 30,000 s/f – sized from loft/studios (550 s/f) to 2 bedroom (1,800 s/f) units, some will boast balconies and each will have a reserved parking spot.
The merging of the YMCA and Gunn properties will allow for the addition of over 100 concealed underground parking spaces. The entrance of the parking lot will be directly across from the new Christ and Holy Trinity Church parking lot and the large town owned lot on Elm Street, in an effort to help eliminate ‘circling the triangle’ seeking parking.
“This project has been in the works for a good ten years,” said David Waldman, President of David Adam Realty. “I really believe that Westport has all the elements that make for a spectacular shopping, living and cultural experience. I’m hoping we will become the envy of Fairfield County and a model for other communities to understand how they can use their historic assets, readapt them and yet keep the character that was once the original.”
Centerbrook Architects and Planners, LLP
Jeff Riley, FAIA and a Founding Member of Centerbrook, is responsible for Bedford Square’s design. In addition to focusing on excellent design and sustainability, “We focus on things that are truly human such as craft, beauty, a sense of organization, emotional impact of spaces, the sociability of spaces, where people sit, where the sun shines, where the wind blows, where the aromas waft through, the air – all of those things that humans love.”
“Not only do we hope, but we truly believe that Bedford Square will become beloved and iconic in Westport,” continued Riley. Centerbrook will also be handling Bedford Square’s landscape design.
Engineering and Environmental Services are provided by Langan Engineering and Environmental Services.
“We’re very excited about the project starting in November,” said Dan Zelson, Principal at Charter Realty and Development Corp. “We think it will be transformational for downtown Westport and we’re extremely pleased that we’re going to have mixed use there. We really hope it will spur downtown Westport on to become even stronger than it is today.”
Private funding for this project has been provided by key individual investors.
“The YMCA leaves in November 2014, then a 20-24 month construction period will take place, so hopefully we’ll have a fall 2016 opening,” continued Waldman.