Scared of cookie cutter chain stores making downtown Wellesley go from extraordinary to ordinary?
Central Street should be getting ready for lots of chain stores and chain restaurants.
Does anyone care?
Look at the vacancies on Central Street and there are more coming.
Why the vacancies?
1. The general economy is bad. But, hey Wellesley is still Wellesley.
2. The rents are $50 ++ per square foot. This means that the GAP can pay the freight but a Mom and Pop clothing store – no way. This also means that small chains like Rugged Bear can’t make it here.
3. And, back to the parking. There is too little parking. Of course, raising the parking meter rates is beyond stupid. If you want the downtown to survive, you need MORE parking. You do not need to punish and tax the dwindling existing customer base.
So, create more parking.
This means double decking a lot or two. This building a parking garage. This means capturing some of the land from the railroad. This means doing a deal with Wellesley college.
Of course, without a benign dictator running town government, nothing will be done beyond head scratching and lamenting.
How about a study committee? How about spending $50,000 and hiring consultants to tell us what we already know?
The time to act was ten years ago. Now, sadly, the old downtown Wellesley may be gone forever.
Onward to Linden Street! Linden Street stores have plenty of parking, don’t they?