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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Business

Business

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Another Day of Sidewalk Bargains

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Shoppers were out early today for the second day of the Westport Downtown Merchants Sidewalk Sale, which continues until 7 p.m. today and resumes Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. View is in front of Max’s Art Supply on Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 02:33 PM
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Sidewalk Sale Mimics Christmas Rush, Yet Balmy

By James Lomuscio

The Westport Downtown Merchants Association’s (WDMA) annual Sidewalk Sale than ran from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and boasted discounts from 30 to 60 percent drew more shoppers than peak Christmas shopping days, some merchants said.

Buttressed by sunny skies and balmy breezes, foot traffic was steady throughout the day, many said, despite the fact that Greenwich and New Cannan are also hosting sidewalk sales this weekend.

Westport’s sale will continue Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“It’s been nonstop traffic all days,” said Jennifer Papazian, manager of VINCE., an upscale, contemporary women’s and men’s clothing store that opened in March 2013 at 115 Main St. “We’ve never seen traffic like this, even during Christmas.”

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Posted 12:10 AM
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Friday, July 11, 2014

Looking for Bargains

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LF, an apparel and accessories store at Westport’s 26 Main St., was particularly crowded with young customers today—the first day of the Westport Downtown Merchants Association three-day sidewalk sale.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 07:05 PM
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Comings & Goings: Olivette to Railroad Place

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Olivette, featuring “a distinctive tasting room showcasing the freshest ultra-premium extra virgin olive oils and authentic all-natural balsamic vinegars,” has opened at 24 Railroad Place across from the westbound side of the Westport Metro-North station. Owned by South Norwalk residents Dee (l) and Alina Lawrence, the store is the second for the couple who currently operate Olivette at 1084 Post Road, Darien which opened in December 2011. Dee Lawrence said they chose this area of Westport “because we want to be part of and contribute to the Saugatuck neighborhood with all its culinary food options.”  An official opening will be held on Thursday, July 17 4-7 p.m.  In his spare time, the former lacrosse player at Yale, class of 1998, and a former natural gas broker, is a Westport P.A.L. lacrosse coach for seventh grade students. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 02:04 PM
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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Comings & Goings: Crumbs Bake Shop Closes

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Crumbs bake shop, which opened to long lines for a free cupcake giveaway on Westport’s Taylor Place in April 2009 (above), closed at end of business Monday. In a statement, the company said it is shuttering all its stores, a week after the struggling cupcake shop operator was delisted from the Nasdaq. The New York City-based company said all employees were notified of the closures only on Monday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Posted 12:00 PM
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Saturday, July 05, 2014

Westport Outdoors: Post 154

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Post 154, 154 Post Road East, is today’s featured spot in our WestportNow series, Westport Outdoors, highlighting popular spots where Westporters gather to eat, play, or relax during the warm weather months.  According to Post 154 manager Tyler Moss, the restaurant offers outdoor seating for 50 patrons and music on the patio. Post 154 opened last summer. (See WestportNow Aug. 1, 2013) (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 03:48 PM
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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Comings & Goings: Chic Jolie to Close on Main Steeet

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The women’s fashion apparel store, Chic Jolie, at Westport’s 57 Main St., on the second floor above Westport’s Blue Mercury 2, will close this summer. It opened at the current location in December 2013 (see WestportNow, Dec. 18, 2013) after formerly located at 24 Taylor Place for nine years —eight years as the children’s clothing store Jacadi. It closed in April 2013 and reopened in the Brickwalk, on Fairfield’s Post Road before returning to Westport six months ago. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 07:57 PM
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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Great Cakes Reestablishes Westport Presence

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Great Cakes is back in Westport, sort of. Carmine Cenatiempo, owner of Calises Delicatessen and Catering, 734 Post Road East, said his store is now selling a Great Cakes selection including cupcakes, muffins, scones, brownies, pastry, and apple turnovers. Cenatiempo, a Weston resident, said every morning he picks up the selections at Rick Dickinson’s new bakery in Weston and has them ready for his customers by 6:30 a.m. Dickinson is the former owner of the iconic Great Cakes which closed on Feb. 2 after almost 30 years at 772 Post Road East. (See WestportNow, Jan. 30, 2014)  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 08:39 PM
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Monday, June 30, 2014

BLT Confirms It Purchased Nyala Farms Complex for $130 Million

Stamford-based Building and Land Technology (BLT), a firm with close ties to Westport’s Bridgewater Associates hedge fund, today confirmed a WestportNow report Saturday that it is behind the $130 million purchase of the Nyala Farms Corporate Center in Westport. (See WestportNow June 28, 2014)

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Sale of the 53-acre Nyala Farms Corporate Center was recorded just as Bridgewater Associates announced it was not moving to Stamford. File photo

As reported, the sale is the largest transaction in Westport’s history, and In a statement, the firm said it is the largest real estate transaction in Connecticut this year. Westport reaped $325,000 from the sale while the state got $1,625,000 in conveyance fees.

The sale, to a Stamford-based LLC sharing an address with BLT, was recorded in the Town Clerk’s Office as Bridgewater was announcing it had dropped its plans to move to Stamford where BLT was involved in developing a $750 million waterfront project to house the company. Bridgewater has a large presence in the Nyala Farms faciity, including a trading floor which has recently been renovated at a cost of millions, according to town officials.

Purchase of the 372,207-square foot office park on 53 acres in Westport was announced by Carl R. Kuehner III, CEO of BLT, a privately held real estate private equity, development and property management firm.

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Posted 09:04 PM
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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bridgewater Linked to $130M Office Building Sale?

In the largest real estate transaction in Westport’s history, the 53-acre Nyala Farms Corporate Center, where hedge fund Bridgewater Associates has a trading floor, has changed hands for $130 million.

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Sale of the 53-acre Nyala Farms Corporate Center was recorded just as Bridgewater Associates announced it was not moving to Stamford. File photo

A filing recorded late Friday in the Town Clerk’s office –- about the time Bridgewater Associates was announcing it was not moving to Stamford -– said the buyer was 60 Nyala Farms Road LLC, a corporate entity with apparent ties to Bridgewater.

The LLC’s address, 100 Washington Boulevard, Suite 200, Stamford, is the same as Stamford-based Building and Land Technology (BLT),  a privately held real estate private equity, development and property management firm which had been developing a $750 million complex for Bridgewater in Stamford. A notation on the filing said to send a recorded copy to someone at BLT.

A Bridgewater spokesman said today Bridgewater “did not purchase Nyala Farms and continues to explore options.” 

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Posted 04:38 PM
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Business Community, Legislators Address Ailing State

By James Lomuscio

The four state legislators at the Westport Library’s legislative wrap up public forum today admitted that the closing General Assembly’s session was far from dynamic.

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Legislators participatingin today’s forum included (l-r) state Sen John McKinney, Rep. Gail Lavielle, Rep. Johnathan Steinbeg, and Sen. Toni Boucher. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“It was not an ambitious session,” state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg of Westport, a Democrat, told an audience of about 30 in the McManus Room. “We did not want to put any more burdens on businesses, contrasted to the efforts two years ago to help businesses that are finally bearing fruit.”

The forum, sponsored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce (WWCC) and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) also included state Rep. Gail Lavielle, Sen. John McKinney, and Sen. Toni Boucher, all Republicans, and all who represent portions of Westport. And it it offered some sobering statistics for the state of the state, and what is needed to turn course.

Bonnie Stewart, CBIA vice president government affairs, introduced by WWCC President Matthew Mandell, moderated the forum.

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Posted 04:39 PM
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Comings & Goings: NEAT to Wilton Road

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NEAT Coffee and Craft Cocktails will open in August at Westport’s 6 Wilton Road, the former firehouse that is a part of the National Hall redevelopment, according to Bobby Werhane, owner of Experience Hospitality, with whom NEAT has partnered. According to Rowayton resident and owner Rachel Haughey, the Westport location is “a concept collaboration that will combine excellent offerings to serve both daytime and evening audiences—a coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar by night.” The former hedge fund analyst opened the original Espresso NEAT at 20 Grove St, Darien, in August 2009. Westport hours will be 7 a.m. until midnight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 03:11 AM
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Westport Outdoors: Rizzuto’s

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Rizzuto’s, 540 Riverside Ave., is today’s featured spot in our WestportNow series, Westport Outdoors, highlighting popular spots where Westporters gather to eat, play, or relax during the warm-weather months. Rizzuto’s Wood-Fired Trattoria and Bar opened in September 2009 in the space formerly occupied by Conte’s Restaurant in Westport’s Saugatuck area. The owner, Bill Rizzuto, also operates similar style eateries in Bethel, Stamford and West Hartford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 08:51 PM
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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Westport Outdoors: Westport Pizzeria

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Westport Pizzeria, 143 Post Road East, is today’s featured spot in our WestportNow series, Westport Outdoors, highlighting popular spots where Westporters gather to eat, play, or relax during the warm weather months. Westport Pizzeria opened in February at its new location after closing its 107 Main St. location after 45 years. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Posted 02:58 PM
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Westport Unemployment 5.1 Percent in May

Westport’s unemployment rate in May was 5.1 percent, up from 4.6 percent in April, the Connecticut Department of Labor said today.

The rate increase came as the town’s labor force increased to12,870 in May from 12,566 in April. The number of unemployed in May was 655, up from 577 in April.

There were 12,215 employed in May, up from 11,989 employed in April.

A year ago in May, Westport’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.

Posted 01:14 AM
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