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News Updates: January 2007

All updates from the month of January 2007 are listed below.

UPDATED: Natick agrees to revert to old branding
Written by Justin on January 18, 2007 at 9:25PM
  • Natick is no more: the mall has reverted back to the name it held from its opening in 1966 until November 17 of last year. General Growth officials agreed to give in to the pressure of several (town of) Natick officials, who claimed that the mall was trying to steal the identity that the town had laid claim to since 1651. While mall management considered the rebranding of the mall to be a move that paid homage to the town, many felt that the name created a great deal of confusion between the town and the retail/residential project. Natick selectman Josh Ostroff, who spearheaded much of the effort, was pleased by the change. In an interview with the MWDN, Ostroff noted that the move shows the mall's continued effort to work with the town.
  • Many traces of the Natick brand remain; however. All of the decor in the mall promoting the expansion features the now-former logo, and the logo remains on the mall's website at natickmall.com.
  • The return of the mall name is temporary, however. Natick Mall senior marketing manager Stephanie Gambino told Framingham/Natick Retail that while the phrase Natick Mall will remain the facility's legal name and will remain on all road signage as well as in the street name of Natick Mall Road, the mall will be branding itself with a new word added onto the end of Natick, e.g. Natick _______.
  • More information about this breaking news can be found online at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/homepage/8998995946444423167 and http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2007/01/18/for_mall_new_name_rings_up_trouble/.
Nouvelle at Natick holds topping off ceremony
Written by Justin on January 18, 2007 at 7:12PM
Could "Ken's Steak House & Luxury Hotel" soon flank Rte. 9?
Written by Justin on January 18, 2007 at 7:05PM
  • Possibly. Tim Hanna, owner of the restaurant legendary for its salad dressings, is evaluating constructing either a hotel or a small shopping plaza on the property of Ken's and the adjacent building that previously housed Borders. According to an article in the Boston Globe, Hanna is looking into partnering with a "name-brand" hotel chain and begin construction some time within the next three to five years.
  • The article is online at http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/01/18/hotel_may_join_menu_in_future_kens_says/.
Controversy brews over usage of 'Natick' name
Written by Justin on January 16, 2007 at 11:36PM
  • The two entities best known for their use of the word Natick - the town of Natick and the mixed-use development previously known as the Natick Mall - are setting the stage for what could become an interesting ordeal over the General Growth-owned establishment's new symbol.
  • In November 2005, mall officials filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA; to trademark usage of its newly incorporated logo, the cursive-styled 'n' with the word Natick written beneath. However, many in the town feel that the act of trademarking the 'N' word and symbol goes too far. With the mall's trademark application in a 30-day opposition period, the Natick Board of Selectmen is scheduled to evaluate the application on January 22 to determine whether any steps should be taken. Some, including selectman Josh Ostroff, are concerned that the mall's application may prevent the town from using a stylized symbol in the future to promote itself.
  • More can be found in the MWDN at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/homepage/8999002624883687423.
Natick unveils plans for grand opening gala
Written by Justin on January 14, 2007 at 1:11PM
  • With less than nine months until the opening of the Natick Mall's luxury expansion, planning has begun for the grand opening of the facility. An invitation-only, gala will take place on September 6 with guests slated to include Natick native Doug Flutie and the "social, business, and civic 'who's-who' in the Metro West area." Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism.
  • The gala is being designed by Steve Kemble, the Dallas-based party planner and star of the Style Network's Who's Wedding Is It Anyway?, who will design the celebration to incorporate the themes Hip, Luxurious, Inspired, and Unique, and food, entertainment, music, and decor to match. Mall general manager Frank Lazorchak and Laurie Flutie will serve as the co-chairs of the event.
  • The full press release will be posted shortly on the From Wonder Bread to the Natick 2007 Expansion page.
Natick (mall) gets mention in Forbes
Written by Justin on January 14, 2007 at 12:57PM
  • The Natick Mall received mention in a recent story in Forbes about the world's 10 largest malls. While the article focuses on the building boom of malls in Asia and the fact that the only American mall to remain on this list is the King of Prussia Mall in suburban Philadelphia, PA; it also mentions the ongoing expansion project at the Natick mall as one that mirrors GGP's vision of acquiring and revitalizing properties. The article states:
    • Longtime anchors Macy's and Sears aren't going anywhere, but a major expansion will add two luxury condominium complexes and an upscale shopping area headlined by Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.
  • You can see the full article online at http://www.forbes.com/business/2007/01/09/malls-worlds-largest-biz-cx_tvr_0109malls.html
Lemnios set to leave Natick
Written by Justin on January 14, 2007 at 12:49PM
  • That appears to be the case. Natick Town Administrator Phil Lemnios is slated to leave town in several months to begin work as the town manager of Hull. Lemnios, a key figure in the approval of the expansion project at the Natick Mall, said to the Boston Globe that after several years of running Natick, he was attracted to the idea of running a community like Hull with a substantially smaller budget. He also served as the town manager of Hull from 1992 to 2003, before accepting the position in Natick.
  • The full story can be found at http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/01/07/former_town_manager_lemnios_plans_to_return_to_post_in_hull/.
Waldenbooks at Natick to close Jan. 22
Written by Justin on January 14, 2007 at 12:40PM
  • In an effort to phase out some of the company's smaller stores, Ann Arbor, MI-based Borders has decided to shutter several Waldenbooks stores in eastern Massachusetts that are underperforming or located close to a full-service Borders store. This decision will lead to the closing of the Natick Waldenbooks on January 22nd, to be followed by the closing of the Needham Waldenbooks on Jan. 23 and the Copley Place Brentano's on Jan. 26. The closest Borders store to the Golden Triangle following this move will be the location near the Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough.
  • More information can be found from the Needham Times at http://www.townonline.com/needham/homepage/8999012487235895295.

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