Cities around the world have depended on stores and shopping to create an essential component of lively urban environments. “Downtown” and smaller main street areas have historically included a ground floor mix of large and small stores, civic and cultural spaces, restaurants, and places of employment that have focused activity and transit service in their host cities and towns. On the upper floors, residential, office, and other uses have also been a part of the mix. As a result, shopping areas are enshrined, though not always perfectly, in zoning codes, and we continually look for revival, reconstruction, or some sort of innovation. But we are losing this asset dramatically, and many vacant storefronts across the commonwealth tell that tale.
As the volume and diversity of retail use shrinks in almost every downtown across the country questions loom. How are we going to fill the large and small vacancies dotting our streets? What should municipalities be asking of developers and landlords? Join WalkBoston and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce for a panel presentation followed by a discussion of these questions and more.
- M. David Lee, President, Stull and Lee, Inc.
- Che Anderson, Staff Assistant, Office of the City Manager, Worcester
- Jesse Baerkahn, President and Founder, Graffito SP
- Matt Curtin, Senior Vice President/Partner, CBRE/New England
- Emily Isenberg, Founder, Isenberg Projects