Friday, December 21, 2007

A Brief Update on the Bedford Shopping Center Redevelopment

I recently spoke with Greg Salvatore, Managing Member and Director of Salvatore Capital Partners, the current owner of the Bedford Shopping Center. On November 26th, Salvatore Capital Partners presented some preliminary plans to the planning board and town to solicit feedback. An updated plan will be presented to the Bedford planning board in January and will incorporate some of the feedback provided.
The current layout makes it difficult to walk between stores without crossing paths
with lots of cars . The redevelopment features upgrades in pedestrian access.

In speaking with Greg, the biggest issue with the current shopping center configuration is the difficult pedestrian access. The updated plan seeks improvement to both pedestrian access and vehicle traffic flow. On the pedestrian side, the goal is to make it easier to walk around from one side of the center to the other without the need to get back in your vehicle. Adding additional stores will reduce the number of trips as shoppers can get more of there shopping done in one location,

Once construction starts, Greg anticipates it will take 18-24 months to complete the project. The project is currently scheduled to be completed in phases to ensure the stores and restaurants stay open during the construction. For example the US Post Office mail carrier building is scheduled to come down first, then a new building will be built. Once the new building is finished then Cafe Luigi, Bank of America and Cambridge Savings bank would move in to the new building while their old building is demolished.

I asked Greg about some of the other projects his company has worked on. He mentioned the Stonehill 123 retail center at 1285 Belmont Street in Brockton. According to Greg, this was an older somewhat run down shopping center that had a bunch of older store. Salvatore Capital Partners redeveloped the site and added new tenants including Starbucks and Bertucci’s.

This is an example of one of the shopping plaza's that was redeveloped by Salvatore Capital Partners.

As far as new stores, Greg mentioned there has been interest from a number of national retailers as well as some restaurants. Greg thought the strong Anchor stores (i.e. Whole Foods and Marshalls) are very helpful in attracting new high quality tenants. I would expect to see more information about new stores after the final plans have been approved by the town.

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