Visions for Vacancy: Large Windows on Main St

What would you like to see in this prime Main Street location?

At 279 Main Street, across from Mishawum Park and right in the part of Main Street where business density starts to pick up, stands an empty set of large windows.

The space previously held a landscape architect’s office, but the owner moved after 12 years to relocate to Cape Cod, according to rental contact Tina Endicott.

She described the storefront as a “big open area” of about 2,000 square feet, including a private office and high ceilings.

Our question for you: what would you like to see in this space? Another office? A lawyer or an accountant, maybe? Or something totally different? Perhaps a cheese shop? A hobby store?

Share your vision with your neighbors in the comments below.

Alphanaut February 24, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Kathleen Whelan Giordano February 24, 2012 at 03:35 PM
You're getting some great ideas, Diane. No more nail or hair solons. I'd love to see a farmers' market in there year round. I also like the idea of a fresh, affordable bakery. If the space is big enough, why not support both? In answer to Seamus, there are other very successful storefronts on that block. I'm not excusing what happened to Durty Harry's, no one in town is happy about that incident. But, I feel, the more foot traffic, the safer any and all areas become. Good luck to you, Diane, and the Chamber of Commerce in reaching out to a new, exciting addition for Main St. Cookie
Matt M. Casey (Editor) February 24, 2012 at 04:18 PM
It would be beyond the borders of journalism for me to create a petition. However, if someone else were to create a petition, we could certainly report on it.
02129resident February 24, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Yes! I totally agree. But I'd much prefer a local chain as you suggest, not a Chipotle. Or maybe a local good burger place (a la UBurger or the like). What is going into the old Friendly's space - is it true that it will be Panera? Too bad, was hoping for a smaller local chain
Nathan Blanchet February 24, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Love the bakery idea. I've also wondered whether a veterinarian could be convinced to set up shop in Charlestown.
Joseph February 24, 2012 at 05:30 PM
A burrito and taco stand.
Seamus O'Sullivan February 24, 2012 at 05:47 PM
"See the town for what it is"?? What does that even mean? I'm talking about one or two blocks, the problems of which have been well documented on here and elsewhere. If you legitimately think that any halfway decent retailer/bakery/restaurant etc. is going to open up there, I want some of whatever you're smoking.
Diane Grant February 24, 2012 at 06:11 PM
i like that idea Bette.
Diane Grant February 24, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Nathan, we are getting a vet clinic at 24 Roland Street (in Sullivan Square) they should be opening at the end of March.
Diane Grant February 24, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Matt, i will look in to a petition. thanks! Diane
Christina February 24, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I leave within walking distance of that vacant business space and I would absolutely love to see anything local.... coffee/bakery, tapas restaurant or little taco bar (Anna's...yes!)...anything related to getting people in the community together. Main street has a lot to offer in terms of potential. I really hope a petition happens! I'd love to get involved. No more nail salons, dry cleaners, real estate offices, banks.... Nothing against them, I just don't think that is the best use of that space.
gabor bethlendy February 24, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Certainly not any type of chain of any sort. A local bakery, cheese shop, farmer stand...burritos and such are great for the BU/student area, but in Charlestown that seems odd at best. I do not see burritos a great draw for business or turist, etc. Nail solon, dry cleaners and such do not create a town atmosphere...
Christina February 24, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Gabor, since when is a burrito/wrap shop an odd fit for a non-student crowd? Anna's Taqueria has a location in Beacon Hill that's always packed with MGH staffers- As a healthcare professional, I can assure you there are plenty of us who absolutely love fresh wraps and burritos, and there are plenty of us who live in Charlestown! I'm all for anything that caters to community, healthy and local.
Joseph February 24, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I agree with Lisa about not getting off subject, but Seamus isn't completely wrong with his statements. What I do want to say is maybe businesses aren't attracted to this area for other reasons. It just seems so barren and desolate. Maybe that's why lawyers love it. lol. I think these buildings and storefronts are in need of some fresh paint, a few park benches and several more trees. Given those blocks some life!
Michael T February 24, 2012 at 09:56 PM
I agree a local bakery or burrito/burger place (Anna's, Uburger, etc) would be a great idea! Or better yet, how about an ice cream place like JP Licks?? Not many options for ice cream now that Friendly's is gone...
Sean Boyle February 25, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Get PS Deli (based in Southie - they have the BEST coffee, and its very inexpensive $3.50 for a bucket) in that space! .. that way people from Charlestown don't have to troop it there anymore! I swear every time you go into PS in Southie it's like little Charlestown
Townie Girl February 25, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I would like to see a nice Ice Cream parlor like the old wizzard, think of how nice it would be to be able to on a nice warm summer day with the family and get an ice cream and other mean of desert. it would bring the families and neighbors together again. and they can also support some of the local charlestown sports teams it could be a really nice neighborhood place. sort of like the zumes of ice cream. Just Saying.......
nancy liberman February 25, 2012 at 01:36 PM
amen on the burrito idea!
Daniel Marcella February 25, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Another Irish pub would be nice! :D
Debbie Evans February 25, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Agree! Or Boloco. I'm going to email them. Or what about one of those new burger chains - like Tasty Burger? Or healthy prepared foods to go, perhaps with some wine, cheese and apps that you could grab on your way to a party? Or any other kind of restaurant that isn't crazy expensive. I don't shop a lot, and with the diversity of the community, I think retail is tough. I'd love to see more, but I'm stumped to think of what might be able to survive. But another totally different idea would be a ballet/gymnastics studio/indoor gym. Might as well pull some money out of those young families who are likely to make the mistake of moving to the suburbs before they leave.
Mary Kay Donovan February 25, 2012 at 06:04 PM
The real question has to do with Real Estate 101 - what is the asking price for the space? How much sq. footage is there? What is it zoned for? Could the space be purchased? I think these questions are important to get answered before everyone starts dreaming of burritos, ice cream, etc.
Bette Task February 25, 2012 at 10:07 PM
How can we get all this info Mary Kay? You're right, we need answers to these questions. My guess is that it is not equipped to be a restaurant at all.
Bette Task February 25, 2012 at 10:27 PM
It's classified as office/retail space and the rent is $3000 per month. You can forget about your burritos and tacos!! Thank goodness.
don young February 26, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Not to mention the City's archaic permit process that constructs every imaginable roadblock to small business.
Joseph February 27, 2012 at 03:09 PM
So apparently Bette is against ALL food service ideas. Shocking that as a realtor you weren't able to answer Mary Kay's question.
Lisa McGoff Collins February 28, 2012 at 12:47 AM
nice idea, bring back the Old Wizard!!
Joseph February 28, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Bette - "It's classified as office/retail space and the rent is $3000 per month. You can forget about your burritos and tacos!! Thank goodness." Apparently, 'Thank goodness' is pro food service? Can't have it both ways Ms. Task. If you were my realtor and I asked you what a particular location is zoned for and you didn't know or didn't know how to acquire this information, as based by your reply to Mary Kay ("How can we get all this info Mary Kay?"), you would not be my realtor any longer. Along with my own research, I use (and pay) a realtor to give me the knowledge I need to make an educated investment. Maybe you're right, I don't know why you (realtors) get paid the fees you (realtors) do? Thank you for this lesson though - For Sale By Owner!
Sean Boyle February 28, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Whatever opens up .. Hopefully a food/icecream place, I hope it will stay open late as there is nothing to eat in this neighborhood, except speedies, after 11pm
diane grant March 01, 2012 at 07:30 PM
i second that! it was the Wizard many moons ago. awesome!
Rosemarie Ryan March 04, 2012 at 01:43 PM
How about a satellite office from the Mayor's office to help place our young people in jobs or help them to get jobs to be productive citizens of Charlestown. I'm sure there are young people out there that would like a job but do not know where the resources are or who can help them or what they are best suited for. Just a thought.


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