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RR Station Tenant Offers Bring Dozen Responses
By James Lomuscio
More than a dozen bidders have responded in the first 24 hours since the town posted two RFPs (requests for proposals) on its website Wednesday soliciting bids from prospective tenants for the newly refurbished eastbound Saugatuck train station house as well as the one at Greens Farms, Westport Deputy Police Chief Foti Koskinas said today. Westport Deputy Police Chief Foti Koskinas (l) looks over the newly refurbished eastbound station house at the Metro-North Westport station. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
“And even before we posted them, we had five or six people calling,” said Koskinas, whose department oversees Railroad Parking which manages the stations owned by the state.
One RFP with a minimum bid of $1,400 a month seeks a coffee concession to operate from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. out of 1,600 square feet of the Saugatuck station house. That same RFP requires the tenant to also operate from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Greens Farms, with the minimum bid at $500 a month, according to Richard Kotchko, the town’s purchasing officer.
The second RFP with a $1,400 a month minimum bid is for a approximately 275 square feet of office space at the eastbound Saugatuck station house. That space, adjacent to where the coffee concession would go, was previously occupied by Westport Taxi.
“They have leased space at another location in town, but they are eligible to bid for this space,” Koskinas said of Westport Taxi, adding that town officials are looking for a taxi and limousine service or rental car business to fill the space.
Koskinas stressed the coffee concession in the main part of the eastbound building should create an atmosphere where commuters and noncommuters alike feel comfortable, with wireless Internet access and charging stations. Special temporary parking spaces will be set aside for coffee patrons, Kotchko said.
Koskinas noted the town is also looking to enhance “the commuter experience” by having the concession partner with a local restaurant to provide commuters the opportunity to pick up hot dinners to go when they get of the train.
The reason for using an off-site restaurant, he said, is that the town has specified that the concession only use toasters and microwaves—not operate stoves “or have any baking” on premises, Koskinas said.
Regarding the bidding process, Kotchko stressed the town is not just looking for the highest bidder but the one who will best serve Westport.
“We’re looking at the combination of the best price we can get and what best serves the commuting public,” he said.
The eastbound station house at Saugatuck has undergone a complete renovation, including solar panel cells on its roof to power 20 electric vehicle charging stations outside.
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony Dec. 19 at 3 p.m. to mark its official reopening.
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