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Old 02-26-2018, 10:59 AM
 
604 posts, read 385,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonguy1960 View Post
For instance, the supposedly historic building at Boylston and Arlington across from Parrish Cafe: formerly housed the esteemed Shreve, Crump and Low jewelers. They moved to Newbury Street perhaps ten years ago....WHY is this still vacant, in an important block? Thankfully, It doesn't look vacant or abandoned or boarded up to the casual observer, but...
https://www.bostonglobe.com/business...wVM/story.html
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:48 AM
 
3,937 posts, read 3,850,932 times
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Didn't we talk about this before? Actually I heard the same arguments in Northampton.

Anyways...a few things

1) Unless there is some contract or agreement with the City of Boston a storefront can stay empty as long as they are paying their property taxes. Unless you dig a bit you might not find out what other properties they might own that help the place stay empty

2) If it is a historical building you have to consider what restrictions a historical district can create. What might be one costs can be a much higher cost if it is to still look "historical". How many times have you seen a chain in the suburbs built into an old house or building because that's the only way it would be accepted...

3) Other competitors online and offline. Retail can certainly still sell physically but even a niche market can go online.

4) Land speculation is real. What other developments are going on and could the place be flipped? If a building is over specialized that adds to the costs of a new owner.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rethcir View Post
Thank you for posting that. So the two owners of most of that stretch of Boylston have plans for large redevelopment. Keeping the storefronts vacant eliminates the need to pay tenants with long term leases to move when they are ready to move ahead with the development. It happens even in the 'burbs.

Here in Burlington, a developer bought the old Building 19 parcel. There were a few businesses that were paid to go away within 60 days. It was close to 18 months before the redevelopment began. The developer knew that getting the tenants out ASAP and leaving the stores empty would be the easiest course of action so they could move ahead without delay when approvals were given.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robr2 View Post
Thank you for posting that. So the two owners of most of that stretch of Boylston have plans for large redevelopment. Keeping the storefronts vacant eliminates the need to pay tenants with long term leases to move when they are ready to move ahead with the development. It happens even in the 'burbs.

Here in Burlington, a developer bought the old Building 19 parcel. There were a few businesses that were paid to go away within 60 days. It was close to 18 months before the redevelopment began. The developer knew that getting the tenants out ASAP and leaving the stores empty would be the easiest course of action so they could move ahead without delay when approvals were given.
Really, what's going in there?
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Old 02-26-2018, 07:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 495neighbor View Post
Really, what's going in there?
Mixed use. Two buildings totaling 48K sq ft of retail and dining (appx 20 storefronts) and one 48K sq ft residential building with 28 units of housing of which 10% will be affordable.

The goal is to attract local businesses rather than national chains. We shall see.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:16 PM
 
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That's another potential issue with chains. They rather have something new from the ground up rather than convert something else. I know of an old Lechmere turned into a box stores. There's a loading door in the middle of the store and they had to expand around it. Technically they could have removed the door but why bother spending the money. I'd argue there's probably some old Bradlees, Ames, Caldors maybe Child Worlds in the same boat.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:52 PM
 
Location: New England
1,925 posts, read 1,072,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdovell View Post
That's another potential issue with chains. They rather have something new from the ground up rather than convert something else. I know of an old Lechmere turned into a box stores. There's a loading door in the middle of the store and they had to expand around it. Technically they could have removed the door but why bother spending the money. I'd argue there's probably some old Bradlees, Ames, Caldors maybe Child Worlds in the same boat.
Well chains want a consistent brand identity. For a local store, that doesn't matter as much. A local store doesn't need to go in and change everything, they'll model their identity after what's already there.
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:39 PM
 
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While that is true it can be hard to justify selling. If all customers want is the product they could care less about decor. I even know of one story that was not allowed to have a lit sign. If you want to see something being debated all the time it's signage. A city can easily shut down Electronics sign, a removing sign, ones that change color etc.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Boston
7,338 posts, read 15,312,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
The old Barnes and Noble location in Downtown Crossing is one. Beats me why it hasn't been occupied yet.
From what I understand, the owner is difficult to work with and may even overvalue the space a bit. I know for certain of one major national chain that was pretty deep into negotiations for the space about a year ago and ended up pulling out late in the game. I have also heard there's another one in the works now. We'll see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgang239 View Post
Landlords writing off it off as lost rent waiting for a huge payday if a developer decides to build the next millennium tower.
This might be the case in some places (Druker has wanted to redevelop Shreve, Crump and Lowe for a decade), but really retail leases are just so much different than residential ones that it makes more sense to wait it out for a good tenant than it does to temporarily cut rent to get someone in there. They're much longer term (usually 5-10 years) so a landlord is far more likely to let it sit and wait for a tenant to pay what they're asking than they are to slash the price a bit to fill the space. Especially in a market where rents seem to go up every year. A residential landlord may slash rent a bit to fill a space for a year and then raise it again, but that's a much bigger risk for a 5-10 year lease. If they cut the price a little lower now, they could be WAY below market rate at the end of the lease 5-10 years down the road and the amount they'd have to raise it to get just the market rate would potentially drive the current tenant out. Unlike residential, it's a really big gamble and often not a great long-term move.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:04 PM
 
1,030 posts, read 2,012,777 times
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This recent article from the NYT may answer a lot of your questions: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/31/f...orefronts.html.
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