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Vacancy Vision: What Should Fill The Winter Hill Star Market?

Perhaps the most notorious vacant building in Somerville, the old Star Market on Broadway is a true eyesore.

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 Star Market in Winter Hill

It's huge and empty and can get people riled up. The vacant Star Market building in Winter Hill is a bit like Somerville's version of the old Filene's building in Downtown Crossing. It's not quite a hole in the ground, but that said, some might welcome a hole in the ground as a sign of progress.

The super market closed in 2007, and Ocean State Job Lot eyed the site in 2010

What do you want there?

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

Some suggestions:

Some would like a Trader Joe's or something similar.

A store where Somerville artists and artisans could sell their creations.

A West Marine.

Georgy C February 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM
A small business incubator - subdivide the building into small offices and use it 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 February 28, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Very similar to my thoughts. I may add some food to the list. Great minds think alike.
Matt C February 28, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Lets face it, the current site is a blight on the neighborhood. The only "nice" building in the area is the doctors offices across the street. (I am not saying the businesses in the neighborhood are not valuable - I love the winter hill bakery!) 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. That decision sets the context for all other businesses in the area. As someone who bought a home in the neighborhood and have invested in that home an likes the change that my investment and my neighbors investment has wrought on that neighborhood I would prefer to see something "higher end" This can be a large shop 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 Ideally, this business or business can create a number of LOCAL jobs that can both employ our youth and adults. Additionally bringing in additional tax revenue would be nice! Winter Hill has an opportunity to write its future. Lets make it a great place to work, live and shop!
Amy March 01, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I like the idea of something like a Trader Joes. I never really go because there's not one that's terribly convenient to get to for the area of Somerville I'm in and having one much closer would be awesome!
Carol March 03, 2012 at 05:32 PM
WALMART GROCERY STORE.......and don't remove this comment please like you have already done. I left this exact comment last evening and curiously it had been removed!
Chris Orchard (Editor) March 13, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Hi Carol, I'm going through these comments to write a summary of the ideas people have. I want to assure you we would never remove a comment from the site (unless, of course, it was crass or offensive, or spam). Perhaps there was some sort of technical glitch with your previous comment.
Mary Norcross April 04, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Trader Joe's would be great!

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