The past few years have generally been good for retail in Newton’s village centers, especially with all of the new restaurants coming into the City. Even so, we have also lost stores that have been part of our community for quite a while. We have also lost a few new additions that seemed like they were locally loved, but which didn’t quite make it.
Newtonville Pets have announced that they will be closing soon, and Waban’s Freeze will shut its doors today for the last time. Newbury comics closed its Newton Store on Needham Street a few months ago. All appear to be closing for very different reasons, but it does mean that we have empty storefronts in our village centers and commercial corridors.
Economically, times are better than they have been in a while. We see this in all of the different development projects that are either going on now or which are being discussed around the City. However, is the small village merchant feeling the same prosperity?
I have spoken with many of the local business owners and have my own opinions about what is and is not working. What do you think about our local shops and merchants? What challenges do they face that we can and should address as a City?
Also, what would you like to see go into the vacant storefronts? What kinds of stores would you be willing to shop at and support?