Star Market to The Container Store/Boloco/Ben & Jerry's
1265 Worcester Street, Natick, MA, 01760
Facility built: 1966
Facility opening: 1995
stores in former: Star Market, The Disney Store, The Walt Disney
Gallery, Sneaker Stadium, Just for Feet
stores: The Container Store, Boloco Inspired Burritos, Ben and Jerry's
(Store) website: http://www.containerstore.com,
Mall has long had an outlot located near the Filene's building, close
to Route 9. The facility opened in 1966, the same year that the Natick
Mall was construction. When the building opened, it was part of the
grocery store chain. The grocery store was 36,206 sq. ft, and had
rather tall warehouse-style ceilings, unusual for a store of that era.
I recall specifically that they stacked their paper towels/toilet paper
very high in that aisle. The Star Market closed its doors for the
final time on Saturday, November 12, 1994, around the same time that
the Natick Mall closed.
after, the building was converted into a multipurpose facility housing
numerous retailers, and became managed by S.R. Weiner, whom had
previously managed the Natick Mall. It was originally slated to house a
facility known as DisneyQuest, which is considered by Disney as an
"indoor interactive theme park". Plans for this facility were shelved,
and DisneyQuest ended up being built in Lake Buena Vista, FL, instead.
Disney did stay as part of the project, placing The Disney Store in the
plaza, rather than in the mall. They made their store larger than most,
and added a separate entrance for The Walt Disney Gallery, an upscale
section of the store. To the right of The Disney Store was Sneaker
Stadium, a store that sold a variety of athletic shoes. Sneaker Stadium
did not last long, and within a year or two, the space was replaced
with Just for Feet. Just for Feet was very similar to Sneaker Stadium,
especially in the fact that they did not last long either. Despite my
expectation that Just for Feet would be replaced by Famous Footwear, it
never happened. Finally, on the right most side of the plaza is Ben
& Jerry's Ice Cream, a tenant that has been there since the plaza
closure of Just for Feet, one would have expected a new tenant to have
come in soon, given the state of retail in the area. Yet that was not
to happen, and the space remained vacant for the rest of its life as an
independent parcel. The plaza hit another sour note when The Disney
Store hit financial troubles and decided to close the Natick store in
mid-2003. This left the small Ben & Jerry's as the only tenant in
Just as the
plaza seemed slated for demolition, it was announced that in October
2004 that a new tenant would come to the plaza. The Container Store, a
store that sells storage supplies and the like, was entering the Boston
area through an initial Newton location, and would soon begin work on a
Natick store at the plaza. The Container Store would be taking the
place of both The Disney Store and Just for Feet. S.R. Weiner had
certainly taken their time, but The Container Store, following
extensive exterior renovations, filled the long vacant plaza when the
new store opened on April 9, 2005.
2007, Boston-based Boloco Inspired Burritos opened in a small space
between The Container Store and Ben & Jerry's.
My Pictures: taken June 18, 2006
This is The
Container Store, which sells overpriced containers in an IKEA-like
setting. When The Container Store took over the site, they took off the
Disney-style facade and implimented this new look. While the building
is very plain in style, the blue awnings give the building an upscale
look that comes off a lot better than the former Disney Store facade.
This picture is from the exact same angle as the picture below.
My Pictures: taken May 8, 2004
Media: A photo of the plaza when it was last
fully occupied from the S.R.
site, floorplans below.
Related Links: None