Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ocean State Job Lot is Coming to Bedford

Ocean State Job Lot will be opening a new store at the old Staples location at 297 Great Road in the Great Road Shopping Center. This is expected to be their 120th store. Stay tuned for more details.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Stop & Shop and Hannaford Parent Companies Annouce Merger

The Dutch company Royal Ahold NV which is the parent company of Stop & Shop, recently announced a merger agreement with the Belgian based Delhaize Group which is the Parent Company of Hannaford. There are currently just under 400 Stop & Shops with over 180 Hannaford supermarkets. The merger, which is subject to government approval, is expected to be completed in 2016.

How will this merger the impact the Bedford Stop and Shop in the Great Road Shopping Center? In cases where both companies each have stores very close to each other, they frequently will divest some of these location in order to help ensure Federal Trade Commission approval of the merger. This was the case about 20 years ago in Bedford. When Stop & Shop bought Purity Supreme, they closed the Bedford Purity Supreme (now a Whole Foods) which was less than one mile down the road from the Bedford Stop & Shop. The nearest Hannaford stores to Bedford are in Waltham and Lowell so this should not be an issue for the Bedford store.

What could be more interesting is if the new company will keep both the Hannafords and Stop and Shop brands. Unlike other industry mergers where the brands are quickly combined for additional cost savings, supermarkets have tended to keep the individual brand names. For example when Shaw's bought Star Market in 1999 they kept both brands. While the conventional wisdom still supports keeping both names, this may make less sense nowadays. Ten years ago consumer did almost all their grocery shopping at one store while now a good portion split their shopping between multiple supermarkets. The net result is more emphasis on price and service than long term brand loyalty.

The Bedford Stop & Shop is facing a lot more competition with the recent opening of the Wegman's in Burlington as well as smaller stores that sell some groceries such as Ocean State Job Mart which is expected to open just a few door down at the old Staples location. In addition, Walmart now has over 650 Walmart Neighborhood Markets. These stores are much smaller than the typical Walmart (around 40,000 square feet) and primarily focus on groceries. While there are not yet any Walmart Neighborhood Markets in Massachusetts, I would expect to see some soon as Walmart is forecast to open around 200 additional Walmart Neighborhood Markets before the end of 2016.

What do you think? Would you like the Bedford Stop and Shop to keep it's name or would you have it rebrand at Hannaford?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Brief Update on the Bedford Marketplace Renovations

Construction continues at Bedford Marketplace. Above is the new building going up that faces Great Road. The left front of the building is expected to house a Bank with a drive thru in the rear. Once this building has been completed and tenants have moved in, the old building that housed Cafe Luigi's, Bank of America and other tenants will be demolished.

New trees have been added to the shopping center. The Green Bags around the base of the trees are known as Treegators. They are filled with about 15 gallons of water which is slowly released over a period of about a week. The bags are then refilled.

A new front entranceway has been proposed for Whole Foods.  The new addition which would stand in front of the existing storefront, has a maximum height of 45 feet.

The new 17,000 square foot building to the left of Marshall's. The section to the left of the telephone pole will be Red Heat Tavern which is expected to open this fall. The right section which is just under 12,000 square feet, appears to still be under negotiation with a prospective tenant (unconfirmed reports have indicated this may be a pet store). While the new buildings are all one story, they are much higher than the existing buildings.

As part of the renovation to help improve traffic flow, a left turn lane was just added (view is heading east on Great Road). The traffic signal still needs to be updated along with the no left turn sign on the traffic pole.

Above is a general overview of how the shopping center will look once renovations have been completed. The center building that currently houses Lincoln Liquors will be rebuilt closer to Great Road with the Liquor store being moved to the back of the building. In addition, a Learning Express Toys store has been proposed for the front of the building and is currently up for review by the zoning board of appeals.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Colasante Hair Studio Moves to the Depot District

Colasante Hair Studio recently moved from the Bedford Marketplace to the Bedford Depot Building at 80 Loomis Street. The shop which opened in November 2013, replaced the Center Hair Stylist barbershop. 

The Studio also sells a wide assortment of retail hair products.
The space, which was just renovated was formerly occupied by JRM Antiques.

As previously reported, the Studio's expertise is in hair coloring. The stylists makes frequent use of hair color products with protein and extra virgin olive oil to condition the hair and keep the color shiny.

The Bedford Depot Building which was formerly used as a railroad station, underwent an exterior renovation in 2014 that included new doors and windows along with a handicap-accessible restroom.

The Bedford Depot building is now fully leased out.

It's good to see retail back in the Depot Building. Along with the renovations (which have improved the look and feel of the Depot District), there have also been improvements with signage but some additional improvements may still be needed to draw retail traffic.

The Depot District will soon be getting additional retail space with the completion of The Crossing at Bedford (54 Loomis Street) this summer which includes 2800 square feet and the expansion of the Bikeway Source building adds another 1250 square feet.

How the Depot Building looked in 2008 before a series of renovations.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Holi, Bedford's First Indian Restaurant is now Open

Holi Indian Restaurant located at 20 North Road is now open. The restaurant replaces Dalya's which closed last December. Holi is managed by Amarjit Singh, who is one of the owners at Zaika Indian Bistro in Woburn.

The space underwent an interior renovation resulting in a much more modern and colorful appearance.

The new restaurant which has about 100 seats plus a small bar area, will be open from 11:30am until 11pm most days. A lunch buffet will be available until 3pm daily. Amarjit also has plans to offer delivery within a 3 mile radius.

The upstairs dining room is available for corporate functions and private parties

It's good to see a new restaurant come in to the Dayla's location so quickly. Bedford has been missing an Indian Restaurant. Key to success will be attracting employees who work in Bedford to come in for lunch or after work for dinner. Currently many of them go to Burlington or Billerica for Indian Food.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Whole Foods Planning New Entrance as Part of Bedford MarketPlace Renovations

The Whole Foods at 170 Great Road in the Bedford MarketPlace has submitted plans for a new front entranceway. The new addition which would stand in front of the existing storefront, has a maximum height of 45 feet and a mean height of 39 feet. The building itself has a height of about 21 feet.

Depiction of proposed entrance way. Please click on the image for a larger view.
The current zoning in Bedford allows for a maximum height of 37 feet. Since the average height of the structure is 39 feet, Whole Foods has applied for a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Side view of the proposed entrance way. Please click on the image for a more detailed view.

1. It seems like Whole Foods is interested in getting more visibility from the front of the shopping center. This may be due to the fact that the new one story buildings in front of and to the side of Whole Foods will be at least a few feet taller than the previous buildings. It could also be due to competition with the new Wegmans in Burlington.

Front of the new Wegmans in Burlington
2. With the new building going up next to Marshall's (which along with the Red Tavern Restaurant is expected to have about 12,000 square feet of additional retail space), the facade at Marshall's is looking pretty out of date. It will be interesting to see if this is updated.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Indian Restaurant Holi Set to Open March 16th at former Dalya's Location

Holi Indian Restaurant which is located at 20 North Road, is expected to open Monday March 16th. This replaces Dalya's which closed in December. The location has undergone an interior renovation. Holi will be managed by Amarjit Singh, who is one of the owners at Zaika Indian Bistro in Woburn.

The new restaurant is expected to have 100 seats along with a function room and will be open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Delivery is expected to be available. This will be the first Indian Restaurant in Bedford.

Stay tuned for more details around mid March.