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News Updates: August 2005

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

Club Libby Lu to open at the Natick Mall
Written by Justin on August 26, 2005 at 10:51PM
  • The Boston Herald reports that a Club Libby Lu will be opening at the Natick Mall in March. The chain of clothing/beauty products/ accessories/decorative accessories that also happens to do birthday parties is targetted at the female tween audience. Club Libby Lu is owned by Saks Incorporated, which labels the chain as an experimental retailer that aims "to create a spontaneous environment that encourages girls to express their imagination and individuality". The story is online at http://business.bostonherald.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=99700
  • Anyone seen the Lowe's building lately? To quote John Cougar Mellencamp, "The walls come tumblin’ down". Only a small, stripped portion of the building remains to be demolished. In celebration, updated pictures have been added to both the Verizon Building and Sherwood Plaza pages.
"The Scene" hits Natick Mall in September
Written by Justin on August 20, 2005 at 9:26PM
  • Planning to shop at the Natick Mall on September 17? Stay away. The mall is hosting "The Scene", a national tour of mall's thrown together by teenage-targetting corporations and GGP.
  • However, the pinnacle of the event, a meet-and-greet with stars of Canadian-teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation, is expected to bring upwards of 5,000-visitors to the mall, only some of them from this area. Last year's event brought people from as far away as New Jersey to the autograph signing. Degrassi, which has become a runaway hit on Canadian television network CTV, is said by many critics to be a "hidden jewel" on US digital cable network The N (RCN channel 100, Comcast channel 223). Just warning you.
Replacement for Sarkis Sarkisian hired
Written by Justin on August 20, 2005 at 9:12PM
  • The replacement for Sarkis Sarkisian, the community development director in Natick, has been hired. Patrick Reffett has been on the job only a week, but the MetroWest Daily News was able to snag an interview with him. Oh, and apparently he's a supporter of the Natick Mall expansion. The story is online at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=106601.
  • Additionally, due to problems with the site, all of the updates that I have planned were not uploaded before today. Also, I apologize for not responding to much of the feedback that I have received; some of your e-mails were lost when my former hosting company shut down. I'm looking for your e-mails, though, and I plan to respond to everyone's mail that I can find. Thanks.
Story about General Growth Properties
Written by Justin on August 20, 2005 at 9:08PM
Continued speculation on Federated at Natick
Written by Justin on August 20, 2005 at 8:38PM
  • At least Framingham/Natick Retail knows more than the Natick Bulletin & TAB, for once (though not factually). Claudia Torrens quotes Jim Grant, who works with General Growth Properties, in saying "We don't know where Macy's will operate. Will it move to the Filene's building? It could." Yeah, right. Will Macy's move to the tiny Lord & Taylor building? No way. Will Macy's no longer operate in the Macy's building? Of course, that building is closing. That leaves, quite obviously, the Filene's building; and as Filene's, Robinson-May, and some Macy's stores close in New England and Southern California, the plan is to have the Macy's brand remain somewhere in every mall.
  • Grant went on to say that as Federated will own the Filene's building, they could offer to sell it to the mall, who would turn it into random shops and restaurants or a hotel. Who thinks that Federated, which now has real power as the company "owns" part of the mall, wants to sell out? And, to boot, that would bump Macy's into the small Lord & Taylor space!
  • I know Grant has no facts, and I have no facts, but he's a bit optimistic on the part of General Growth. The story is online at http://www2.townonline.com/natick/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=308392, and the Globe has a similar story online at http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/08/04/plans_eyed_for_filenes_building/. Note that the Boston Globe said "100 smaller stores" for the Natick Mall expansion. Where did that come from?

Dick's Sporting Goods now hiring
Written by Justin on August 20, 2005 at 8:30PM

  • Dick's Sporting Goods has put up Now Hiring announcements in local papers, and they are taking applications at the Courtyard by Marriott across from Home Depot. This means that the store should be opening soon; outside lettering is up, trucks are loading merchandise, though the store's parking lot is likely to be modified. The Dick's Store Locator, online at http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/corp/index.jsp?page=storeLocator&state=MA, lists the Natick store as coming soon. Thanks to Daniel Fife for this information.
  • Petco is getting what appears to be a new, um, awning (you know what I mean) thanks to the Dick's construction, and Starbucks will have a new store that was speculated to include an outdoor terrace. We'll see what happens.

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