Local developers Albert and Ken Kleban live by the adage, "Never promise more than you can deliver and always deliver more than you promise."
They believe they've accomplished that with their latest project, Brick Walk Promenade at 1189-1215 Post Road, in Fairfield, which celebrates its first anniversary Wednesday.
The father and son team, owners of Kleban Properties, said they envisioned the Brick Walk as a "lifestyle center" near downtown Fairfield where people could park, shop, relax and work. The mixed-use development includes fully rented luxury apartments, offices and retail spaces. Brick Walk Promenade has street-level and underground parking with an elevator to the street.
The Brick Walk features high-end boutique clothing and gift stores such as Vintage Garden, Magnolia, JoS. A. Bank and Island Outfitters, Pizzeria Molto Wine Bar, Towne Cleaners and Trek Bicycle Shop.
It also hosts community events including a farmers' market on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon, through Oct. 31, and free monthly summer concerts. The next one planned for 6 to 9 p.m., Sept. 11, will feature live music by The Jazz Guild, a DJ, face painting and a classic car show. The theme is the "Great American Songbook," show tunes and standards. The retail shops stay open late for the concerts, which create a neighborhood block party atmosphere.
"We have tried to be responsible developers by providing development that is good for Fairfield," Ken Kleban said.
That belief extends to environmental responsibility. At the Brick Walk complex, they capture the ground water from the foundation pumps of the new buildings and roof drains to irrigate the extensive plantings. They also use solar-powered parking lot lighting.
Diane Byrne, manager of Magnolia, a fashion, jewelry and accessory store, said the Brick Walk was initially a "hidden gem."
"Every day I have a customer come in and say, `I didn't know you were back here,' " Byrne said. But word is getting out. So much so that Magnolia is currently building another 600 square feet of retail space, and a new retailer, Minette and Rook, opened Tuesday.