News Updates: November 2006
from the month of November 2006 are listed below.
Natick announces retailers to be part of
Written by Justin on November 17, 2006 at 3:38PM
Natick gets ready for grand re-opening
- The grand re-opening of Natick
was marked with stories, memories, and the promise to transform the
MetroWest shopping experience. But despite excellent remarks from
Natick General Manager Frank Lazorchak, General Growth CEO John
Bucksbaum, Natick Town Administrator Phil Lemnios, and General Growth
Vice PResident of Asset Management Michael McNaughton, the highlight of
the ceremony was easily the announcement of numerous retailers that are
set to become part of the mall's expansion when it opens on September
- In addition to Neiman Marcus
and Nordstrom, the mall's expansion will also house Louis Vuitton, BCBG, Stil,
a relocated Coach store, Lacoste, Oakley, The North Face, J. Crew, Zara, Johnston &
Murphy, Martin + Osa,
and Teavana. Restaurants are
include Metropolitan Bar & Grill, Sel de la Terre,
a yet-to-be named Legal Sea
Foods concept, and Finale
- Further, a top-level source at
the event confirmed that both the strongly rumored P.F. Chang's China Bistro and The Cheesecake Factory,
as well as a Starbucks Coffee, will be part of the project.
- There is a new page available
with photos of the event, it can be found here.
Written by Justin on November 16, 2006 at 5:13PM
New Bloomingdale's opens at Chestnut Hill
- The Natick Mall will celebrate
its "grand reopening" tomorrow after months of work to improve the
existing mall and prepare it for a 550,000 sq. ft. expansion that will
open next fall.
- The entire weekend will be
filled with events commemorating the renovations. At 9:45 a.m., a
holiday fashion show will lead into a press conference about both the
renovations and the mall's expansion slated to open on September 7,
2007. The press conference will also feature several announcements of
retailers that will become part of the new wing. Around lunchtime, Lord
& Taylor will provide mini-makeovers in the mall's center court,
where the expansion will soon connect to the rest of the mall. As the
evening progresses, at 6:30 p.m. Santa will lead a procession to his
new home; at 6:45 p.m., one of the children in the procession will flip
the switch and light up the mall's tree. On Saturday, the mall will
hold a ceremony for families in the food court from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00
p.m., at which balloon twisters, a magician, and life-size nutcrackers
will be in attendance. On Sunday night, the annual "Festival of Giving"
will provide shoppers with discounts, food, caroling, and other
entertainment while supporting local charities.
- Check back tomorrow night for
information on how the big morning ceremony turned out!
Written by Justin on November 11, 2006 at 5:02PM
Could Lowe's opening be delayed once again?
- Bloomingdale's yesterday opened
its new women's and children's store at the Mall at Chestnut Hill, in
the former home of Filene's.
- The opening of the store was
highly anticipated by Bloomingdale's officials, as the former Chestnut
Hill women's store, located across Hammond Pond Pkwy., had the chain's
highest sales per square foot. One Bloomingdale's vice president said
to the Boston Globe, "It's our most important store, outside our
flagship, and Chestnut Hill's mix of vendors is as good or better than
New York." The new store has also allowed Bloomingdale's to bring in
new vendors such as La Perla, Missoni, Stella McCartney, and Dior; as
well as returning the store's children's department. The template of
the new women's Bloomingdale's at Chestnut Hill will also be copied in
the coming months to future stores that will soon open in Chevy Chase,
MD; Orange County and San Diego, CA. The Boston Globe reports on the
opening at http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2006/11/08/a_makeover_at_bloomingdales/.
- Yesterday also marked the
"Grand Reopening" of the mall; some interior renovations were done in
recent months in preparation for the new Bloomingdale's. One must ask,
however, could these renovations at The Mall at Chestnut Hill be an
effort to keep shoppers loyal to the mall with the opening of Natick's
luxury expansion only 10 months away?
Written by Justin on November 11, 2006 at 4:30PM
Natick releases parking plan for holiday
- The town of Framingham is once
again threatening to fail to issue Lowe's an occupancy permit for the
slated opening of their new store on Cochituate Road (Rt. 30). Planning
Board administrator Jay Grande cites problems including a visible
elevator from Route 30, timing issues with traffic signals near the
store, and an outstanding violation of the town's sign bylaw.
Construction of the rooftop parking lot is yet to be completed, and
poor construction has led to rocks and debris getting into the
sprinkler system, which would prevent the system from working properly
in the event of an emergency.
- More information can be found
Written by Justin on November 11, 2006 at 4:13PM
Fire-like incident at mall construction site
- With the mall now missing one
of its three original parking garages, hundreds of construction workers
on site, and the holiday season fast approaching, Natick (Mall)
recently released a plan for coordinating parking over the next 6 weeks.
- One element will be having all
mall employees as well as all construction workers park on the lower
level of the under-construction Parking Garage F beginning on November
24, next to the future JC Penney store. This will clear a large amount
of the spaces in Parking Garage C where many of the workers currently
park. The completed garage, along with JC Penney, will open to
the public on March 1.
- Another change will be changing
the mall's entrances from Route 9. The current entrance near Lord &
Taylor is now closed, and in its place will be a new exit ramp leading
from Parking Garage C directly to Route 9, which will be open by
November 24th. Shoppers will still be able to enter the mall from Route
9 using the entrance near Macy's.
- Lastly, special traffic rules
will be in place along the mall's Speen Street entrance beginning
November 18th. These will require shoppers leaving the mall during peak
traffic times to turn right on Speen Street.
- The MWDN has more information
on the parking situation at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/businessNews/view.bg?articleid=145050.
Written by Justin on November 11, 2006 at 3:57PM
Burberry en route to Natick
- An incident at the
under-construction Parking Garage E hit the news earlier this week. The
event, which occured at 12:30am on November 9, involved the
short-circuiting of a temporary electrical panel in the garage, most
likely because of heavy rain. A press release issued by the mall
indicates that there was in fact not a fire, only excessive smoke and
charring of the electrical components. While the Natick fire chief
indicated that there were explosions at the site, mall general manager
Frank Lazorchak later indicated that there were instead only loud
"popping" noises, rather than actual explosions. Further, mall
officials indicated that the existing mall was entirely unharmed by the
incident, citing that the construction site is completely and securely
separated from the existing mall.
- Natick fire officials indicated
that there was an estimated $40,000 of damage to the $550 million
project as a result of the fire, there was no confirmation of this
figure by the mall.
- The MWDN has two stories on
this incident: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=145069
Written by Justin on November 6, 2006 at 9:25PM
Worker suffers small injury at mall
- Thanks to one Framingham/Natick
Retail reader, we now know another retailer that will be part of the
Natick expansion. A manager at the Burberry
store on Newbury Street in Boston confirmed speculation that the
retailer would be part of the mall's expansion.
Written by Justin on November 6, 2006 at 9:22PM
"Ang's China Bistro" part of Natick
- The MetroWest Daily News
reports that a small metal bar fell on a construction worker at the
Natick expansion. Serious injury was prevented because the worker was
wearing a helmet; nevertheless, he was brought to MetroWest Medical
Center's Framingham campus for treatment. The MWDN has more at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=144512.
Written by Justin on November 2, 2006 at 10:31PM
- While looking at the "Natick
2007 Expansion Architectural Design and Technical Manual", which can be
found at General Growth's website here,
I couldn't help but notice a specific rendering of the mall's facade.
Look to the left of the picture and you'll see "Ang's China Bistro".
Think about it: how many restaurants end in "China Bistro", have been
strongly rumored for months, and have obligatory concrete horses out
front? If you still can't figure it out, click here.
- Could "Ang's" be part of the
store announcements on November 17th? Framingham/Natick Retail will be
there; although coverage of the "topping-off" fell through at the last
moment due to personal reasons, look for extensive coverage of the
event here immediately following.
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