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Bedford's Market and Main project granted extension for off-site improvements

By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent

October 07. 2018 10:54PM
Trader Joe's and The Friendly Toast are expected to open in February at the new Market and Main development in Bedford. (Kimberly Houghton)



BEDFORD — Although progress is being made at the new Market and Main project, developers have asked town planners for additional time to complete mandatory off-site improvements.

With the first phase of construction underway, a representative for the developer said last week that ER Bedford, LLC and Encore Retail, LLC need about another year to finish the off-site improvements, which were supposed to be finished by the start of this month.

Chris Rice, a civil engineer with TF Moran, said the second phase of construction was originally slated to begin this summer, but that did not occur.

The off-site improvements include work to address traffic concerns, such as a new pedestrian crosswalk, traffic islands and sidewalks.

The first phase, specifically the construction of Trader Joe’s and The Friendly Toast, is well underway at the former Macy’s site at 125 South River Road.

Those two buildings will be turned over to the tenants in November, and should be open in February 2019, according to Rice.

“The next phase of the development is not starting until the spring,” Rice told the planning board.

Since the first phase of construction does not warrant any off-site improvements, Rice said the request is reasonable; the board agreed and granted a one year extension.

“The town has delayed the completion of the South River Road (paving) project to accommodate Encore’s schedule for constructing the off-site improvements,” Becky Hebert, planning director, wrote in a memo to the board. “ … At this time, the town has a financial guarantee for the construction of all of the off-site improvements.”

Some work is still expected to take place by the end of this year, including the construction of a pedestrian crosswalk at the site’s entrance, improvements to Upjohn Street, striping at the main entrance drive and the creation of a sidewalk along South River Road to the Woodbury Court driveway.

The second phase of construction includes five more buildings and a parking garage; tenants have not yet been identified for those specific buildings.

To date, Pressed Cafe, Charles Schwab, Trader Joe’s, The Friendly Toast, REI and Red Heat Tavern all announced that they have signed leases for the new Market and Main development. Other businesses such as Athleta, Cycle Bar, European Wax and MidiCi have been working on finalizing leases, representatives with Encore said earlier.

No new announcements have been made regarding additional tenants that will be occupying Market and Main, a 355,708 square feet complex. Although an official groundbreaking is being planned, the date has not yet been publicized.

In September 2016, the planning board granted the conditional site plan for Encore and its mixed-use development that will include a cinema, hotel, medical office, restaurants and retail space.

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