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The Evolution of the Route 30 Mall

Address: 341 Cochituate Road, Framingham, MA, 01701

Original Facility built: 1970

Construction Stage: Continual

New Facility opening: N/A

Known stores in former: Schlotsky's Deli, US Trust, Child World, Computer City, Office Depot, Frugal Fannie's Fashion Warehouse, Hit or Miss, Hanlon's Shoes, Greyhound Bus Stop, Baybank ATM, BankBoston ATM, Fleet ATM, Peking Garden Chinese Restaurant, Channel Home Center, Newbury Comics, Big Buy, Filene's Basement

Current stores: Papa Gino's, Big Fresh Cafe, Boston Market, Gold Star Indian Restaurant, Tennessee's BBQ, MetroWest Medicine, Bank of America ATM

Mall (Store) website: http://www.firstalliedcorp.com/propertydetail.aspx?id=13

News stories: None

Well, calling this thing a mall is a stretch, but we'll work with it. The Rte. 30 Mall was constructed apparently in 1970, and according to the assessor's database it's had tons of different retailers since its inception, many of which are listed above. One of the earlier anchor tenants was a grocery store named Big Buy; the store did poorly likely due to the proximity of the Stop & Shop at Shopper's World. The storefront later became Channel Home Center. Channel was a store similar to Lowe's, but appeared to be more of a department-store design than the warehouse styles of today's big-box home centers. Since then, the mall has had many different anchor tenants in this large parcel, including at least five different identities in the last 10 years or so.

The large storefront, in the late 80's, was a Child World store. Child World was a direct competitor to Toys R Us, and in the late 1980's it had 13 stores in the Boston area. However, sometime around maybe 1993 the chain folded. Soon after, Computer City took over it's spot. Computer City was a fairly nice computer store where yours truly got my first. The company was purchased by CompUSA in 1998, and because a CompUSA store is located a few blocks down Cochituate Road, the company closed the Rte. 30 Mall store. After a short while, the store became one of the Boston area's first Office Depot stores. However, by 2000 or so, the company was seeing a huge amount of pressure from Framingham-based Staples and OfficeMax, and decided to leave the area. (This ideology would change when Office Depot would pick up many closed Kids R Us stores in 2004 and make a reentry into the market). Not too long after, in late 2001, the site was given yet another retailer. Frugal Fannie's, who had a store on New York Avenue at the Framingham Industrial Park, had a roofing problem with their old store and moved to the Rte. 30 Mall. But even this successful chain did not last long, as in 2003 the company had financial problems and downsized to one location in Westwood, MA. It laid vacant for a year, until Filene's Basement made a reentry to Framingham, after their store at the Framingham Mall closed in 1999. The company opened the new Framingham store on November 17, 2004, after giving the building a massive and much needed facelift.

Over time, many stores have come and gone. A BayBank outlot ATM opened in 1982, the bank evolved to BankBoston, then Fleet, and on December 6, 2004, Bank of America. The mall's Papa Gino's was apparently the first in the area, if you look in the mall's corridor you can see a very retro Papa Gino's logo. A Greyhound terminal was at a time located at the mall, no idea where on the premises it was located. If you have any information, please send it along.

With a struggling economy, Filene's Basement began seeking rent concessions from many of their landlords, but First Allied refused to budge on the Framingham store's rent. As a result, the decision was made on January 21, 2009 to close the store. Filene's Basement's doors in Framingham were shut - for the second time - on February 28.

Aerial Photo: circa 1995

Aerial photo of the Route 30 Mall

In this photo, it is easy to see the Route 30 Mall, which is the complex in the middle. The building is surrounded on the south and west by the Lord Chesterfield apartments, on the east by Walmart Way (Caldor Rd) and on the north by Cochituate Rd (Rte. 30). The part of the mall that appears to be the furthest northwest is the Filene's Basement, and running down the middle from north to south is the mall corridor. Other than the many anchor changes, it has essentially remained the same over the years.

Media: None

Related Links: None

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