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Jan 8, 2008 01:38 PM

Bye bye Lord & Taylor, hello Whole Foods?

From today's Stamford Advocate....

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  1. We're getting one in Fairfield too---on the site of the old Handy and Harman factory, which has been an eyesore for years.

    1. I think it's good & bad news....L&T spent a lot of $ remodeling their store a few yrs back. It's a shame to think that all those people may be out of jobs...I was really excited about the opening of this store until I read today that L&T most likely will close.

      And don't get me wrong...I LOVE WF. But is it necessary to have one in every town along the coast? We've already got Westport & Greenwich, now they're adding to Ffld, Darien & Stamford??

      7 Replies
      1. re: amanda3571

        Please read again L&T is staying if plan gets approved and leaving if not.
        Cacace last night walked through recent changes to the plan, which would double the size of the existing building to 300,000 square feet, including 190,000 square feet for Lord & Taylor, a 60,000-square-foot Whole Foods and 50,000 square feet of additional retail space.

        1. re: tgseaver

          Did you read to the end? This is what stuck out to me:

          "Cacace cautioned last night that having the current 40-year-old Lord & Taylor store remain is not realistic".

          I have a feeling L&T is out.

          1. re: amanda3571

            That's the way jfood reads it as well, L&T = History.

            Now stamford gets Whole Foods and New Canaan gets Cosi. Not a good trade

            1. re: amanda3571

              From what I understand, from someone who is mid-level mgmt for L&T's northeastern stores, L&T is not going anywhere anytime soon. The Stamford store is one of their most profitable (below market lease, I believe), and they have quite a bit of time on the lease (though she doesn't personally know exactly how much.) For L&T to be out, they'd have to agree (i.e., to be paid handsomely) to walk away from the lease. So while what the property owner/developer says might be true long term, if a.) the WF plan is not approved, and b.) L&T doesn't walk away, they'll be stuck, at least for the time being. As it is, the plan, based on L&T's needs, will require the construction be done in a way that allows them to remain open until they move, and was designed to accommodate them.

              1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                Actually, I need to correct my earlier post...I made some additional inquires, and was a bit misinformed.

                NRDC, the developer owns L&T outright, having bought it from Federated, so it appears they would have no issues removing the store and replacing it if they wanted to. I think their "hardball" approach is going to be "Take this plan, or we knock down the whole thing and slam up a big box like Wal*Mart or Home Depot, by right."

          2. re: amanda3571

            I'm so sad, L&T is the one place I like to shop without having to go to the dreaded mall! The company hasn't been doing very well though so I can't say I'm terribly surprised. Without L&T will that area get as much traffic? Will Whole foods really be that much of a draw in that area of Stamford? This will be very interesting.

            1. re: SweetPea914

              tgseaver is correct, L&T is not going to close, it will be part of the renovation. The only way L&T will close is if the plan does not get approved.

          3. amanda and all, my GF works as a manager at L&T in Eastchester and she emphatically states that the store you are referring to is not closing but will in fact be part of the overall new development...She also says this L&T is one of the top grossing stores in the company which has been going thru exciting changes under a new ownership...

            13 Replies
            1. re: gutreactions

              I like having my cake and eating it too. Like SweetPea914, I like to shop at the L&T in Stamford and not deal with the mall. But, I like WF, too, and welcome more locations to choose from. It would be sad to see L&T go bye-bye, so let's hope they save it.

              1. re: gutreactions

                I'm happy to hear that, GR. There was a rumor a year or so ago that the L&T in Eastchester was being razed for an office building. Don't know whether it was ever true, but I'm glad it didn't happen.

                Interesting on WF in Stamford, though. No matter the distance for me, the parking will be free, right?

                1. re: dolores

                  delores, true...the parking fee for WF in White Plains is a turn-off (if you spend a certain minimum they will validate though, not sure how much), but you can also go to Greenwich where there is free parking...

                  1. re: gutreactions

                    ..if you can actually get into the parking lot!

                    1. re: MommaJ

                      I know, I can't believe how crazy that place has gotten, I tried to go there about a month ago and after driving around twice looking for parking I just left!

                      1. re: SweetPea914

                        I tried getting into the Greenwich lot once and never went back.

                        Since I like some of their products, I would support a store in Stamford.

                        1. re: dolores

                          delores, if you go to the Greenwich store, my secret is to park on the street will make out much better and you will take a healthy walk...Unless they do a major change in Stamford, the parking will not improve...and by the way, L&T is going nowhere soon...

                          1. re: gutreactions

                            GR, I may have been thinking of the wrong L&T. I was picturing L&T off the Merritt -- which is Trumbull and has outdoor parking.

                            I don't think I've ever been to L&T in Stamford -- is it in the mall?

                            1. re: dolores

                              No, it's not in the mall. It's a free-standing building between Long Ridge Rd. and High Ridge Rd. Easy to get to from the Merritt.

                              1. re: shellyesq

                                Ah, then I did have the right one, off the Merritt. Thanks shellyesq.

                                1. re: dolores

                                  but the L&T in Stamford isn't off of the merritt - it's 2 miles down long ridge road.

                                  Trumbull is another 20 minutes north on the Merritt.

                                  If you go there (stamford L&T) there's some good food nearby...

                          2. re: dolores

                            I love Whole Foods, but I don't want one in Bull's Head. I live around the corner, and seeing what a traffic DISASTER the one in G'wich creates, well, I don't want to see the same thing happen in an already busy intersection in Stamford. They'll have to think very carefully about how to route cars in a smooth way, or the plan should be dropped. There's a meeting next Thurs (Jan 24) with the zoning board. I do understand why they're trying to put WF in, but what a terrible location. AND, supposedly the parking garage is going to what you see as you approach the intersection coming north! I can't even imagine how ugly it will be. Poor Stamford, to have such a crappy plan hoisted upon it.

                      2. re: gutreactions

                        They will validate your parking with any size purchase. I have a feeling the cashiers will validate it even if you just say hello and don't make a purchase.

                  2. The original comment has been removed
                    1. A quick read in the Stamford Advocate seems to indicate that the Whole Foods slated for Bulls Head will not become a reality. L&T (probably feelingthe effects of decreasing sales) has decided not to expand and withdrew it's application from consideration


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jfood

                        May also be an indication that the Darien store at the Hojo's location will be going through...I heard they were keeping the High Ridge plan in their back pocket, in case Darien didn't go through, due to either P&Z changes of heart, or the condo owners lawsuit from the cluster that backs the property. I imagine that they might have come to terms with Darien (word was WF were keeping a lawsuit filed against Darien on file, but back burnered until all permits were issued, and ground was broken), but they may have come to some sort of agreement, and/or gotten a near 100% level of confidence the condo owner suit would get blown away...