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Monday, February 21, 2011

New Safeguards Due in State’s Deregulated Energy Market

Connecticut consumers will soon have new safeguards in the state’s deregulated energy market.WestportNow.com Image
Jeffrey Mayer: “Order is the product of careful effort.” Dave Matlow/WN file photo

The Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC), after months of research, discussion and input from utilities and suppliers, has released its Draft Decision on Marketing Practices.

The order lays out guidelines for suppliers and aggregators who offer electricity consumers alternate energy supply. 

Since 2007, Connecticut homeowners and businesses have been free to purchase their electricity supply from independent marketers. The regulated utilities continue to maintain the wires and provide emergency services.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Building for The Gap

WestportNow.com Image
The new home of The Gap at Westport’s 125 Main St. is nearing completion as a crane lowers building materials to the roof. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

02/18/11 04:35 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Business Leaders Discuss ‘Strange Moment in Economic History’

By Dave Matlow

Two financial heavyweights met at the Westport Public Library tonight to shed some light on what one described as “a strange moment in economic history.”WestportNow.com Image
David Komansky (l) and Marc Lasry discuss the economy tonight at the Westport Public Library as Richard Murphy, contributing editor of Fortune Magazine, listens. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

David Komansky, retired chairman of Merrill Lynch, and Marc Lasry, CEO and co-founder of Avenue Capital Group, a global player in distressed securities, met in the library’s McManus Room to share thoughts on the recession, rising unemployment and the confusing fact that corporate profits are up.

It was the third successive year the two Westporters had teamed up for a February library appearance to talk about the economy.

Moderated by Richard Murphy,  contributing editor at Fortune Magazine, Komansky and Lasry had a rapt, packed audience holding on to their every word, as most hoped to see a glimmer of hope on the financial horizon.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Dunkin’ Saugatuck Update: Opening Set for Next Month

WestportNow.com Image
The Dunkin’ Donuts shop in Westport’s Bridge Square (see WestportNow Feb. 4, 2011) will open by either the first or second week of March, according to general contractor Jim McMahon (foreground, back to camera) of Waterbury-based Coffee House Construction. McMahon, who said he has renovated more than 100 Dunkin’ Donuts shops for a variety of owners over the past 18 years, said the new equipment will be installed Monday and then final hook-ups of electric, plumbing and HVAC will follow. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/14/11 11:31 PM Comments (5) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Comings and Goings: Rice N Noodle Debuts on Post Road East

WestportNow.com Image
Rice N Noodle Chinese restaurant and take-out service celebrates its grand opening at 1757 Post Road East, next door to Jordan’s Pizza, an Italian food eatery that opened just two months ago. According to Rice N Noodle manager Calvin Lau, this is the eighth Chinese food establishment owned by the Jennie and Jackie Chan family of New York who also own the State Fish Market on State Street in New Haven. Prior to Rice N Noodle, it was the location for Monkey King and before that it was the site of the Asian Cafe. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/12/11 10:43 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Update: Chef Mario Batali Selects Westport Name

WestportNow.com Image
UPDATE (with new name of restaurant) The property at 30 Charles St. in Westport’s Saugatuck area that formerly housed Abbondanza, the specialty food store and catering service and its Bonda Restaurant for the past 15 years until last April, has been sold to chef and restaurateur Mario Batali. The $900,000 sale was recorded Friday in the Town Clerk’s office with Skip Lane (l) of Cushman & Wakefield as the broker. Batali operates 17 restaurants in New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. Lane said the new venture will open in late spring and will make use of the property’s “old garage” heritage. He said the Westport location will be named Tarry Lodge Enoteca & Pizzeria, similar to Batali’s Tarry Market restaurant in Port Chester, N.Y. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Friday, February 04, 2011

Comings and Goings: Dunkin’ Donuts to Bridge Square

WestportNow.com Image
UPDATE  Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to Westport’s Bridge Square in the Saugatuck area next month. The 1,200-square foot store will go in to space next to the former Bridge Market, according to Jim Cain of Norwalk-based Cain Management. It will be Cain’s second Dunkin’ Donuts store in Westport –- the other is at 606 Post Road East. (A third Dunkin’ Donuts store in Westport at Post Road East and Maple Avenue North is not theirs.) Cain, whose company also operates two Baskin Robins stores in Norwalk, said the Bridge Square store will have full menu—including sandwiches—in addition to donuts, bagels, croissants and other items. The store, which will have seating for about nine persons, will employ about six to 12 employees, Cain said. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

02/04/11 10:00 PM Comments (18) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Restoration Hardware Seeks to Expand to Old Town Hall

WestportNow.com Image
Restoration Hardware wants to expand its 11-year presence in Westport’s center in the former Fine Arts Theatre building to the next door Old Westport Town Hall for sale of outdoor furniture. The Westport Historic District Commission will hold a pre-application session on Tuesday for proposed outdoor display plans by the company in the 1909-built building at 90 Post Road East. The plans include a fenced-in outdoor area for furniture with fountains that would be open to the public. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Friday, January 28, 2011

McMahon: Rematch an ‘Option’

By James Lomuscio

Though business success took center stage at the Westport Woman’s Club’s panel discussion tonight, politics shared the spotlight. WestportNow.com Image
Tonight’s panel discussion at the Westport Woman’s Club featured (l-r) Dottie Herman, Walter Levine, and Linda McMahon. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com

Linda McMahon, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO who spent $40 million of her own money in an unsuccessful Republican run for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Richard Blumenthal last year, was one of the three business titans speaking.

Also present were entrepreneur and philanthropist Walter Levine of Fairfield, and Dottie Herman, CEO of Prudential/Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York City. They spoke before a packed audience of mostly women entrepreneurs and executives who came to hear the talk titled, “The Art of the Sale.”

McMahon, Levine and Herman touted the importance of a positive attitude in selling your product, enthusiasm, knowing your audience and how to learn from failure and defeat to succeed next time.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Under Renovation

WestportNow.com Image
Riverside Sunoco on Riverside Avenue in Westport is undergoing renovations and will reopen as a food mart serving fresh coffee, snacks, and other food items. Owner Victor Kronberg said it will open in March under the name Riverside Sunoco Food Mart. The location will still sell Sunoco gasoline. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com

01/25/11 07:48 PM Comments (10) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, January 24, 2011

Malloy Names Big Tobacco Foe to Head Consumer Protection

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy tapped a member of the legal team that helped bring Connecticut a multi-billion settlement against the tobacco industry one decade ago to become the new head of the Department of Consumer Protection.WestportNow.com Image
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (l) introduces William M. Rubenstein, his nominee for consumer protection commissioner, today in Hartford. Ctmirror.org photo

Malloy, who announced his selection of Hartford attorney William M. Rubenstein, 59, Monday morning in the Legislative Office Building, charged his new commissioner with keeping a close watch on the “charlatans” that are bilking consumers on ever-growing Internet markets.

“The Department of Consumer Protection has a broad mandate - spanning a range of marketplace regulation - from keeping the public safe from nefarious business practices and ensuring that professional licensure standards are maintained,” Malloy said. “Bill’s exhaustive experience in public service ... leave me with no doubt that we have a commissioner who will be a diligent and thoughtful protector of, and advocate for, Connecticut residents.

Rubenstein, who will serve on an interim basis while his nomination is considered by the General Assembly, pledged that those who perpetrate fraud on consumers “deserve no quarter, and get no quarter on our watch.”

Click here for more of story

01/24/11 05:47 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Comings and Goings: Michele’s Pies Coming to Westport

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Westporter Michele Albano is bringing her award-winning Michele’s Pies to Westport. She hopes to open the expansion from the Main Avenue, Norwalk store in mid-February at 180 Post Road East in space vacated last September by Baskin Robbins after 40 years. (See WestportNow Sept. 28, 2010) Albano, who frequents the farmers’ markets in Westport, said the Westport store will not only offer all the pies she has in Norwalk but also a big coffee selection and breakfast pastries every day. “Expanding our business to Westport makes sense to us,” she said. “We have a huge Westport clientele. I grew up in Westport.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Reporting by Dave Matlow; Contributed photo

01/15/11 10:57 PM Comments (2) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, January 14, 2011

Report: Bridgewater Takes Space in Norwalk

Westport’s Bridgewater Associates, the town’s largest private employer which oversees one of the world’s largest hedge funds, is taking more than 50,000 square feet of space at The Towers complex in Norwalk, where it will share the headquarters building of Xerox Co., according to Fairfield County Business Journal’s Westfair Online.WestportNow.com Image

According to records on file with the city of Norwalk, some $1.5 million is being spent on renovations to the offices, which are owned by Norwalk-based developer Building and Land Technology (BLT), the newspaper said.

Bridgewater Associates employs more than 900 workers at its headquarters just off Ford Road, on Riverside Avenue, and at the Nyala Farm office complex.

There has been recent speculation that Bridgewater is seeking to move its headquarters in order to consolidate its workforce. (See WestportNow July 9, 2010)

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Friday, January 07, 2011

Work Goes On

WestportNow.com Image
In spite of today’s snow and continued below freezing temperature, work goes on at the site of the new consolidated home for The Gap at 125 Main St. in Westport. The new location is scheduled to be ready for a September opening. View is from the rear Parker-Harding side of the building. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

01/07/11 07:19 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Shake-up at Terex as COO Leaves

Westport-based Terex Corp., one of the world’s largest heavy construction manufacturers, said today its chief operating officer and the head of its cranes business have resigned.

WestportNow.com Image

In the shake-up, Terex COO Thomas Riordan, second-in-command behind Chairman and Chief Executive Ron DeFeo, will leave Jan. 31 to become chief executive of casting company Neenah Enterprises Inc. effective Feb. 1. Riordan’s duties, which also include president of Terex, will be taken over by DeFeo.

Terex said Richard Nichols, formerly president of the company’s cranes business, will be leaving the company in February. He had been cranes president since 2008. He will be succeeded by Kevin Bradley, who has been president of Terex’s financial services business.

Bradley will be replaced by Ramon Oliu, who has held a variety of positions in the financial services unit since joining Terex in 2007.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Family Y Names Communications Director

The Westport Weston Family Y today announced the appointment of Joel Weinberg as director of communications. WestportNow.com Image
Joel Weinberg:: media pro. Contributed photo

Weinberg’s professional career includes work in public and media relations, advertising, special events and television broadcasting, an announcement said.

A native of Bethlehem, Pa., Weinberg has resided in Connecticut since 1982 when he joined NBC Connecticut as a sports anchor/reporter.

Prior to joining the Family Y, Weinberg managed public relations and branding initiatives at Covidien and Northeast Utilities.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

P&Z Hears Plans for Westport Inn

By James Lomuscio

Sheldon Stein received resounding support as well as some neighborhood concerns as he brought plans to redevelop the Westport Inn before a Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) public hearing Thursday night.WestportNow.com Image
Sheldon Stein’s plans include a ballroom for 250 people. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com


Anne Marie Tartaglia of Sturges Highway had nothing but laurels for Stein’s plan to totally redevelop the inn that has operated on Post Road East since 1965. Stein, managing principal of New York-based Ranger Properties, bought the property three years ago.

“We are looking forward to having a place to send families when they’re in town, and we think the (upgrades) will be beautiful,” she said.

Stein’s $2.5 million planned revamp includes renovating the inn’s 115 rooms, putting in a restaurant, creating a ballroom for 250 people and making major landscaping improvements. He plans to give up 17 parking spaces in the front for plantings and eliminate some vertical parking to dispel any semblance to a motel. That is Phase I.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Comings and Goings: Roundabout Moving to Post Road East

WestportNow.com Image
The Roundabout women’s apparel shop, 170 Post Road West near the former Saab dealership, is relocating to Village Center Plaza, 606 Post Road East—the shopping strip across the street from the Fresh Market.  Roundabout, which sells “designer closeouts and consignment” clothing has been in its present location for more than 20 years, according to the store manager. A sign says the move will occur in the spring. Gary Kowalsky of Kowalsky Brothers, the landlord, said the soon-to-be-occupied storefront was previously occupied by Dynamic Martial Arts which relocated to 645 Post Road East in the shopping strip anchored by Patio.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Cheryl Scott-Daniels Named Realtor of the Year

Cheryl Scott-Daniels of Westport has been named the 2010 State Realtor of the Year by the Connecticut Association of Realtors, Inc. WestportNow.com Image
Cheryl Scott-Daniels: former business executive. Contributed photo

The award is given annually to one Realtor who displays commitment, leadership and great dedication to the Realtor trade association at the state, national and local levels.

Scott-Daniels, the state group’s treasurer, has served on its board of directors since 1997.The holder of a Master of Business Administration degree in marketing, and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, she was a vice president of marketing at both Revlon and Max Factor prior to entering the real estate business.

Scott-Daniels started her real estate career in 1988 and obtained her broker’s license in 1990. She owns her own office, ERA Select Homes in Westport, with agents servicing lower Fairfield County. She was licensed as an appraiser for 18 years and is a Notary Public. The Mid-Fairfield County Association of Realtors elected her as Realtor of the Year in 1993, 2002 and 2006.

12/13/10 08:47 PM Comments (5) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Under Construction

WestportNow.com Image
A view of the building at Westport’s 125 Main St. from the Parker-Harding side. The building is undergoing extensive renovation before a new tenant—Gap Stores—moves in sometime early in 2011. (See WestportNow Nov. 12, 2010) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Comings and Goings: True Grace II - 1850 Post Road East

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Another Westport business that caters to personal care, the spa True Grace II, has opened at 1850 Post Road East in the shopping center anchored by HomeGoods. The owner, Grace Choe, said, “I love Westport customers—they are very kind, they take care of themselves, have good personalities and are wealthy.”  Choe owns another True Grace spa at 44 Main St. which she said replaced the Spa at Port in February, 2010.  Choe, a resident of Westchester County, said she started her spa business in Armonk, N.Y. in 1998 and subsequently opened a second one there, and then one in Darien. True Grace II offers pedicures, manicures, body massages, face and body waxing and skin care services. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Westporter Kindler Retires as Pfizer Head

Westport resident Jeffrey B. Kindler has retired after 4 ½ years as Pfizer Inc. chairman and chief executive, the company said tonight.WestportNow.com Image
Jeffrey B. Kindler: “Time is right to leave.” File photo

Kindler said the demands of the job leading the world’s largest drug maker by sales have worn him out.

A resident of Westport’s Greens Farms area, Kindler, 55, has been active in many Westport causes, including serving on the board of the Westport Country Playhouse and the Westport Public Library Advisory Council.

Ian Read, a Pfizer veteran who has been heading sales and marketing of the company’s pharmaceuticals business, has taken the CEO post, Pfizer said.

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Comings and Goings: Jordan’s Opens on Post Road East

WestportNow.com Image
The Ouzounidis family of Norwalk has opened Jordan’s Restaurant and Pizza, 1759 Post Road East, its third pizza restaurant location in the Norwalk-Westport area. In 1978 Nick Ouzounidis, 57, the family patriarch started Jordan’s, 369 Westport Ave. in Norwalk. and in 2005 opened a second pizza restaurant at 252 Flax Hill Road, also in Norwalk. Lazaros Ouzounidis, 30, who manages the new location in Westport, is one of three siblings in the family business. His sister Ritsa, 29, manages the Westport Avenue location, and brother John, 24, operates the Flax Hill location. Lazaros said, “My father oversees it all.”  Lazaros said the new Westport location was previously occupied by Westfair Pizza & Pasta which closed a few months ago. “We took over and we’re staying,” he said, wryly referring the WestportNow Comings and Goings series. The full menu and pizza restaurant is open 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. - midnight Fri and Sat and noon - 11 p.m. Sunday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Comings and Goings: Henry’s Place Coming to Bridge Square

WestportNow.com Image
Henry’s Place, a bistro wine bar, will open at 5 Bridge Square in Westport’s Saugatuck section in the location previously occupied by the Cucina Modo Mio trattoria which closed in October (see WestportNow Oct. 21, 2010).  According to owner Felton Weller, the bistro will open on Dec. 7 with grand opening festivities in mid-January. Weller, the father of three, said the business is named after his son Henry, 15. He said that the bistro will have a full bar and will serve sandwiches, “comfort food,” chicken wings, hamburgers, and other favorites as well as daily take out selections which he calls “early bird specials” for $9.99. Weller, who has been a restaurateur in the area for many years, owns Felton’s Fish Market in the same complex. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Westporters Participate in Small Business Saturday

WestportNow.com Image
UPDATE With Black Friday over, a number of small Westport retailers and restaurants are participating in today’s first Small Business Saturday.

Sponsored by American Express, it is a national day to support local and small businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.

American Express is offering its cardholders a $25 credit if they shop at a small business and register online. Eligible merchants include any independently owned small businesses that accept the American Express Card. Purchases made online, at large, national chains, or at franchised business locations are not eligible.

For more information, visit Facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday or smallbusinesssaturday.com.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Comings and Goings: Kate Spade Opens on Main Street

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Kate Spade at 103 Main St. is the newest addition to Westport’s downtown. The location was previously occupied by Sigrid Olsen. Kate Spade is one of 38 stores internationally that sells women’s apparel, shoes, handbags, perfumes, jewelry and leather goods.“We’re all about ‘girly-girls,’” said Pamela Friedman, assistant manager. She said Kate Spade was founded in 1993 as a handbag shop, was sold to Neiman Marcus in 2006, and was bought by Liz Claiborne Inc. in 2007. Other Kate Spade shops are in Greenwich, White Plains and Manhasset, N.Y. Both Kate Spade and Sigrid Olsen are owned by Liz Claiborne Inc. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

J. Crew: Under New Ownership

WestportNow.com Image
J. Crew Group Inc. today confirmed plans to be taken private for $3 billion as the clothing retailer reported fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 14 percent on weaker margins and it slashed its earnings view for the year. An investor group made up of private-equity firms TPG Capital, a former owner of J. Crew, and Leonard Green & Partners plus Chairman and Chief Executive Millard Drexler will pay $43.50 a share. Shares closed today at $43.99. Under the terms of the deal, Drexler, former CEO of San Francisco-based Gap, would keep his posts and maintain a “significant equity investment” in the company. The Westport store is located at 145 Main St. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

11/23/10 10:29 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Lack of Complete Goodwill for Goodwill at P&Z

By James Lomuscio

Despite its time-honored reputation and a more than 50-year presence in Westport, Goodwill Industries of Western Connecticut, Inc. was not received with complete goodwill Thursday night at the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z).WestportNow.com Image
Goodwill wants to move to the site of the former Peppermill Restaurant at at 1700 Post Road East in Westport from its present location at 1572 Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Goodwill representatives went before the P&Z to request a site plan approval for a bigger facility at the site of the old Peppermill Restaurant on Post Road East.

At the public hearing, commission members questioned David Turner, Goodwill’s president, and John Fallon, counsel for the local representatives of the 108-year-old nonprofit, on everything from parking spaces to reworking the driveway entrance to the times trucks would drop off and remove goods.

The applicants also took heat for trying to reconfigure the lot despite an easement it shares with the Westport Tennis Club.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wrecker Fans

WestportNow.com Image
Cousins Sophia Blum (l), 5, and Charlotte D’anna, 6, watch today’s Staples-Trumbull game. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Comings and Goings: Gap Not Closing, Just Moving

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A report in the Connecticut Hearst newspapers said today that downtown Westport is expected to lose a national retailer in the spring with Gap leaving its 10,000-square foot store at 66-69 Main St. As reported by WestportNow in August (WestportNow Aug. 19, 2010) Gap is expected to move to 125 Main St., now under renovation. Plans are to use the 28,500-square foot building to consolidate Gap, Gap Kids, and Gap Body in one location, according to several sources. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

11/12/10 10:32 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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