The Black Block was approved by the planning board earlier this month. This special permit "approves the construction of a mixed use project in a two-story building to include retail, restaurant, take out retail, office and residential uses and associated off-street parking, drainage systems, utilities, sidewalks, pedestrian areas and open space". The first floor will be for retail use and up to 1500 square feet of office space. The second floor will include at least 3 residential units. As previously discussed, the "Country Store" building will remain.An updated "elevation" sketch of the Blake Block. Please note this is an elevation sketch and does not show the curves of the building. The large red building is curved on to Fletcher Road and the Yellow Building is fully on Fletcher Road.
Click here for a general artist depiction of the building.
As a condition of the approval, Bruce Blake is responsible for putting in New Sidewalks, Granite Curbing, Bike Racks, Street Trees, Benches and Trash Containers. He also will be rebuilding the Stone Wall along Springs Road. In my opinion, one of the key benefits to the project is that the sidewalk in front of Blake Block will be 20 feet wide. This will be a great place for to walk by and linger. For comparison most of the wider sidewalks in Lexington Center are 19 Feet. Please click here for sketches of the sidewalk and landscaping. There appears to be a small area of sidewalk reserved for a future Blake Block tenant. Perhaps for outdoor dining - something that Bedford is sorely lacking.
While a number of conditions were attached, the plan now goes to the Bedford Historical District Commission. There are still a few minor details to be worked out. Once approval is given by the Historical District Commission then Bruce Blake may proceed with demolition.
One future item is the construction of a Carriage House on Springs Road. The Carriage house (AKA car garage) would consist of 3 covered and 3 uncovered parking spaces for residents. Also the town may eventually build a sidewalk on Springs Road.