Downtown area is expanding

A worker puts the finishing touches on the building at 1140 Post Road in Fairfield.
A worker puts the finishing touches on the building at 1140 Post Road in Fairfield.Anthony Karge

One of the Fairfield's "ugliest" buildings has undergone a makeover.

The property at 1140 Post Road -- across from Patriot Plaza, near the intersection with Beach Road -- was once dominated by a mansard-style roof that was typical of the 1960s. But now, picking up on nearby architectural styles, the building's façade blends brick with a clapboard-style siding to give the structure a more sophisticated look that is simultaneously classic and modern.

The 7,300-square-foot building is owned by Robert Kligerman Sr. and John Anderson. The renovation was completed by Connecticut Realty Trust (CRT), a construction management and investment firm that is based onsite.

CRT's principal, Bard H. Kligerman, said his father and Anderson purchased the property about four or five years ago with a plan to renovate the building. When the economy tanked, though, the plans were put on hold. It wasn't until earlier this year -- when the economy began to show signs of life -- that the renovation was put back into motion.

"It just seemed like the right time to do so," Kligerman said. "It's like the old saying goes, `When business is tough, expand.'"

Plus, he said, "The Post Road has experienced such a renovation, we started to get embarrassed ... if you drove by, you may have noticed the ugliest building in Fairfield."

But the mansard-roof that Kligerman once dreaded is now history, and he is pleased with the results.

One of his favorite elements of the new look are the large windows that let in lots of natural light and also give passersby a glimpse inside the new retail shops.

"The whole purpose of everything was to make it more retail," Kligerman said. "Our goal was to make it fit into the surroundings."

Given the speed with which the space has been filled, Kligerman is not the only one pleased with the 1140 Post Road's new digs. The building is home to a chiropractor, an insurance agency, a postal service union, a limousine company, a payroll service, a sock broker and two of the ground-floor tenants include Day One skate shop and Unleashed, a pet store that specializes in organic products (previously located across from Blinn's).

News of the upgrade was music to the ears of Patricia Ritchie, president and chief executive officer of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce.

"The main street area is moving east," Ritchie said. "And that's a good thing."