Architectural rendering shows positioning of the Amazon Fresh supermarket in the Post Plaza, bracketed by Post Road East to the north and Morningside Side Drive to the east.

By Gretchen Webster

WESTPORT — The subject of conjecture for months, what may be the worst-kept secret in Westport finally has been revealed.

Documents filed with the town confirm that an Amazon Fresh supermarket will open at the Post Plaza, 1076 Post Road East.

Application for the sign at new Amazon Fresh supermarket in Westport.

A rendering of a green-and-white sign, emblazoned with the “Amazon Fresh” logo, was recently filed with the town’s Architectural Review Board. The application seeks approval for the sign to be installed on the store’s proposed location in the Post Plaza center.

The ARB will review the proposed Amazon Fresh sign at a virtual public meeting set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan 25. For the full agenda and Zoom link, click here.

Renovations wrapping up

A final walk-through of the Amazon Fresh grocery store will take place tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan. 19), according to Frederick Hoag, the architect for the project. 

There is still work that needs to be completed on the façade, Hoag said Tuesday, and more paving in the parking lot. 

Supply-chain issues also have delayed delivery of some materials for the building, including a canopy to complete the façade he said.

Still under wraps: The Post Plaza site where an Amazon Fresh supermarket is planned, was incomplete — and officially unidentified — late last year. / File photo by Thane Grauel

Owner: Amazon Fresh a “great opportunity” to refresh plaza

According Alix Field, the Post Plaza’s owner, her family purchased the property in 1973. 

The space to be occupied by Amazon Fresh had been the site of the Barnes and Noble bookstore since the 1990s, Field said. But when the book merchant’s lease was up last year, “they were not sure if they were going to close,” she said. 

Instead, Barnes and Noble reduced the size of its Westport store and moved downtown to 76 Post Road East, leaving the Post Plaza site empty. 

The other tenant in space at the plaza to be occupied by Amazon had been a Marshall’s shoe store. “They had several years left on their lease, but they were not continuing that concept,” Field said. 

The interest shown in the property by Amazon “was a great opportunity to refresh the center and the parking lot,” Field said. 

The cost of many upgrades to the property, Field said, including new lighting, sidewalks, landscaping and a drainage system, was footed by the property owners, with Amazon paying for the heating and air conditioning units on the roof. “We made sure they were green units … to bring better ventilation into the building,” she said.

Other long-term tenants at 1076 Post Road East, including Angelina’s Restaurant and a hair salon, kept their leases and will remain on the property, the landlord said.

Unnamed” applicant only ID for tenant over many months

The finished facade of an Amazon Fresh supermarket in Warrington, Pa. /  Photo, Wikipedia Commons by user Dough4872

An application for an “unnamed” store at 1076 Post Road East had been making the rounds of town boards and commissions since early last year, but neither the architect, the property owner or construction officials — who said they had to sign non-disclosure agreements with Amazon — would reveal the name of the new tenant.

The Amazon Fresh concept, a relatively new food subsidiary owned by the online shopping behemoth Amazon, includes both in-person and online shopping options, free delivery for Amazon Prime members and “cashier-less checkout,” according to Amazon.com.

Shoppers, however, also can choose to use a checkout line, and don’t have to be Amazon Prime customers to shop there.

Amazon also owns the Whole Foods supermarket chain, which has a local store at 399 Post Road West.