Tag Archives: Compo Acres Shopping Center

Photo Challenge #315

Westport can be a pretty private place.

Last week’s Photo Challenge showed a sign: “Private Access/Residents Only.” Readers responded quickly. Most thought it was the gate leading to Compo Cove, the very private beachfront property accessible only by footpath. (Click here for the photo.)

Others guessed Stony Point (the private road off the eastbound railroad station parking lot), The Saugatuck apartments on Bridge Street, Burying Hill Beach, the Sasco Creek houses, or the condos behind Vineyard Vines.

But only Terry Sauer and Peter Swift knew where Elaine Marino snapped her shot. It’s at the far end of the parking lot behind Compo Acres Shopping Center (Trader Joe’s). A staircase leads up to the Birch/Linden/Pine/Spruce street neighborhood.

There’s a back story (pun intended) to the now well-landscaped area. It was originally a nicely forested hill, providing a buffer between homes and an employee parking lot

In 2014 the shopping center’s owners bulldozed it all, as part of the shopping center’s renovation. They might have left it that way too — but neighbors complained.

They now have nice access to Trader Joe’s, restaurants and fitness centers — privately, of course.

Back to square one. If you know where in Westport you’d see this week’s Photo Challenge, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Rowene Weems)

 

Photo Challenge #229

At first glance, it looks like just another nice New England scene: a tree, next to a decorative metal fence.

Then you look closely and go, Whoa!

The tree has actually grown around the fence, and the concrete steps nearby. It’s pretty cool, actually — proof that we really can’t control Mother Nature.

That image was last week’s Photo Challenge (click here to see).

But although it’s in a well-trafficked spot — South Compo Road, near the side entrance to Compo Acres Shopping Center, diagonally opposite the “Raid on Danbury” historical sign — not many readers knew where it was.

Phil Bancroft was first, followed by Michael Calise, Jo Shields and Morley Boyd.

Next time you’re stuck at that light — coming from the beach or the train station — put down your phone and take a look. You’ll have plenty of time, that’s for sure.

You can also spend time figuring out this week’s Photo Challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

Our Long Wait For United Bank Is Over

Patriot Bank recently relocated, from the South Compo end of Compo Acres Shopping Center. It’s now across the street near Gold’s, giving new meaning to the words “drive-thru banking.”

But fear not! Westport’s motto — “A Bank in Every Strip Mall — is still true. United Bank opens soon next to Jersey Mike’s — just a few doors down from the old Patriot Bank site.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

Which raises 2 important questions:

  • What’s the difference between this “United Bank” and “People’s United Bank,” which (surprise!) is also across the street (corner of Post Road and North Compo)?
  • When did Compo Acres Shopping Center change its name — dating back to the 1950s — to the bland-as-United Bank-sounding “Regency Centers”?

Pic Of The Day #337

Compo Acres Shopping Center (Photo/JP Vellotti)

[UPDATE] Banking On Fitness

[UPDATE] Apparently — based on comments from readers below — this is not an actual Equinox gym. Rather, it’s a sales location, for people interested in signing up for the new Southport site. Thanks for setting us straight!

For years, Westporters have joked about the presence of banks on 3 of the 4 corners at the Post Road/Compo Road intersection. (The only reason it’s not 4 is Winslow Park.)

But Patriot Bank recently moved across the street, near Gold’s.

Moving into its old space — which before the bank was Sam Goody, and long before that, Franklin Simon — is Equinox.

This will be the 4th Connecticut location for the high-end, Manhattan-based gym. The others are in Southport, Darien and Greenwich.

So now that it’s just a few fast steps from SoulCycle, we can make jokes about how many fitness centers there are in Compo Acres Shopping Center.

The new Equinox, in the old Patriot Bank. (Photo and hat tip: Alex Sherman)

Compo Acres Shopping Center Just Got A Bit More Crowded

Jersey Mike’s Subs opened today, in the Compo Acres space previously occupied by Robek’s.

The “fast-casual sub sandwich” spot — the 10th Connecticut location for the franchise, and one of 1500 overall — joins Trader Joe’s, Chipotle and SoulCycle in contributing plenty of constant, in-and-out traffic to Westport’s toughest-to-navigate shopping center.

That traffic will be particularly intense for a while. In addition to the usual let’s-try-the-new-place mentality, there’s an added incentive: Through Sunday, Jersey Mike’s is offering free subs for a minimum $1 contribution to Special Olympics.

The only catch: You’ve got to already have one of the 10,000 certificates “circulating throughout the community.”

Jersey Mike's was packed at 1:30 p.m. today.

Jersey Mike’s was packed at 1:30 p.m. today.

Those Pesky Red Lights

This is not stop-the-presses news:

The other day, someone ran a red light in front of Trader Joe’s.

This time though, the driver did not simply scare the crap out of a poor person attempting to exit from Compo Acres Shopping Center, through The Worst Intersection In The Entire Multiverse.

The driver — roaring east on the Post Road — denied running the light.

That did not sit well with Bruce Leavitt. He’s the husband of the woman who was hit. He knows how common it is for drivers to race through the light.

In 20 minutes, he saw it happen more than once. He also saw how tough it is for drivers leaving the shopping center; a large sign blocks the view of traffic coming from the left.

Bruce took this video, of a common sight:

(If your browser does not take you directly to YouTube, click here.)

Now he wants others to do the same. And not just at the Trader Joe’s/CVS Intersection From Hell — anywhere else in town you think there’s a problem.

If we get enough, we’ll publish them on “06880.”

And then we’ll have actual proof, to convince someone — the Connecticut Department of Transportation? Shopping center owners? The Traffic Genie? — to do something.

“Remove a sign. Delay timing on a light. Crack down on light runners…” Bruce suggests.

Send videos (via YouTube or Vimeo format) to dwoog@optonline.net. As the saying goes, “It can’t hurt.”

Unless, that is, you get hit by a Very Important Driver running a very clear red light.

This is the light in question. Drivers exiting from the Trader Joe's lot (dark car) often have to contend with cars flying through the red light on the Post Road, from the left

This is the light in question. Drivers exiting from the Trader Joe’s lot (dark car) often have to contend with cars flying through the red light on the Post Road, from the left

Robeks Runs Out Of Juice

With its fellow Compo Acres tenants, Robeks endured weeks months years of construction.

Robeks logoFinally, it’s over.

But so is Robeks.

Today, the smoothie shop stands empty.

Don’t count on traffic to ease up for long in the notoriously difficult parking lot, though.

Chipotle opens soon.

“It’s Baaaaaack”: The Back Story

Equity One’s offices were closed this weekend, when Westporters first noticed the reappearance of the “paint palette” sign at Compo Acres Shopping Center.

But this morning, a spokesman for the shopping center’s owner provided some background information:

When Equity One became aware that their property manager had discarded
the sign, they set aside funds to replace it. They contacted the Westport Arts Center, which recommended Duvian Montoya.

Working from less-than-clear Google Street View images, he recreated it almost perfectly.

The spokesman said, “It is a shame the original sign was lost. But we are glad we could restore something similar in its place, which hopefully will remain for a long time.”

The new sign ...

The new sign …

... and a view of the original, which Duvian Montoya worked from.

… and a view of the original, which Duvian Montoya worked from.

It’s Baaaaaack!

Antonia Landgraf is many things. She’s

  • New to town
  • An alert “06880” reader
  • And a very alert Westporter.

Tonight, Antonia emailed me:

Is this the sign everybody was in an uproar about when it was removed? It was leaning against a tree today on the corner of South Compo and the Post Road.

Compo Acres palette

Yes! It is!

As “06880” reported nearly 2 years ago, the “paint palette” sign — a fixture at Compo Acres Shopping Center since it was built in the 1950s — disappeared when Equity One bought the property.

Another alert reader — Suzanne Sherman Propp — tracked down the man responsible for the center: Northeast regional manager Glenn Wilson. He sent a curt reply: “We had that replaced and I believe it was thrown out.”

Now, however — without fanfare — it’s back. It’s almost exactly where it sat, for decades. And — judging from the undated photo below — it’s almost certainly the original sign:

The Compo Acres paint palette is gone.

Score one for Equity One.

Now, if they can bring back Silver’s, Carousel Toy Store, Franklin Simon and the luncheonette…