X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

BOSTON-The city will spend more than $1 million during the next year to rebrand the image of Downtown Crossing in an effort to turn the city’s core retail district from a daytime shopping mecca to a destination hot spot. “Downtown Crossing really needs to be reinvented,” Randi Lathrop, the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s deputy director for community planning, tells GlobeSt.com. “It needs a new brand, a new look.”

Next week, city workers will begin giving the downtown retail district a new look with hanging flowers, plants, new benches and matching banners, pushcart awnings and umbrellas. Light poles have already been painted, streets power washed and graffiti removed from more than 40 Downtown Crossing businesses and vacant storefronts now feature artwork by many city artists, says Lathrop.

The makeover includes plans for new sidewalks, wireless internet service and more than 30 new trash receptacles will be installed along Washington, Summer, Winter and Court streets and at Lafayette Place. Filene’s, one of Downtown Crossing’s two major department stores has already planted 40 rose bushes in a park adjacent to its Washington Street building.

Business owners also are being asked to do their part through a public-private fundraising effort that is expected to generate more than $400,000 in additional revenue, Lathrop says. The city also is working with store owners to install better business signs and has notified about 40 retailers that their signs must be changed because they are not in compliance with zoning regulations.

She says the city also is talking about hiring a consultant to help rebrand the retail district’s image and is moving forward with plans to site a supermarket and several sit-down restaurants in the shopping crossroads to draw residents to the area after work. Retailers, lured to the Back Bay and the suburbs, have left the area with a retail vacancy rate of 7% compared to about 5% along Newbury Street.

Target has expressed interest in moving into Macy’s Department Store when that retailer relocates to Filene’s following a merger between the two department stores. Other developments include the recent renovation of the Opera House and the redevelopment of the Paramount Theater into new shop space and dorms for Emerson College. “You’re going to see a real change within the next two years,” predicts Lathrop.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 3 free articles* across the ALM subscription network every 30 days
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Dig Deeper

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.