If you found the Natick Mall's renaming fascinating, you'll love what they're doing in Chestnut Hill

Are you ready for The Street Chestnut Hill?



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    You don't get it?

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    Well maybe you aren't the intended target demographic,pal. After much time [and $] a group of middle aged suburban developers decided on this 'hip' and 'happening' name change. You dig?

    *sarcasm off*

    Not just a grammar question?

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    Route 9 and its hideous internal median + fence is about as pedestrian hostile a "street" as one could imagine. No?

    In the wild, I've actually heard people say "The Derby Street Shoppes", with emphasis on the colonial spelling. I just can't imagine this Chestnut Hill grammar munged expression catching on likewise.

    Pity they didn't take a page

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    Pity they didn't take a page from Natick's book and go with "The Nut Collection"...

    How about "The Hill at Chestnut?"

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    "Rebranding it as ‘The Street Chestnut Hill’ more accurately reflects the sophisticated offerings and urban experience our customers can find here.”

    "Sophisticated offerings"? Seems like the same old same old line up of bland blah.

    If this is their definition of an "urban experience" I believe I will be staying home.

    Coach Hotel?

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    An exclusive gated street shopping experience without the riffraf - the latest jewel in the Hotel California chain.

    Just wait

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    The company will call it that in ads,promos,etc. The public will call it the Chestnut Hill Mall. Five years from now, the company will go back to Chestnut Hill Mall. Just like Natick Mall and the Boston Garden.

    Not the Chestnut Hill Mall

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    This isn't the Chestnut Hill Mall (or rather the Mall at Chestnut Hill as it's called). It's the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center where the Star is. But, yes I doubt if anyone will call it "The Street Chestnut Hill". It's just too awkward.

    This isn't the Chestnut Hill Mall

    Or even The Mall at Chestnut Hill. It's the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center, slightly closer to Boston and to Rt. 9. Obviously they're going to redesign/rebrand it as more of an "urban shopping experience" (i.e. a faux city street), since that's trendy right now.

    "The Street" is the problem - why highlight that?

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    The street being Rt. 9, otherwise known as an unmitigated traffic debacle at most times of day.

    I just noticed the signs for this today. I agree with most of what people have already said.

    What I can't believe, however, is that the City of Newton (and the Commonwealth, as it had some limited involvement here) did not require the following things, as a condition of the permitting for redevelopment of the OmniFoods site and the "lower" Chestnut Hill Mall:

    Omni: A weather-protected pedestrian footbridge across Route 9 to the "upper mall" (Bloomingdales, etc.). Let's face it - people shopping at these places are not going to try to walk across Rt. 9, regardless if there is a new traffic light or not. The car traffic going from one side of Rt. 9 to the other is going to make a road that is already overcapacity downright unusable even outside of the peak periods, particularly on Red Sox home game days (prediction: the inbound traffic will be backed up worse than it is in the morning, i.e., past 128 and into Wellesley). The amount of surface parking, (a la Legacy, which cannibalized the Atrium) seems like a huge waste as well. I'm sure New England Development cried that they couldn't do the project if they had to build the footbridge or underground parking though (which I refuse to believe).

    Lower Mall: improved access to and amenities (e.g. a boathouse/pier for kayak rental, etc.) for Hammond Pond. Why did that not happen? Is the pond privately owned (I don't think that is the case - I suspect it was the property owners on the other side who objected to having the rabble be able to paddle across to their shore)? As it is, the whole lower mall could probably not even have been permitted today given the proximity to the pond and the surrounding wetlands - I would have thought that some pretty serious mitigation would have been insisted upon during the redevelopment (as opposed to that foolish "swale" or whatever the hell it's called that was constructed along the border of the parking lot and the pond in a futile attempt to keep the parking lot pollutants out of it).

    On the whole, it's going to be interesting to see how things go when all of this development is done. My guess is that it will have a huge start, and then things will trail off as you begin to hear people say "I don't want to go over there - the traffic is just such a nightmare."


    Seriously - this is yet another attempt to EPCOT the world - attempt to recreate a watered-down "reality experience" without all that truly urban truly real stuff.

    This is a "street" for people who have visited the FauxNYC in Vegas and act like they've been to the real thing.

    These sorts of malls are also popular in developing countries, so that the rich people can shop the same chain stores found in Paris, Barcelona, NYC, London without encountering any of the unwashed low caste persons that make their charmed lives possible.

    A little help here?

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    When I looked at the bostonherald.com article, I rolled my eyes when I saw the Lululemon store in the artist's rendering of the new shopping center and they're stuck like that now.

    But seriously, I can honestly say that the only new business I'm looking forward to on Rte. 9 in that area is Wegmans. All those other stores are already in Natick, Dedham, Chestnut Hill, South Shore Plaza, Burlington, (insert suburban mall of your choice here).