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Westport’s Saugatuck Center Rebuilds Sense Of Community

The second phase of the Saugatuck Center development in Westport is unveiled Wednesday during a ceremony featuring First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, and members of the Saugatuck Center development and leasing teams.
The second phase of the Saugatuck Center development in Westport is unveiled Wednesday during a ceremony featuring First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, and members of the Saugatuck Center development and leasing teams. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari
Phase 2 of the Saugatuck Center development consists of two retail tenants, 21 apartments and a 36-space underground parking garage.
Phase 2 of the Saugatuck Center development consists of two retail tenants, 21 apartments and a 36-space underground parking garage. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari
A total of 21 apartment units are part of the second phase of the Saugatuck Center development.
A total of 21 apartment units are part of the second phase of the Saugatuck Center development. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. — A community butcher shop was one of the many additions Westport’s Saugatuck neighborhood gained over the past two years with the arrival of Saugatuck Center. Now that the second phase of the center is complete, the community will get something else residents felt has been missing — a market.

Cocoa Michelle Gourmet Market and Cafe is scheduled to open by the end of next week at 580 Riverside Ave., in the recently completed second-stage of the mixed-use Saugatuck Center development.

“In the cafe, we will offer full-service breakfast, brunch and lunch,” said owner Michelle Weber, a Saugatuck resident. “In the market, we’ll have prepared fresh pasta and sauces people can take home, salads, hot and cold sandwiches to go, soups, drinks, some fresh produce and much more.”

The market will also sell gourmet food items, including 41 different cheeses and imported pasta. Eggs, milk and butter and basic household items, such as paper towels, are some other items the market will carry, Weber said.

Weber, who also owns the Cocoa Michelle cafe across the street from the Westport train station on Railroad Place, said a market is something the Saugatuck community needs and wants.

“Between myself, my husband and the commuters who frequent my other shop, we would always talk about what’s missing here in Saugatuck and the answer was a market,” she said.

The market is one of two retail tenants to be housed in the second-phase of Saugatuck Center, joining Saugatuck Craft Butchery — which opened in September 2011 across the street in the first-phase of the development.

Spearheaded by Hamilton Development, the development arm of Westport's Gault Energy, Saugatuck Center in its entirety features a total of 27 upscale apartments; retail, restaurant and office space; and two 36-space underground parking garages.

The first-phase of the center, which opened in May 2011, includes six apartments; DownUnder, a water sports store; The Whelk, a seafood restaurant; offices; a marina; and a boardwalk over the Saugatuck River.

In addition to Cocoa Michelle Gourmet Market and Craft Butchery, the second-phase of the center features 21 apartments. The second-phase of the center was celebrated Wednesday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"Unveiling Phase 2 of Saugatuck Center marks a significant milestone in a development that continues to transform one of Westport's most unique neighborhoods into a place with great restaurants, shops, residential, as well as commercial spaces,” said Sam Gault, president of Gault.

“My family has always considered the Saugatuck area to be an important hub of activity for the town of Westport. Phase II brings even more great lifestyle amenities for all to enjoy,” Gault continued. “We couldn't be happier with the public's response to Saugatuck Center."