The New Retail Thread

jpdivola

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stellarfun

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NYC and DC have formal neighborhood boards. NYCs Community Boards are appointed by elected officials while DCs Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANC) are directly elected. ANCs. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advisory_Neighborhood_Commission


These hyperlocal boards have their issues. But they seem preferable to unaccountable private neighborhood associations that claim to speak for the community.
I am familiar with the DC neighborhood boards, particularly the one for Georgetown. This board is atypical, in that it reviews proposed building projects from a design standpoint. Its views are given weight by Federal agencies who are responsible for reviewing and approving building projects in Georgetown, and a few other areas within the District of Columbia. Other ANCs elsewhere review proposed building projects sporadically, as most building projects in the District are not subject to Federal design review, and only rarely will the District government conduct a design review in lieu of a Federal review.

Link is to the agenda for the March meeting. Scrolling down there is a list of projects that will receive a full review by the ANC; this involves a presentation by the proponent followed by public comment. After the public comment, the ANC will take a vote on whether to support or oppose the proposed design during subsequent Federal agency review..

Of the seven members of this ANC, two are students at Georgetown University, as the residential population of the university is factored in when deciding the boundaries of this ANC, These two member seats on the ANC are reserved exclusively for Georgetown University students.

 

stellarfun

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https://www.universalhub.com/2020/city-always-sleeps-think-children-downtown

More coverage of the hearing. The NIMBY arguments are pathetically priceless. They claim concern about the welfare of the 1,000 freshman at Emerson living in the building and being subjected to the late night undesirable elements.

But these freshmen have their own entrance into the proposed taco shop. If it is not there, hungry freshmen are going to venture out further on those supposedly unsafe streets in search of food at 1 am. (Huge irony that the mayor's office and city councilor's rep supported the early closing because the streets are unsafe -- missing the fact that it is their job to make streets safe!)
A leading opponent of the 2 AM closing was the taco shop's landlord, Emerson.

The City of Boston won’t let El Jefe’s Taqueria serve its tacos and burritos past midnight at its new location across from Boston Common — at least for now. El Jefe’s wanted to stay open until 2 a.m., but on Thursday the licensing board approved a midnight closing, saying the restaurant could apply to extend the hours in eight months. ...... The Midtown Park Plaza Neighborhood Association had submitted a letter to the board opposing the proposed closing hours. The group’s concerns stemmed from the fact that El Jefe’s was located in a building that houses about 1,000 Emerson College freshmen. The group also said El Jefe’s proximity to several nightclubs would “put an additional strain on the public safety resources in the area.” The mayor’s office and District 2 Councilor Ed Flynn’s office also opposed the 2 a.m. closing time, as did Emerson College, the landlord for the restaurant.
[bolding mine]

I think the re-consideration in eight months is to see whether the tacqueria's owner and Emerson can reach a compromise on the hours. Someone entered into a lease without doing due diligence with respect to the landlord's position on hours of operation.
 

BosDevelop

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Gunner02

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Everlane, a men’s and women’s retail clothing store opening at 121 Seaport.
 

dhawkins

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New retail/grocery spotted in Coolidge Corner. It was a Tea House for a little while, now a specialty grocer.

Coolidge Corner.JPG
 

cjbski

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Mackage will open in the Prudential Mall where White House Black Market was. Seems like more of a store for Copley, but we'll see how they do.
 

etik

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Weltkuche in Cambridge Crossing (near the new Lechemere stop) had a soft opening about a week ago. Given the coronavirus, they are closed for the time being but plan on re-opening when government allows.

 

Arlington

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is there a rule of thumb on how many neighbors it takes to support different kinds of retail? Like 200 residences = 1 Bodega, 400 residences = Pizza parlor?
 

Batmarch

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Saks fifth ave men’s Dept to open in former Barney’s space at COPLEY place
 

West

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is there a rule of thumb on how many neighbors it takes to support different kinds of retail? Like 200 residences = 1 Bodega, 400 residences = Pizza parlor?
I’ve never seen such rules of thumb published anywhere, but commercial / retail brokers either know them or have a great feel for them implicitly. I know a few such folks and when a new business goes into a given site that they know well, they can sometimes tell you with certainty that either that business or one of the existing competitors will die quickly - saturation is so obvious sometimes. Or, in other cases, they can say “that’s a killer location for that shop, they’ll do great if their product / service is even remotely decent.” Cultivating relationships with such brokers is the only way i know to find those rules of thumb for areas i don’t know well.

If I do know a neighborhood well, I can do this myself.. Along the lines of “another coffee shop?, the others around here are all dying on the vine already, someone’s doomed”. If you know an area well enough to react like that, you’re often proven right soon enough.

Larger firms like grocery chains looking at a newly developing area like the Seaport use extremely specific criteria on pedestrian / auto counts, number of new residents, distance to exiting grocery stores, etc. Those you can maybe find published online if you dig. But i don’t think that’s what you were asking about.
 

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