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Bedford planning board reviews Macy's renovation plan

BEDFORD — Bedford Planning Board members are excited about plans for Macy’s new look.

The retailer’s representatives presented plans for a facade renovation for the South River Road store that includes a white exterior and adding a red Macy’s star to the sign.

Director of Construction Ray Atkin said the building needs repair and modernizing. The brighter, cleaner look is the design currently used for the corporation’s new stores and for major renovations, he said.

The brick building was built by Jordan Marsh in 1966 and remained largely unchanged until the name and sign was changed to Macy’s in 1996. Scaffolding is visible on parts of the building where masonry has became detached.

The plan calls for the stone around the foundation to remain, while the brick above it is replaced with a white exterior insulation finishing system. A horizontal ribbed pattern made of silver aluminum panes will mark the entrances. Screens will be replaced around the HVAC units on the upper story.

Board member Lyn Healy said she understands the need for modernization but has always liked the traditional look of the brick building.

“Sometimes keeping things in a community really keeps it unique,” Healy said.

Bill Dermody said he is pleased to see Macy’s remain in town, but suggested they mute the color without resorting to “Bedford Beige.”

“In a snowstorm in Bedford you’re apt to lose the building,” Dermody said.

Atkin said the design is a cleaner, more modern look that has been well-received in other communities.

Board members suggested that the color could be toned down using texture or other techniques. They also asked the company to consider parking improvements on the site. Atkin said he would bring their concerns back to the company.

The plan was approved with the condition that Macy’s provide color samples prior to applying the exterior finish.

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