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News Updates: March 2005

All updates from the month of March 2005 are listed below.

Natick Mall Expansion headed for a vote
Written by Justin on March 13, 2005 at 10:37PM

  • According to an MWDN story March 11th, the proposed expansion is headed for it's latest vote. Members are expected to vote on the new expansion Monday night. However, May has already pledged that whether it is approved or not, the plan will be appealed. The board is somewhat being forced to vote due to the 45-day ultimatum for Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. The story is online at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=92847.
  • There was also a rather large fire in a Natick Mall dumpster out at the mall on March 6th. It was located near Lord & Taylor, and apparently looked pretty bad from a distance. Luckily, no smoke got into the mall and the dumpster is still in fairly good condition. A story is online at http://www2.townonline.com/natick/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=201968.

Natick Mall in trouble? and Bob's Discount Furniture news
Written by Justin on March 10, 2005 at 8:57PM

  • Due to various reasons, I have been unable to update the site over the past two weeks. However, there's been a lot of news lately about the Natick Mall.
  • The MetroWest Daily News discovered 22 vacant storefronts at the mall, many of which vacated due to the expiration of ten-year leases. But it's more then that: SunCoast Video, Sam Goody, H20+, Olympia Sports, Chesapeake Knife & Tool (the one with the dog out front), Elisabeth, along with Mimi Maternity and Motherhood Maternity that relocated to Rte. 9, The Wet Seal, The Bombay Company, and Hammett's (the chain is closing). There are some new stores coming in, such as Sephora, White House / Black Market, Lego, Swarovski AG, and a Sleek MedSpa. But the mall is saying that due to the questionable status of the Natick Mall Expansion, some of the higher-end stores expected for that mall may be coming to the regular mall to build a clientel and then later move. Could a Pottery Barn be on the way (there's already a Kids store)? Who knows. But the story's online at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=91895.
  • According to a new MWDN story today, May is not only suing GGP over the Natick Mall Expansion's original plans, but they are now suing on the new plans. Apparently they do not like the proposed pedestrian bridge configuration. Little was said, but the story is online at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=92773.
  • And more: many are expecting the new Federated-May to close at least one store at the new Natick Mall. The Natick Mall is being followed now by analysts given that the combined company controls 75% of the mall's anchor stores. Others are saying that the Lord & Taylor chain, part of May, is likely to close (see http://www.newhousenews.com/archive/saitz030805.html). The Globe has a story about the situation online at http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/03/06/store_closings_would_affect_expansion_at_natick_mall/.
  • The Natick police and fire departments have concerns about the new mall, especially the underground parking garage. The Globe reports on it at http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/03/06/police_fire_consider_services_for_bigger_mall/.
  • Another MWDN story covers the housing in both the Natick Mall Expansion and the proposed-Cloverleaf Mall apartment towers, and what it means for the selectmans race in Natick. The story is at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=92574.
  • And there's a story about the Bob's Discount Furniture store that is expected to open soon at the former Circuit City building on Route 9. The story, which includes commentary from it's slightly legendary owner Bob, mentions that the company was looking at MetroWest for a while, and has high expectations for it, as his Boston-area stores are the highest performing. The store will be opening early next month. Currently, the closest Bob's location is on Lincoln St. in Worcester in a former Caldor. The story is online at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=92216.
And that's it! As always, be sure to send me your comments, corrections and memories through the feedback box. Thanks!

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