Saturday, November 14, 2009

Short-Term Commercial Leases Please Residents -- In the Fenway

While residents of North Allston-Brighton have been complaining for years about swaths of commercial property -- bought by Harvard University over the past two decades -- being left vacant while Harvard considers its long-term plans, the Boston Metro reports that residents of the Fenway neighborhood appear to be benefiting from short-term business leases during the current economic downturn:
"While we have significant long-term plans to build and make it a lively street, this is also not the right time to be creating new buildings," said Diana Pisciotta, spokeswoman for Samuels and Associates, which has already built up much of the [Boylston Street] block but is now securing short-term leases with retailers.

"We thought it was really important to bring in neighborhood-friendly uses to storefronts that might otherwise be empty"...

“We’re very happy that the developers have tried to make the streets active and not let the place look blighted and rundown,” said Bill Richardson, president of the Fenway Civic Association.
Earlier this summer, Mayor Thomas Menino guided a tour bus loaded with retailers and real estate brokers through the Fenway and Newbury Street, pointing out many empty storefronts ripe for new businesses. Last year, the tour went through Dudley Square, the South Boston waterfront, and Downtown Crossing.

Mayor Menino even offered business owners an incentive to open a business on Newbury Street: a free month of advertising on a city-owned space downtown.

As Harry Mattison remarked in July: "Next year please drive the bus down Western Ave" in North Allston-Brighton.

Image of vacant, former VW dealership in North Allston from the blog This Is Harvard used with permission; all rights reserved.

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