Church Lane projects transform Westport downtown
And it's becoming a reality, says Waldman, who nonetheless faces a new challenge for another, more controversial aspect of his vision as the Planning and Zoning Commission starts its review of his partnership's plans to re-zone 35 Church Lane.
Meanwhile, renovation and construction work is bustling at Waldman's properties at 26-28 Church Lane, future home of a restaurant run by the owners of the Grey Goose in Southport, and 101-107 Post Road, which will be occupied by Urban Outfitters. Connecting the two businesses will be a courtyard with benches and a pathway linking the Post Road to Church Lane.
"We're 90 percent along in regard to what the landlord has to do," Waldman -- the landlord -- said Tuesday afternoon.
The restaurant will be housed in the historic Sherwood House, saved from demolition last year and relocated about six feet closer to Church Lane. The "internal fit out" -- electrical work, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning systems, floor prep for concrete pouring, etc. -- for the restaurant is set to begin Nov. 1.
The Urban Outfitters building, once three stories, will be limited to two floors, allowing for 20-foot ceilings on the first floor. Urban Outfitters will take over its site for interior work by the second week of November, he said.
"I'm very excited," said Waldman, a partner in Bedford Square Associates, which owns the Westport Weston Family Y building, located across from the work taking place. When the Y moves to Camp Mahackeno in 2014, its property is to be transformed into a mixed-use development.
"I'm very excited about Westport, the things that are happening here," he said. "I'm a deeply vested resident of this town. I live, work and play here. I've been here since I was 1. I'm 42 now. I care deeply about the character, the charm, the vibrancy and success of our downtown."
The restaurant and Urban Outfitters are slated to open about March 1. Waldman is still looking for an office tenant above the restaurant for lease that 2,100-square-foot space. Those interested should call 203-221-8148.