Imagine River Street in Hyde Park with sporting-goods stores and more restaurants

The Bulletin reports the Hyde Park Board of Trade is looking to attract new businesses from Cleary Square to Logan Square and that sporting-goods shops, sit-down restaurants and bakeries top the list. Also, with Roslindale now filling up with people priced out of JP, the board wonders when Hyde Park will fill up with people priced out of Roslindale.



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Local retail is kind of dead

Look at Roslindale - real estate prices have gone, forgive the technical jargon, bananas. In spite of the new housing being developed, there are few new stores. Some of the storefronts have filled in yes but not with retail. I don't know what went into the former thrift shop spaces but they are offices of some sort. Same w/ the old Bob's Pita space. In the RVMS area, the only new store is the craft beer place which is a welcome addition but effectively invisible in terms of street level retail.

I think that's probably fine and it's the future barring a collapse in the commercial rents which makes it feasible for someone to pay the bills selling yarn or the like.

New businesses in Rozzy

There has been some retail development in recent years:

1. the re-opened Cheese Cellar
2. Busted Knuckles
3. the tattoo shop on Belgrade
4. the oft-maligned Petco Express (I'm loyal to Pet Cabaret)
5. Seymour Green (the headshop on Poplar St.) seems pretty new, unless I never noticed it before
6. the craft beer store you mentioned
7. a kitchen gadget store (it failed after a year)

But I agree with your overall point that Roslindale could use more diverse retail options. I, for one, would love an independent bookstore, and would gladly divert the $100s/year I spend online to a bookstore within walking distance. Of course, that's just a pipe dream (thankfully, Seymour Green can help with that).

On the other hand, there still aren't that many empty storefronts, and there are a lot of new/soon-to-open restaurants/cafes:

1. Two coffeeshops (Green T and the one with the oversize cups)
2. Effie's Kitchen (former Wapo Taco)
3. "pop-ups" at Seven Star
4. Delfino's replacement for Derna's (when is that opening???)
5. The restaurant planned for the substation

TLDR: In the past 5 years, retail and food service options in Roslindale have gotten much better.


Seymour Green- it's complicated

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First, this is somehow their second go around at the same space, with no tenant in between, but that's between the landlord and the tenant.

Second, Seymour Green is, IMHO, the descendent of George's Sights and Sound, which I used to go to on Fridays after getting out of school at Sacred Heart, so it's actually kind of old.

Of course, I'm so old that I remember the sporting good store in Cleary Square, which is where the post office is now. I do take what the Board of Trade says with a grain of salt- they say there's 155 businesses between Cleary and Logan Squares. I think they are casting a wide net, one that encompasses the entirety of the neighborhood.

Not quite my point

We've had a steady stream of retail in town with mixed results which is why I think it's pretty topped out. I could easily reel off 10 places that have come and gone in the last 5-10 years as well. The way people buy stuff has massively changed and isn't changing back.

Consumables (restaurants, wine, coffee) and services (yoga, nail/hair salon) will be fine although I suspect we're about to have too many restaurants for the customer base. Hopefully not though.

PS for any readers: the ramen

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PS for any readers: the ramen popup at Seven Star is SOOOOOOOOO TASTY. Absolutely worth going. So good. Pork buns were amazing.

Had it for 1st time last night

I Agree, the pork buns are amazing. Thought $14 was way too much for the ramen, which is mostly just noodles and broth, with very little veggies/meat.

Yeah but everything at that

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Yeah but everything at that place is just a liiiittle overpriced, so I expected that coming in.

I'm confused

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Wouldn't the City/Town of Hyde Park still have to levy taxes to pay for things like schools, police, fire, the library, and so on? My understanding is that the tax rate in Boston is, to say the least, roughly the same as most of the suburbs around it. I don't see how Hyde Park could somehow be the New Hampshire of Boston area towns (ignoring, of course, that towns in New Hampshire can have a property tax rate of whatever they want it to be.)

bitter hippies kill Boston businesses

Bostons is much higher. For years Brookline and Cambridge had one rate for commercial and residential and that is how they built up better retail. Dedham and Watertown were also lower although they have started to creep up in recent years.

The demand to get the money from business is a collusion of Curley-era ideas about factory owners and renewed whining from bitter hippies.

The hammer falls hardest in small shops in the outer neighborhoods. Downtown they either swing reductions through blight development or non-profit exemptions.

Seems anecdotal

Here's my anecdotal counter - in Roslindale the issue with the high turnover along Birch and Corinth St is that the rent is too damn high. The landlord for these spaces is more interested in a certain income stream than trying to support a long term tenant through lower rent. Now, that's their right and I have zero faith the city could do anything effective to counter this but I don't think it's fees and taxes.

Second anecdotal counter - who are the 'bitter hippies' that were in power during the many years of Menino? And now Walsh? Or on the City Council? I literally can't think of anyone who fits that description. I mean that concept alone makes your whole post absurd on its face.

hack/progressive alliance

Sorry to spread a right-wing meme but there's always been an alliance of low ability hacks and anti-commercial hippies and the result is weak growth and under-performing main street business.

I think you have it right on the outward signs, if we had a low commercial rate you would see more building and development of business and not just housing.

It's obvious. Why would you develop commercial and pay 3x the tax?

Riddle me this, then

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Why is West Roxbury doing better than Hyde Park in retail, when commercial tax rates are exactly the same?

Jamaica Plain?

As noted before me, Roslindale's issue is rent, and yes, landlords pass on taxes to renters, but the mix in Roslindale would seem to be what those at the Board of Trade meeting would like (though they could be making a deal with the devil to wish it on them.)

Brighton, Roslindale underachieve

I see with my eyes. City neighborhoods have always underachieved by comparison to near suburbs like Dedham, Waltham, Watertown, Melrose and Braintree. I mean drive down Washington St and see what happens when you go over the line.


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Going, say, 4 miles on Washington Street on either side of the Boston/Dedham line, I'd say advantage Boston. Dedham, Waltham, Watertown, and Braintree all have those huge commercial strips that are not on a human scale. That said, ever visit the South Bay Mall? Dorchester competes with your examples, as does Allston/Brighton. Hyde Park could not get Route 1 or 128 traffic, nor would they want it. They want to be JP or Roslindale, not Dedham.

In the end, HP's issue isn't vacancies in commercial, but the mix of stores. Roslindale is pretty much the exception in commercial vacancies, but that is the landlords' fault for the most part. So no, taxes are not the issue.

Pro Tip

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Just because an essay from 20 years ago or more is on the Web, does not make it 1)validated; 2)peer reviewed or 3) distinguishable from anything else that any given person has written on anything.

In other words, you are going to have to do 1) a more thorough literature search to "prove" your point and; 2) explain how any of this has shit-all to do with Boston.

Look ...

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Strange women lying on their backs in ponds handing out swords ... that's no basis for a system of government.

Or philosophers lying on their backs handing out words ...


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How about a Starbucks? I live in hp and i have to drive to milton or w. Rox to get my coffee.

There's really nothing in cleary sq that attracts me other than fairmount grill and bacaros. A nice bakery and a sandwich shop would be great. I also like the idea of the old briar rose becoming a Mexican place. I also remember when it was annabelles.

Please no more convenient stores and hair salons.

Sporting goods store?

Sure, that will fit in perfectly between the dry goods store and the soda fountain. At last Timmy will have somewhere to buy a football!


We've been losing sporting-goods shops lately

City Sports closed, Sports Authority closed, Ski Market's successor closed, and most recently Eastern Mountain Sports in Harvard Square closed. I don't know why this whole retail sector seems to be failing. Don't people always need to buy things like basketballs and skis and hockey sticks?


That's just competition I think.

REI at Landmark ate EMS's lunch IMO, coupled with online resellers.

City Sports made operational and expansion errors and was then done in by Dick's but believe me you can buy pretty much anything you need from guns to sports bras at the Dick's in Dedham. That seems more like plain old capitalism.


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City Sports was great because they served the ACTUAL city, with goods the people IN the city would use for sporting purposes. Their demise was at the hands of a group of investors that thought they knew better than the guys that built that business from nothing to almost 20 store in Boston, NYC, Providence and Philly.
Then they started their own sub-par clothing line.
Nike actually owned half the retail stores (merchandising-wise they were given huge swaths of floor space and had dedicated merchandisers JUST for Nike.)
Started selling run-of-the-mill garbage when their focus was always on top-quality merchandise.
etc, etc.

Now I have to go to Dedham for sporting goods? Might as well go to Worcester! Biz101 is not always the playbook to follow folks.


Dick's Sporting Goods

isn't in or anywhere near Boston. They might do well to open in one of the many former Sports Authority or City Sports or EMS locations if they want our business.

Clarification needed

Harvard Square = in or near Boston.
Dedham = not anywhere near Boston?

You must be a writer for the Improper Bostonian.



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Sorry bud, but Dick's Sporting goods is less than 1/4 mile from the West Roxbury/Dedham line on VFW Parkway.

People do, but

People would generally prefer to buy them for cheaper online and have them delivered to their doorsteps for free, just like their books, cat food, and cleaning supplies.

Successful retail has to have a reason why people are going to buy that thing in a store, and probably pay a little more money for it than they would online.

Either it's a well-curated selection that draws you in, it's something you can try before you buy, it's something you need right now, or it's an impulse buy. Basketballs and hockey sticks are not such things, at least not to the degree sufficient to maintain an actual sporting goods store (not a sporting lifestyle clothing store) open on every Main Street.


-- Successful retail has to have a reason why people are going to buy that thing in a store --

I buy my sneakers at Marathon Sports. (11 Locations including 671 Boylston Street
Boston). I go retail because the salesman at my location can spot chain issues as good as any podiatrist and sell you what you need accordingly. A podiatrist recommended him to me and Crossfits for miles around swear by his talent. Six footsteps and he had my foot rolling right.

I buy everything else online. I think I am part of the future of what is going to happen to retail.

Nitpick: Basketballs and hockey sticks

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While you CAN buy basketballs and hockey sticks online, generally a basketball costs too much to ship to make it a bargain. My daughter went to buy a hockey stick and it took 20 minutes while the guy let her feel about 20 different models (wood, composite, graphite...) and then measured her and then cut the stick to her height. It was not something that could be duplicated online.


Batting 50%

The price on a basketball in-store at Dick's is the same as the price at Amazon. Shipping is free if you already have Prime. There's no benefit to buying it in the store.

Hockey sticks - you're right there. Expert advice and a custom fitting are reasons people buy things in a store. It's value added.

This is the reason we have more shoe stores than book stores these days. But the second time around? Like shoes, once you know what exactly you want, it can be cheaper to buy it online.

The future of non-online

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The future of non-online retail is in big megastores like Target, Walmart, etc - generalized places where the appeal is you can get whatever you need at the last minute (no shipping), get lots of things for your house in one go (no shipping costs), etc. The merchandise is the same corporate produced stuff you'd get online or at larger specialty retailers, but the shopping experience has conveniences that online hasn't managed to mated (especially now that Amazon two-day has become anywhere-between-two-and-five-day-depending-on-if-we-count-sunday-and-the-warehouse).

The other sector that will survive is smaller niche stores where they care specialty merchandise that big retailers don't, OR things that you really want to see/feel/browse in person - I'm thinking of small craft stores with high end specialty yarn, knickknack/gift shops with variety of thingies, certain clothes retailers and shoe stores, specialty grocery stores like the cheese place and CBC / Solera. Their appeal is in having what you may not have known you needed, and one-on-one good customer service, bolstered by the new awareness of locally owned = good.

Sports Authority and the like have the Target model - selling the same items you can get on Amazon, or even from Target - but selling ONLY those items. So they aren't hitting specialty market niche and they aren't hitting the "I need a ball and a mop and some milk and new socks" market that walmart does. All that's left is the "I don't have three days to wait for this soccer ball" and really, how many times does that happen?


Not likely

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Hyde Park resident for 18 years. They've been promising this since before I moved here. Great ideas, but it's not going to happen. Every time a store leaves, it is replaced with either an EBT convenience store, another hair/nail salon, or an ambulance-chaser chiropractor. It's just depressing. I don't think sporting goods, bakeries or more resto's will work out when the ones who are there now are struggling. Briar Rose pub has been closed now for at least a year and no sign of life coming back to it any time soon.


Not sure Briar Rose is proof of anything on River or Fairmount

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The guy who owned it opened it after his other restaurant/bar (Maggie Mae's, where Delicias Dominicanas is now) closed. And before that, it sat there for several years shuttered for several years because of issues related to the owner's finances that really related more to his life in Dorchester than anything in Hyde Park.

A better question might be to ask how the Fairmount Grille and Antonio's Bacaro are doing.

A new dance studio opened

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A new dance studio opened across from Briar Rose recently. Seems like a nice addition to the neighborhood at least, and I hope they do well there!

HP commerce at Wood Ave + River Streets

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The real secret to Hyde Park s beauty is there is strong community, proud ownership, gorgeous walking with Nature great proximity to highway,city and ocean and it gets beautiful cross breezes in the Summer.


Mexican Please

Would love it if someone would reopen the Briar Rose as a Mexican joint. Was at Bacaro tonight and they were busy. Overall HP residents don't go to local restaraunts enough....seems they go to Dedham spots and complain HP is dumpy.

Hyde Park

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What Hyde Park needs is a good pizza/sub shop near the Stop and Shop.


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Truman Parkway next to the Martini Shell Park.

Doh, of course!

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Well, I guess you could get some pizza up by the American Legion one, then drive down (although the place in Wolcott Square is probably closer) :-).

A good pizza and sub and ,meals near Stop And Shop

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CAPPY*S pizza, sub shop and meals and salads on Truman Hghy&Fairmount Ave has great food. The BEAN &CREAM