National retailer plots new 'Terrain' on Post Road East

Photo of Paul Schott
A site plan from Urban Outfitters Inc. seeks Planning and Zoning Commission approval to build a new Terrain home and garden store at 561 Post Road East, the former site of the Curran Cadillac dealership.
A site plan from Urban Outfitters Inc. seeks Planning and Zoning Commission approval to build a new Terrain home and garden store at 561 Post Road East, the former site of the Curran Cadillac dealership.Paul Schott

A new home and garden center could soon take root at the Post Road East property once occupied by the Curran Cadillac dealership.

Representatives from the Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters Inc. presented a site plan for the property to the Planning and Zoning Commission last Thursday, detailing the application for a Terrain store to 561 Post Road East, next to the Fresh Market grocery store.

"We're excited to be working with the town of Westport on this," said Ken Nemeth, Urban Outfitters' senior development manager. "We think this is the right place for this building, and we're going to do our absolute best to be a great neighbor and citizen."

The proposal calls for the renovation of the property's main building, which remained after the dealership closed in 2009. In addition to retail use, the 16,100-square-foot building would also house a 1,900-square-foot restaurant with an outdoor eating area. Another vacant building on the property, which formerly housed a Dress Barn clothing store, would be renovated for future retail use.

Town zoning regulations mandate approximately 110 parking spaces for the store. However, a text amendment approved earlier this year by the P&Z would allow Terrain to have only 74 parking spots by setting aside the rest of its required spaces for future use.

Terrain also plans to extensively landscape the property and to construct a new sidewalk on Post Road East.

Audience turnout for the site plan hearing was sparse. Carol Demont, a resident of Crescent Park Road, a neighboring street of the property, cited parking and traffic as concerns.

"I think this will do great, like Shake Shack. I think there will be lots of overflow parking, which is good for business," she said. "But I can't imagine where it would go. I think they would probably park on Crescent Road. That would further constrict the two lanes of traffic."

While it closed its public hearing on the Terrain site plan, the P&Z did not vote Thursday on the site plan. It is scheduled to continue its review of the proposal in a work session at a meeting set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6.

If built, the Westport Terrain store would complement the flagship Terrain outlet in Glen Mills, Pa. Urban Outfitters Inc. also owns the Anthropologie women's clothing and home decor store at 1365 Post Road. In 2012, the company plans to open an Urban Outfitters clothing store in downtown Westport on Post Road East.

The proposed site for the Terrain store is still owned by the Curran family. It has an appraised value of approximately $4.5 million, according to the Vision Appraisal website.