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Old 05-23-2017, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
7,854 posts, read 6,805,356 times
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I just think you guys need to observe where the poor shop... have we no consideration for how hard it is already to live in Boston without a higher education or a white collar job? Again, I sympathize to a degree, but part of this sentiment just seems like upper middle class people wishing everyone were more like themselves and shared the same aesthetic tastes and were willing to pay more so their ego can be satisfied.

In the case of Harvard Square, this is because of the student population dominating the area, moving in and out all the time. With busy academic and social schedules, it's all about convenience for students. Are they "wrong"? I have a hard time saying that.
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Baja Virginia
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I should have pointed out in my earlier post that, yes, rents in Somerville and JP are through the roof and that's a real problem. But at least they haven't been accompanied with the same level of wholesale corporatization as in Harvard Square.

As for students, I'm not sure what they have to to with the retail environment. There have been students in that part of Cambridge for hundreds of years, but the retail environment has changed considerably over the last 30. There are also just as many students in JP and (especially) Somerville.
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:41 AM
 
8,711 posts, read 8,906,804 times
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I've got some older, historical photos of Boston, and the same thing was present back then, as is now. Just the medium has changed. Today we have billboards that cycle through a few backgrounds, LED signs, and corportate marketing everywhere, but years ago, the same existed, but in different formats...usually painted on the side of a building.


(not in boston)


A building near my former house was under restoration and had the paint stripped off it recently, revealing a motif reminiscent of a drug store from the 1930's. I thought it was beautiful with the advertisements painted on the sides. Then, they covered it all up with blue paint.
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
7,854 posts, read 6,805,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scratchie View Post
I should have pointed out in my earlier post that, yes, rents in Somerville and JP are through the roof and that's a real problem. But at least they haven't been accompanied with the same level of wholesale corporatization as in Harvard Square.

As for students, I'm not sure what they have to to with the retail environment. There have been students in that part of Cambridge for hundreds of years, but the retail environment has changed considerably over the last 30. There are also just as many students in JP and (especially) Somerville.
Because students don't want to think any harder about what they buy or eat than they have to. Thus, the most consistent and cheapest will always win out. They just don't care that much. They are not in Cambridge because they want to sample the mom and pop shops.

As for the hundreds of years point- for hundreds of years, Harvard class sizes were miniscule. The modern incarnation of Harvard with thousands of graduate students is an historic anomaly. Don't forget that for a long time, the school was there mainly to prepare young men for theological pursuits.
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:56 AM
 
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These big companies can afford to take losses in these locations that mom and pops can't. It's sad, but that's our version of capitalism, which is the big companies and rich make the rules that everyone needs to work in.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
7,854 posts, read 6,805,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
These big companies can afford to take losses in these locations that mom and pops can't. It's sad, but that's our version of capitalism, which is the big companies and rich make the rules that everyone needs to work in.
I doubt they are really taking losses though.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:32 AM
 
1,068 posts, read 431,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
These big companies can afford to take losses in these locations that mom and pops can't. It's sad, but that's our version of capitalism, which is the big companies and rich make the rules that everyone needs to work in.
I mean when rent for a place quadruples in 3 years its no wonder these "mom and pop" shops do not have the capital to stay.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:36 AM
 
32,716 posts, read 22,656,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeePee View Post
I mean when rent for a place quadruples in 3 years its no wonder these "mom and pop" shops do not have the capital to stay.


Of course, and with huge companies having the deep pockets where they can lose money at certain locations, they can continue to drive those prices sky high.
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Westwood, MA
3,445 posts, read 4,348,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberline742 View Post
Of course, and with huge companies having the deep pockets where they can lose money at certain locations, they can continue to drive those prices sky high.
I'll admit I'm a bit confused. Why do they want to lose money? That certainly can't be a long-term strategy. Corporations generally have more resources but less patience for unprofitable locations.
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:35 AM
 
32,716 posts, read 22,656,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayrandom View Post
I'll admit I'm a bit confused. Why do they want to lose money? That certainly can't be a long-term strategy. Corporations generally have more resources but less patience for unprofitable locations.
Sure it can. Individual locations don't matter near as much as the brand at large, especially when you're talking about locations of prestige (say Times Square), or a good where you're trying to get someone hooked on early and there is a good demographic for it (often true in college areas), or your competition is there (Verizon is there, ATT is there, so we, Sprint, must be there).
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