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An aerial view of the plot where the mixed-use development, including an 116-unit senior apartment building, would be built. (Bedford Planning Board))

Developer spells out mixed-use plan for Bedford project

BEDFORD — A proposed mixed-use development, including a 55-and-older housing facility, at 379 South River Road is one step closer to fruition after a request for conceptual review at Monday night’s planning board meeting.

The project was laid out by Jeffrey Kevan, civil project supervisor of Bedford-based land planning firm TFMoran, on behalf of applicant Calamar Enterprises, a real estate organization with an office in North Andover, Mass. The property is owned by the James W. Dwire Rev. Trust and is currently classified by the town as in the “Performance Zone.”

“The proposal is to develop map 35, plot 3, which is the Dwire property,” Kevan said. “What is being proposed by Calamar is to subdivide the 11-plus acres into two parcels, which would leave 4.2 acres up front.”

The proposal shown identified a 19,200- square foot retail/commercial building with a wetland pocket up against the southwest corner of the property, and another small pocket in between.

Kevan said that Calamar would like to put a retail development in the front of the property, with the independent living apartments on seven acres in the eastern portion of the property, creating a lot line between the two segments of the property.

Kevan said that there would be access off of South River Road to the retail portion of the property, and that residents of the apartment complex would have access off Technology Drive. A driveway that “may be limited or restricted in some fashion” would connect the two portions.

The proposal includes 26 covered parking spaces along the property line for the three-story, 116-unit apartment building with another 150 spaces around the perimeter. The apartment building would consist of 38 865-square-foot, one-bedroom units, and 78 1,000 square-foot two-bedroom units. The retail portion would have 90 parking spaces.

“As you know, the (Performance Zone) zoning does not permit residential development without a waiver, so that’s why we’re here — primarily, to get feedback from the board,” Kevan said. “With the residential in the back, we think it’s a nice transition between the two.”

Board chairman Paul Goldberg raised his concerns with the proposed parking.

“Most people, even those of us older than 55, have two-car families,” he said. “I believe the reason the zoning was one covered space was because of the winters we have here in New England, (so) at least one car is under cover. I, myself, would be against just 39 covered spaces.”

Kevan said that most of residents of Calamar’s independent elderly housing facilities are in their mid-70s.“Based on that and the experience that they have for this type of facility, that the total number of parking spaces fits in with what they see as users and number of cars that they would need,” Kevan said. “As far as the covered parking, we did discuss that, and talked about adding garage spaces down either the north or south end of the building, and we can look at doing that if the board feels that is necessary or should be required.”

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