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Henceforth what has been known for 60 years as the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center (aka the lower mall), will be styled “The Street Chestnut Hill.” Take a moment to savor it. Note the lack of a dash or hyphen (so I suppose you say it all it once: TheStreetChestnutHill).

According to a spokesman for WS Development quoted in the Herald:

Rebranding it as ‘The Street Chestnut Hill’ more accurately reflects the sophisticated offerings and urban experience our customers can find here.

Of course, what they call it isn’t going to make one iota of difference. It’s a thoughtful development, which puts real design choices behind the claim to pedestrian centricity. But, it’s not an urban experience in a meaningful sense. You still have to drive to get there. It’s not particularly connected to its neighbors. It’s a simulacrum of an urban experience.

In a press release, the spokesman calls The Street Chestnut Hill a “hip new ‘town center.'” If there were only somewhere (or 13 somewheres) in Newton with a genuine claim to an urban experience where serious investment could be made to create a walkable, hip town center.







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