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This artist rendition by CUBE 3 Studio and GFI Partners shows a proposed four-story apartment complex at Goffe Mill Plaza in Bedford where the former Wayfarer Inn once stood. (COURTESY)

Bedford planners to soon vote on 4-story apartment proposal

BEDFORD — Developers for a proposed four-story apartment complex say the project is not expected to bring a significant number of children into the community and local school system.

Next month, HIR Realty LLC and Jiten Hotel Management will seek final site plan approval for the construction of 133 apartments at the former Wayfarer property on South River Road, a site now known as Goffe Mill Plaza.

“This is built very specifically for a population that doesn’t spend a lot of time in the unit,” said Steve Goodman of GFI Partners, adding the proposed development will not create an environment geared toward kids because the units will be small.

While there will be a few school-aged children within the proposed apartment complex, he said most units will be occupied by one or two adults.

The development recommended for 121 S. River Road will include smaller urban residences with common areas and other social spaces.

“This becomes a community in itself,” Goodman told the planning board last week.

About 42 two-bedroom units are being proposed, in addition to 83 one-bedroom units and eight studio apartments, according to the conceptual plans introduced to town planners. 

The largest apartment occupies about 1,200 square feet, although most are smaller, said Goodman, explaining many of the two-bedroom units will likely be occupied by one person or a couple, with the second bedroom being used as an office. 

Charles Fairman, planning board member, said he would still anticipate all of the two-bedroom apartments being occupied by a child. 

The apartments, if approved, will be constructed on a 4-acre parcel between the Bedford Mall and the future Market and Main development at the old Macy’s parcel. 

Aside from Whole Foods Market, Provident Bank and other smaller retail tenants are now operating at the redeveloped site that once housed the Wayfarer Inn.

“I think a residence there is really going to help the whole area,” said Jon Levenstein, chairman of the planning board, adding it will help support the Market and Main site and keep the businesses viable so that the area does not turn into a ghost town at night. 

TFMoran's site layout plan for 121 South River Rd. in Bedford shows a proposed 133-unit apartment complex and a nearly 6,000 square feet restaurant. (COURTESY)

The proposed apartment building will face Bowman Brook at Goffe Mill Plaza, and will include porches and about 565 parking spaces. A roof terrace is also being proposed.

A nearly 6,000-square-foot, sit-down restaurant is being recommended as part of the project, according to the preliminary design plans; the restaurant would accommodate about 150 patrons.

Jeff Kevan of TFMoran said he understands the concerns about the size of the large apartment building, but in comparison to some of the buildings included in the Market and Main development, including a cinema and a parking garage, the proposed apartment complex is not massive, he said.

“We feel this fits into the site well and accomplishes what we are trying to do,” said Kevan. 

The planning board is expected to vote Nov. 6 on whether to approve the final site plan for the apartments.

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