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  • Writer's pictureTown of Bedford Economic Development Office

Waukeshaw Development, Inc. Provides Update on Hotel, Apartment Progress

In late February, Waukeshaw Development, Inc. gave Town and County officials an update on the redevelopment efforts underway at the former Bedford Middle School campus on Longwood Avenue. After overcoming setbacks caused by a fire in January 2020, the project is moving forward to breathe new life into these iconic local treasures.

Waukeshaw Development entered into a performance agreement with the Town of Bedford in 2019 that allows the historic campus to retain its original design and heritage while contributing to the development of Bedford's housing supply and tourism industry. The brick building will be converted into a 62-unit complex for market-rate apartments, to be named Flora Apartments; the adjacent "Old Yellow" will become a boutique hotel named Hotel Fauna, offering 30 rooms and suites as well as a ballroom and restaurant.

Owing to delays caused by the fire in early 2020 and pandemic-related supply chain issues, Town Council extended the deadline for the performance agreement for the apartments and hotel to the first and second quarter of 2025, respectively.

Dave McCormack, head of Waukeshaw Development, Inc., expressed optimism about the project's timeline in an interview with the News & Advance, stating, "The apartment building is scheduled to have a certificate of occupancy by the end of the year, but it may come sooner. We're actually more ahead of where I think a lot of folks may realize we are."

The Flora Apartments are scheduled for completion by January 2025. Hotel Fauna is on track to open soon after in the spring.

Hotel Fauna, managed by Retro Hospitality, promises to be a unique addition to Bedford's hospitality scene, offering a restaurant, bar, event space, and outdoor seating. Paul Cooper, representing Retro Hospitality, emphasized the boutique hotel's commitment to reflecting the community's history and culture, stating, "Boutique hotels allow for room designs that do not have to follow franchise hotel standards... It should reflect the community."

The project's vision adds to a diverse portfolio of permanent and temporary lodging options for residents and guests of the Town of Bedford. The Flora Apartments will complement an already rich assortment of downtown living options, including the Bedford Lofts, another Waukeshaw Development project, and The Six Twenty at Bedford, which opened in the fall of 2023.

The Fauna Hotel will open its doors around the same time as the newly-constructed Hampton Inn by Hilton, which will allow tourists and business travelers the opportunity to stay local on their visits to the Town of Bedford. Both hotels will include meeting and venue spaces, which Town officials have targeted as an economic development priority for several years.


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