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News Updates: June 2006

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

Welcome to FraminghamNatickRetail.com!
Written by Justin on June 25, 2006 at 2:20PM
  • Welcome to the new home of Framingham/Natick Retail! I've added new pictures, re-written commentaries, new pages, and more to the site. If you have any comments on the site of have found any broken links, send them my way through the Feedback box. Thanks for checking it out!
Some area retail tidbits...
Written by Justin on June 25, 2006 at 1:57PM
  • With no news regarding the Natick Mall lately, it's time to take a look at the smaller facilities around the Triangle to see what's going on.
  • At Sherwood Plaza, Recreation World is no more. Brunswick (the pool table company) bought out the store late last year, and it is currently undergoing an entire exterior renovation as it becomes "Brunswick Home & Billiard".
  • At the Cloverleaf Mall, Elan Salon has moved into the space that was most recently Hammett's, and before that Papa Gino's. And if the planning board's agenda is correct, new signage out front could be on the way.
  • At the "Natick Design Center" (former Paine Furniture), Long's Jewelers will be moving in.
  • At the Route 30 Mall, Quizno's Subs will take the space that was most recently MetroWest Occupational Medicine, and before that US Trust.
Framingham and General Growth settle sewage dispute
Written by Justin on June 16, 2006 at 10:26PM
  • The Town of Framingham and General Growth Properties have settled their dispute concerning the construction of a new sewer line.
  • With the ruling in Middlesex Superior Court, GGP will be able to continue construction under a new set of protocols that both parties agreed to. Framingham officials will be able to watch the construction of the new pipe, and GGP will be responsible for any damage to the pipe for the next several years.
  • The full story can be found at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=132966.
Club Libby Lu opens at Natick
Written by Justin on June 16, 2006 at 10:03PM
  • As announced back in August 2005, and despite a delay of three months, Club Libby Lu will at last open at the Natick Mall tomorrow.
  • Targetted somewhat as a tween version of Build-A-Bear Workshop and along the lines of American Girl Place, the "experienced-based" retailer will occupy a 1,631 sq. ft. space on the mall's second level near the new Macy's. Some chain history: Club Libby Lu was founded in 2000 by long-time retail executive Mary Drulet, and was acquired by Saks Incorporated in 2003. Following the acquisition, Saks began implimenting many of the Club Libby Lu stores as "stores within a store" inside company's larger middle-class department stores such as Parisian and McRae's; however, as the company has sold off all of it's middle-class chains except for Parisian, the company has been lately branching out into malls. The Natick store is the first in Massachusetts, and judging by success of lifestyle-based retailers in the area, Club Libby Lu is likely to be a success.
  • The MWDN has more at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=132956.
Natick Mall faces parking issues as construction continues
Written by Justin on June 9, 2006 at 11:16PM
  • The MetroWest Daily News recently exposed how the Natick Mall will face some severe parking issues during this upcoming holiday season.
  • Already, the mall lost Parking Garage B when that structure was demolished to allow for the construction of a new roadway. Now, workers are taking advantage of the vacancy of the former Macy's by demolishing the existing parking in front of that building and replacing it with a parking garage. While the mall may suffer only minimally at the moment, the holiday shopping season is already slated to create a disaster.
  • The mall is looking into several alternatives as that time approaches: for one, the lower level of the new parking garage may be completed, and would thus be available for mall patrons to use. Another likely scenario would be forcing mall employees to park at an offsite lot, such as the now-vacated Sam's Club, and bussing them them in.
  • The story can be found online at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=132083.
Could Cheesecake Factory be in the Natick Mall's future?
Written by Justin on June 9, 2006 at 11:04PM
  • A Framingham/Natick Retail reader noticed the following in a story from the Braintree Forum surrounding construction of a Cheesecake Factory at the South Shore Plaza:
    • "Of the 61 Cheesecake Factories across the country, Massachusetts currently has locations in Boston, Cambridge, Natick, and Newton."
  • At the least, it's a very interesting mention. With General Growth promising "several restaurants", and considering that mentions of The Cheesecake Factory along with P.F. Chang's China Bistro have popped up before in MWDN and Boston Globe stories, could this be an unintentional confirmation? With many other shopping centers, an initial tenant list is typically made public around six months prior to opening; it's possible that we will have to wait until early 2007 to find out exactly what we will encounter inside the Natick Mall expansion.

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