On a blustery day, winter is counting its last days of 2017. At the same time, Bedford Square is more aligned with the new beginnings of spring—and is preparing to open. The secret is out that the project’s anchor retail tenant, Anthropologie, is planning to throw open its doors at the end of March. Not only has the store e-blasted an invite to the launch, many curious locals have pushed their noses to the windows to see what’s going on inside. Seemingly overnight, the shelves have been stocked with pretty soaps, Boho tops, glass apothecary jars, and all things beauty, bridal, home and fashion for which the brand is famous.
But today, Westport magazine has its track shoes on to keep up with Paul Brandes, and Dan Zelson, both principals of Charter Realty and Development, one of the developers of Bedford Square (David Waldman at David Adam Realty is another; and Centerbrook Architects and Planners designed the building.)
A zippy tour from the left side of the building along Main Street, to an expansive view afforded from Post Road, to the side entrances along Church Lane, and around the far end on Elm Street, it’s clear that Bedford Square has all the bases covered. Not only is it impossible to miss this 100,000-plus-square-foot mixed-use development in the heart of downtown Westport—what with its myriad entry points and walk-through alleys (and a few private hideaways for residents)—but Bedford also serves multiple purposes: residential, shopping, fitness, and dining. In the center, a public courtyard serves as a place to meet up with friends and plan an agenda for seeing it all.
The design holds the massive space together. Even lifelong Westporters will recognize the old Bedford Estate in the view from the Post Road, but that’s where the old YMCA (its former tenant) fades into the history pages (the Y, of course, has a spiffy new place at 14 Allen Raymond Lane). Bedford’s signature Tutor style permeates the façade, while Serena & Lily conjured up a soothing and contemporary look for a model apartment. (Charter Realty and Waldman were behind the move of Serena & Lily, which repositioned the Kemper-Gunn House, a traditional Queen Anne-style historic home) from one side of Elm Street to the other; and so the design and retail brand will be available for new residents of Bedford Square.) Residential units occupy the upper floors with one-of-a-kind views from the rooftop decks. (Interested in one of those units? Join the already growing list, by contacting Lisa King, residential leasing contact for Charter, at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
If a big change is coming to town, it seems a few days of wind gusts may be just what’s needed. When the dust settles, Westporters should expect bright days ahead for Bedford Square. It is truly transformational for the downtown experience.
Below are a few sneak peeks of the place.