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News Updates: May 2006

All updates from the month of May 2006 are listed below.

Construction begins on Natick Mall Nordstrom
Written by Justin on May 20, 2006 at 10:55PM

Nordstrom elevation
  • First off, apologies for the lack of updates lately.
  • Work began last week on the new Nordstrom store that will be part of the mall's expansion, as the mall officially handed over the pad to the Seattle-based chain. Once completed in September 2007, the store will employ up to 400 workers, and will contain extensive selections of clothing, shoes and accessories, along with a restaurant and espresso bar. While Dimeo Construction will be building the majority of the mall's expansion, Nordstrom will be hiring its own contractors to build the store.
  • The store is especially important to Nordstrom as it will mark the first of the chain's stores in the state. While Nordstrom's first location on the east coast opened in 1988 (at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City in Arlington, VA), the company was previously unable to enter to the region as a result of record occupancies at area malls. With the recent closings of Filene's stores in the state, Nordstrom is taking advantage of the vacancies at Burlington Mall, Northshore Mall, and South Shore Plaza, combined with the expansion of the Natick Mall, to bring the chain into the region.
  • The MWDN reports on the announcement at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=130271, and GlobeSt.com comments as well at http://www.globest.com/news/553_553/boston/145835-1.html. I also have a mall-contributed press release that will be added to the New Natick Mall page very soon.
Northbrook Court pics, anyone?
Written by Justin on May 20, 2006 at 11:06PM
  • If you've checked out the Can General Growth Manage Luxury Malls? page, you'd notice that one of the malls mentioned is the Northbrook Court, located in Northbrook, IL. Recently I was up that way, and I was able to get some pictures of the mall. I'm hoping to add them to the comparison page soon.
Framingham sues General Growth... again
Written by Justin on May 20, 2006 at 11:11PM
  • It's no question that there's some bad blood between the town of Framingham and General Growth Properties. Soon, the two sides will be back in court... but this time, it's not about traffic concerns. The town is concerned that with the mall working on the area's sewer pipe, a wrong move could be made that would shut off sewer service to the entire Rt. 9 corridor in the Golden Triangle. The MWDN has more at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=129882.
Update 2: Sam's Club closes abruptly, 96 employees lose jobs
Written by Justin on May 2, 2006 at 4:23PM
  • In an update to the headline below, the Sam's Club store in Natick closed this morning with no previous warning to the store's 96 employees, who lost their jobs as a result of the closure. The employees will, however, be offered jobs at other Wal-Mart facilities in the area, and will receive full pay for the next 60 days in lieu of a typical 60-day notice. According to a report done by WCVB (Ch. 5), business at the store, which opened in 1994, had been slow for quite some time, especially after the store stopped accepting credit cards. And from previous visits, the interior of the store was crumbling as well: buckets filled the aisles of the store on rainy days. Sam's Club representatives will be on site until May 26th to deal with membership cancellations and outstanding business regarding the Natick store; other store representatives were busy inside the building packing shelving and remaining merchandise onto trucks. WCVB has the story (and video footage) online at http://www.thebostonchannel.com/consumer/9142128/detail.html. The MetroWest Daily News has a full story at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=128991. There is also another video clip available from "Boston's WB" WLVI (Ch. 56) which discusses the closing; that story can be found here.
  • The closure leaves a site in the Triangle that, despite being hard to access, has potential. Could the future bring back office buildings to the site, or could Wal-Mart management use the site to bring a Supercenter to the Framingham/Natick area? Would Wal-Mart sell the remaining portion of the company's lease to Costco, which has a strong presence in the Boston area? The MetroWest Daily News ponders the future at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=128954.
  • Lastly, thanks to site visitor David Motuzas for updates on this story throughout the day. It is worth noting that Natick was not the only Sam's Club that closed yesterday; a location at Crossgates Commons in Albany, NY closed as well.
Sam's Club shuttered
Written by Justin on May 1, 2006 at 4:45PM
  • Thanks to a tip sent through the feedback button, the Natick Sam's Club closed this morning. The store is also off of the Sam's Club website's store locator as well. More details coming soon.
Fresh City to open in Natick
Written by Justin on May 1, 2006 at 4:45PM
  • A Fresh City will open in the Golden Triangle this June. According to a tip e-mailed in through the feedback button, a Fresh City restaurant will open in the former space of Woodworker's Warehouse, located on Route 9 in Natick. The addition of this full-service location will bring the total to two Fresh City restaurants in MetroWest; the other is located in the Framingham travel plaza on the Mass Pike.
Macy's to move to Filene's space May 1st... and is J.C. Penney in the future?
Written by Justin on May 1, 2006 at 12:01AM
  • Some big changes are coming up at the Natick Mall. On April 30, the existing Macy's store closed. On May 1st, employees will move equipment over to the new location, and on May 2nd, the new Macy's store will open in the former Filene's space.
  • A Macy's spokesperson made some interesting remarks regarding the change. In a statement, Macy's CEO stated that "While it will take us some time to put on the finishing touches, the future holds a bigger, brighter, better space that will allow us to better serve you.". Hopefully this statement implies that what we're about to get isn't the final result. The light, modern Macy's store built in 1994 is a huge improvement over Macy's home beginning on May 3rd, the dark, outdated space that formerly housed Filene's. However, with bulldozers tearing down the facade of the former Filene's store at The Mall @ Chestnut Hill (soon to be Bloomingdales), it doesn't seem that Natick improvements will be far behind,
  • And speaking of the former Macy's store, the MWDN appears to know that a J.C. Penney store will be in the Mall's future. With the Nordstrom/Neiman Marcus compound under construction across the street, a store like J.C. Penney (which GGP recently implimented into Providence Place Mall) would seem to separate the everyday mall that exists with the palace that is to come.
  • The MWDN story is at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=128651.
Wonder Bread factory workers reunite
Written by Justin on May 1, 2006 at 12:01AM
Framingham/Natick Retail makes the MWDN!
Written by Justin on May 1, 2006 at 12:01AM
  • From last week's Surf's Up:
    • users.rcn.com/encarta95/stores/natickmall.html -- We’re not quite sure whose page this is. Whoever it is, though, they devote more time to telling Natick Mall’s story than the mall’s own Web page does. There’s a list of former tenants that might make local shoppers nostalgic, as well as the story of the mall’s 1966 opening and 1994 recreation. Elsewhere, the site links to local retail news, much of it from Community Newspaper Co. papers.
  • The entire story is at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=128128.

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