Edwards said he expects the businesses will include restaurants, a hair salon, a fitness studio, medical offices, a drive-through coffee spot and a bank. The area will be pedestrian-friendly, with space to walk, views looking out at the park and areas to sit that blend in with the green space.
“Creating a place where community gathers in a more European way will work in (Ridgefield) like it did in Felida,” Edwards said.
Files said he thinks the space will work because people don’t want to visit big box stores as much anymore.
“People want to do business with people,” he said. “It’s a throwback to how things used to be.”
While that might be a throwback, the two developers are also thinking about the future. Edwards said they’re trying to design the commercial space for 2030, not 2018. They’ve talked about building for the possibility of autonomous shuttles driving guests from one side of the property to the other. They’ve also looked into tech retail, where shoppers can order something online and then go pick it up in person. They’re also looking into charging stations for electric vehicles.
“Parking is the most complained-about thing here,” he said.
Edwards said that while Felida Village has been a success, as all commercial and residential space is currently leased, the Ridgefield project won’t necessarily look similar.
“We’re going to build a community-focused mixed-use development that is scaled appropriately for Ridgefield,” he said. “It will be something unique for an area that is underserved.”