Readers Weigh In on Vacant Somerville Storefronts

Somerville Patch readers had some good thoughts and ideas about the old Star Market site in Winter Hill, the old Social Security office building in Davis Square and the old Cabot Farms space near Powderhouse Rotary.

Over the past few weeks, we asked readers to share their ideas for three prominent but vacant storefronts in the city:

Readers had some good ideas and thoughts. Here's a sampling of what they said.

Summary: Big space in a prime location.

Lucas Friedlaender suggested a bakery with "delicious crusty bread and bagels" and high-end European desserts.

Jodie Dow-Novaes suggested a bookstore.

Jonah Petri liked the idea of a bookstore or bagel bakery, and he also suggested a tea shop.

Armando Caro had a number of ideas, including a Trader Joe's, an art supply store and karaoke bar.

Vinnie recommended a Gap store.

cp kostos thought the space could be turned into a small mall with little shops housing bookstores, florists, jewelers, cafes and other local businesses. "This would make it affordable to the small independent shop owner as opposed to a national retailer," Kostos said.


Summary: A notorious vacancy; new tenant could help define the neighborhood.

Gregory C recommended a small business incubator "to help local entrepreneurs get started. Not just tech entrepreneurs, but mixed use: crafters, artists, even accountants, financial planning professionals and others. Anyone who needs a start." Rich Piazza shared Gregory C's thoughts.

Matt C wrote, "I believe we need to look at the site as an opportunity to define what the neighborhood can be, something transformative. This is a similar decision to that of a mall determining its anchor store … I would prefer to see something 'higher end.' This can be a large shop [like] Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or something smaller like Capones (in Union Sq) or Daves (in Davis Sq). Lets ensure that we have no more check cashing shops, fly-by-night retail and liquor stores."

Amy suggested a Trader Joe's.

Carol suggested a Walmart grocery store.

Summary: Old club between Davis Square and Tufts University has tons of potential but some say it's in a residential neighborhood.

Christian Waeber added some great photos of this building (see photos).

Leslie Gildart suggested a local musicians' cooperative venue.

cp kostos said the site is in a residential area and has a number of challenges with zoning and building codes. Kostos said the best use of the site would be for residential purposes.

Alice Grossman disagreed, saying the site is on Broadway and near other businesses. She recommended a music venue that emphasized dancing.

Paul Smith also felt the neighborhood is residential and should remain that way.

Sophie suggested an event planning and event hall business.

TimTadfia March 13, 2012 at 08:39 PM
What's the cause for all the empty stores , parking drive the city any time of ,it looks like a ghost town with all the empty parking spots
Scott Gunther March 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM
We need a grocery store in Davis Square!
kevin thomas crowley March 14, 2012 at 01:57 PM
i stopped going to davis square when the bookstore left. if i go at all, it's to the post office, mckinnons and the goodwill book racks. i don't need to spend $20 for a pork chop.
mplo June 07, 2012 at 07:37 PM
What about another movie theatre that doesn't play the same schlocky films that most movie theatres these days play, but plays older classic films, independent films, foreign films, etc.? That would be cool, given the dearth of independent, repertory movie theatres here in the Boston area, as well as the United States, generally.
mplo June 15, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Rents and overheads are quite expensive here in Somerville, and the Boston area, generally, so maybe businesses haven't been able to afford it and have had to move elsewhere, or just fold, altogether.


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