By Marya Dantzer
This summer is likely to herald ground-breaking for a long-awaited major revitalization of the Bedford Market Place shopping center anchored by Marshall’s and Whole Foods on the Great Road.
The Planning Board initiated discussion of the project at its May 27 meeting, and will hear a presentation on the plan at a meeting on Monday, June 9.
The proposed project calls for two new buildings located to the west of, and eventually replacing, the two smaller blocks on the site (those containing the Post Office, Café Luigi, Bank of America, and Genetti’s Wine & Spirit, among other businesses), as well as site redesign to simplify traffic and parking patterns. The new buildings would be closer to the street, giving the shopping center greater visibility and a more appealing aspect.
In a phone interview, Planning Director Glenn Garber called the project “sweeping in its scope” and “huge in terms of economic development” for the town. The redevelopment was initially proposed in 2008 but was sidelined by the recession. Garber described it as a significant instance of the kind of economic development called for in the town’s 2013 Comprehensive Plan, The Bedford We Want.
In addition to new building construction, Garber said the project will involve extensive landscaping, pedestrian walkways, and general beautification, contributing to “community character” and providing “a nicer transition” to the town center and to other retail areas along the Great Road. He said the new plan will mean that “traffic circulation won’t be as chaotic and dangerous” as it is now.
Garber said the developer hopes to embark on the project as soon as possible, pending Planning Board approval and negotiations with existing tenants.
In total, the proposal calls for adding more than 10,000 square feet of retail space. The proposed spaces are currently listed online in three parcels: 1,400 square feet, 6,000 square feet and 3,000 square feet. An artist’s rendering of the finished project accompanies the listings; see, for example, https://www.showcase.com/property/168-Great-Road/Bedford/Massachusetts/9052000.