Thursday, June 07, 2007

Developers show off Lord & Taylor, Whole Foods plan

Mark Ginocchio,
The Stamford Advocate

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Jun. 5 -- Developers yesterday unveiled an artist's rendering of an expanded Lord & Taylor department store at Bulls Head with a Whole Foods Market on the ground floor.

The site would include a new 190,000-square-foot Lord & Taylor store, a 60,000-square-foot Whole Foods and 50,000 square feet of retail space with vendors to be determined.

The changes are part of a nationwide makeover of the department store chain, Lord & Taylor Chairman Richard Baker said.

"Every inch will be brand new," Baker said during a news conference at the Stamford Government Center. "It will be the most special Lord & Taylor in the chain."

When he acquired the department store chain in October, Lord & Taylor was a "dusty brand," Baker said. The company is investing $500 million nationally to revitalize it.

The Stamford project, which must be approved by city boards, is being developed by National Realty & Development Corp. of Purchase, N.Y.

The specialty grocer Whole Foods has "knocked on doors" in Stamford for a while, Mayor Dannel Malloy said.

The closest Whole Foods stores are in Greenwich and White Plains, N.Y. The company recently bought the Wild Oats chain, which has a store in Westport.

Bringing in a Whole Foods is great but "one of the most exciting parts is that Lord & Taylor is enlarging, while other stores have been downsizing," Malloy said.

Sandra Goldstein, executive director of the Downtown Special Services District, said she has received a number of calls asking for a Whole Foods downtown.

"As much as we would want one downtown, we are very supportive of this program," Goldstein said of the Lord & Taylor development between High Ridge and Long Ridge roads at Bulls Head, the large intersection with Cold Spring Road, Summer Street and Bedford Street.

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