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Sam Gault Builds a Community

Developer Sam Gault sees Sauguatuck Center as an amalgam of the new and the old. What's new for his upcoming, four-acre development bordering Riverside Avenue are New England-style buildings, a walkway for pedestrians to stroll along the river, and a few, well placed multi-use buildings. What's old is the sense of community he sees the project restoring to the area. Saugatuck Center, he predicts, will be a place where people live, shop and enjoy themselves. This is how Saugatuck used to feel, he says, before 95 came through in the 1950's and the area morphed into commercial and industrial use.

“We feel obligated to do this project right,” Gault says, adding, “It really does feel like a village and this is the first step to starting a neighborhood.”

For Saugatuck Center's first phase, Gault plans 5,000 square feet of office space and 4,000 square feet of retail space in two buildings overlooking the Saugatuck River. Six residential units will top the office space on the second floor. This 1.5 acre development phase is expected to be completed in a year.

“The retail will be boutique in nature, like Main Street village retailers,” says Peter Lane, the broker handling the retail, office and residential leasing. He says tenants could include a market, a coffee shop, or a clothing store.

A second development, situated across Riverside Avenue, will create 21 town house and apartment rental units as well as additional retail space. Phase three, called Saugatuck Mill, also across Riverside, adds 27 more rental units. Dates for the second and third development phases are not set.

For a while, Westporters travelling Riverside Avenue may still expect to see the low, dark brown buildings and the looming heating oil tank The buildings were demolished and the heating oil tank follows soon. From 1928-1998, Gault's offices and stone supply were located here before moving to Ferry Lane West. With the railroad station and 95 conveniently nearby, Sam Gault feels it's time to make way for another change: Saugatuck Center's reinvention of Westport's historic waterfront. For information on Saugatuck Center, visit its website or contact Peter Lane at (203)-222-3232 or e-mail peter@openhousebroker.com.

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