Vacancy Vision: What Should Fill This Empty Building in Davis Square?

Whatever moves into the old Social Security office will help define the neighborhood. What would you like to see there?

Update, Feb. 2: Charles River Realty, the real estate firm handling this property, said negotiations are currently under way for a new commercial tenant.


Empty storefronts and unused commercial spaces are eyesores, but an empty storefront can also be an opportunity; they allow new, exciting, desired businesses to move into neighborhoods. 

With "Vacancy Visions," we feature an empty space somewhere in the city and ask one question: If you were king or queen of Somerville, what would you put there?

Today's vacancy vision: the old Social Security office in Davis Square

The office, in the heart of Davis Square, closed down in the summer of 2010, and it's still empty today.

A discussion that summer on the Davis Square Live Journal community site indicates the space, before it was a Social Security office, was home to a small department store.

Chowhound, a popular food and dining website, notes Tasty Burger is planning to open a Davis Square location, and one commenter speculated the old Social Security office could be the spot it's looking at.

What do you want there?

If you were king or queen of Somerville, what would you put in that space?

Some suggestions:

  • A hardware store—Over the summer . A few people said they'd like a hardware store.
  • A grocery store—With nearby possibly closing down to become a frozen yogurt joint, Davis Square will be left with few places to buy basic groceries.
cp kostos February 22, 2012 at 10:09 PM
I know.......what a nouveau idea! How about a trendy bar? we don't have enough drinking establishments in the square. Think of it. a bar on every corner and in every vacancy. Oh wait....we had that in the 60's and 70's and the crime rate was out of control. Well maybe just one more bar, it wouldn't hurt to try.
Vinnie February 24, 2012 at 04:05 PM
The Gap store.
cp kostos February 25, 2012 at 03:14 AM
The space is large enough to do an inside mall. setting up smaller spaces within the large space and creating small shops and areas for book store, florist, jeweler, cafe, specialty dress shop, arts crafts. One main entrance, handicap accessible rest rooms. This would make it affordable to the small independent shop owner as opposed to a national retailer with only a handful of employees. This would be a warmer more community based use. Just a thought.
Scott Gunther March 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM
We need a grocery store in Davis Square!
Matt C March 16, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I would be a fan of more small shoppes, interesting restaurants, or galleries, not really looking for big chain stores or big box shoppes/bars.


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