Blake Block Nears Completion

Workmen access the new building from the recently blacktopped parking area

By Kim Siebert MacPhail

A year ago this week, the old Blake Block—or former Sheldon Block— was demolished. Although many long-time townsfolk had cherished memories of the block and of the businesses and people associated with it through the years, most agreed it was time for Bedford’s center to get a long-awaited fresh look.

During the past year, as construction progressed, allowing the new building to take its current form, we have watched, speculated and commented. Very soon, the community will be able to satisfy its curiosity and interested buyers will have a chance to take a look inside during an open house, tentatively scheduled for an early- to mid-September timeframe. The remaining work  and subsequent date for the open house depends on final interior touches and completion of sidewalks and landscaping following placement of underground electrical cables by NStar.

Code Enforcement Officer Chris Laskey reports that the kitchens and bathrooms in the seven residential units above the ground floor have been installed. Realtor Suzanne Koller has begun marketing the “Bedford on the Green Condominiums;” five of them are two-bedroom/two bath units and two are one-bedroom/one bath. Most of the two-bedroom condos have southern exposure, facing the Common or, as Koller says, “the hub of the town.”

On the first floor there are seven retail spaces that Laskey calculates to be“95% complete.”He added that retail units are often left unfinished—“vanilla boxes”— so that the renter can tailor the space to suit the business. The only known renter at this point is the popular Japanese restaurant “Ginger” that occupied the former Blake Block. Koller says that a mix of businesses on the block is desired.

A three-bay carriage house in the back of the building is also nearing completion. It is privately owned by one of the building’s tenants and will be used as a combination art studio and garage area. According to minutes of the Planning Board dated January 25, 2011, the artist studio would be for “personal, non-commercial use, without retail sales.”

To get an early glimpse of the interior of a residential unit or hear more about the amenities the building will offer, visit:

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