Tuesday, August 28, 2007

TD Banknorth Moves to New Location

The Bedford branch of TD Banknorth recently moved to the first floor of 175 Great Road (across from the Bedford Shopping Center). 175 Great Road formerly housed Konica and TIAC before that. The new branch location includes a drive through and drive up ATM. The second floor is still available for lease. The Branch was previously located right in the center of town at 60 Great Road. According to employees, the new location is much busier as 'no one knew we were there in the old location'.

I count three new bank branches in the past 18 months. If this trend continues, Bedford will soon look like downtown Lexington. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cartridge World Opens in Bedford

Cartridge WorldOn Monday, Cartridge World opened as the last tenant at Blue Ribbon Plaza. Cartridge World recycles cartridges, sells new cartridges and a wide range of printer accessories.
Bob Sun, a Lexington resident is the owner. According to Sun, the Bedford store is the 700th location in the United States and one of over 1500 worldwide. The chain is rapidly growing and has only operated stores in the United States since 2003. The chain originally started in Australia close to 20 years ago and then spread to Europe. The recycled ink and laser cartridges are priced 30-50% lower then at most retail stores. Sun who has a background in software, decided to open his own Cartridge World franchise just a few months ago.

According to Cartridge World, only about 30% of printer cartridges are currently recycled and it takes almost a gallon of oil to make a new laser cartridge. Cartridge World recycles the cartridges locally at each store. Sun walked me through the process. After a customer hands in a empty ink cartridge, it is visually inspected and electronically tested to make sure it is working correctly. Next Sun looks up the part number and uses it to refill the cartridge with the exact ink specified. It is then tested in a printer after which it gets repackaged for sale.

Cartridge World
Cartridge World features recycled cartridges for Printers, Copiers and Fax Machines

Sun also offers a fund raising program for schools and non-profits. He provides a free recycle bin to collect empty cartridges. When the bin fills up, the school or non-profit gives Cartridge World a call who then come pick them up and write a check in return for the empty cartridges. Sun has already provided his first bin, which went to the Bedford Fire Department.

With the opening of Cartridge World, Blue Ribbon Plaza is now fully occupied with 8 tenants, a little over a year after opening. It will be interesting to see if Cartridge World affects the Staples in the Great Road Shopping Center. In my opinion, that Staples is already less busy than most other Staples that I have seen.

Friday, August 17, 2007

McDonalds to be Torn Down and Rebuilt

Bedford’s McDonalds located at 346 Great Road is scheduled to be torn down this fall.

The McDonalds, which was built in 1971 is one of the oldest in the state. The new McDonalds will feature dual drive thru lanes. As far as the interior, I am expecting the new restaurant will follow McDonalds new three zone design philosophy. Each zone caters to a different audience. The first zone features comfy sofas and chairs with free Wi-Fi and looks similar to Starbucks. The second zone includes Wide Screen Plasma TV’s and is designed for people who eat alone. The third zone is made up mostly of booths and is most similar to the existing design. It is expected that McDonalds will be closed for about 3 months while the new building is being built.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Chinese Restaurant Opening Soon

A new Chinese Restaurant is going in to the old Boston Market space at 200 Great Road plaza. The new restaurant will have close to 100 seats and will be family oriented. It is owned by Man Chio Ho, a Beford resident. Remodeling has already started. This will be the second new Chinese restaurant in the past year. Bamboo opened last year next to Flatbread Pizza. It will be interesting to see these compete. My recommendation to Mr. Ho is to offer great lunch specials (lacking at The Great Wall), quick take out and delivery.