Three years after the Globe first brought us the story of "the suburban pioneers snatching up units" at the, um, Natick Mall, we get the latest update. Despite listing and auctioning off units for as little as a third of their original prices, the developer still can't find buyers for almost 30% of the units in this white elephant of a project.
Jeff Egnaczyk lives in Brookline and works in Natick, and he raves about the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority's Green Line shuttle bus from Woodland. Not only does it save him $76 a month over his old route (C line to Copley, commuter rail to Natick, Natick Neighborhood Bus to work), it runs more frequently and:
MWRTA customer service is light years ahead of the MBCR.
LifeStar7 tweets from a Worcester Line train with a diesel that died in Natick. He reports it took 40 minutes for the next train to arrive and for crews to latch the two trains together so the dead train could be pushed into town (and, of course, that means trains behind those two will likely also be late).
Steve Safran, on the same train, tweets they're now looking at getting into South Station an hour late.
A lone clerk was working the front counter when white male came into the front lobby, pulled a black revolver from his waist band. Suspect pointed the handgun at the clerk demanding that the clerk place all the money into in a black backpack that the suspect was carrying. The clerk emptied the register and complied with the suspect wish to get down on the ground as the suspect exited through the front door and ran eastward toward the Crowne Plaza.
The suspect was described as heavyset, 30, with dark hair. He was wearing gray sweats, a long-sleeve green camouflage shirt and glasses.
Get a friend to "try out" one of the keyboards up front at full volume to mask the sound of the alarm from you going into the storeroom. Natick Police report that's one of the techniques two guys have used to rob the Natick Mall Radio Shack three times now. They've gotten away with $5,000 worth of stuff to date.
UPDATE: The train finally pulled into South Station two hours late.
Grumpy commuters on the 6:55 a.m. inbound train out of Worcester tweet they were stuck in West Natick for an hour thanks to an engine that started spitting fire and smoke before the T finally got another train to slowly push it the rest of the way to Boston. Courtney Rice tweets:
Lots of sweaty and angry people.
Steve Safran adds:
The MetroWest Daily News reports the Fresser's Club comes to an end on June 20, when Joan and Ed retire.
Ed. note: I remember when the place was in Shoppers' World, back when that was a real mall. Even after the move to Natick, you'd often see Ed behind the counter - and Joan behind the cash register. Damn, now I'm hungry for a roast beef on rye.
MetroWest Daily News reports.
Erica Farthing reports that for the next 30 days, all units not sold at that recent pin-in-balloon auction will be for sale at auction prices.
The Globe reports units at the Natick Mall condo complex will be going to auction soon - with starting prices as much as 70% off - as its bankrupt owner tries to raise cash.
Sharon Machlis finds it pretty ironic that the for-profit owners of MetroWest Medical Center are howling about Newton-Wellesley Hospital wanting to open an orthopedics center on their turf even as they expand their own physical-therapy services in Milford Regional Medical Center's coverage area:
General Growth Properties, which operates Faneuil Hall Marketplace and owns the Natick
Mall Collection, filed for bankruptcy today.
He might come out from behind his counter and slash all your tires, as the MetroWest Daily News reports:
... "He slashed the tires on the left side of the Jeep, then he went around slashed the tires on the right side. He put the knife back in his pocket, walked away and continued to serve customers." ...
On Saturday, the kidlet and I went out for a drive. We wound up at the boat ramp at Cochituate State Park and were surprised to see a bunch of people out on the lake, including what looked like two families just having a grand old time out in the middle of the lake skating and ice fishing and just sitting around the grill (of course they had a grill).
The MetroWest Daily News reports a concerned resident told police there was "a large crocodile swimming in Fiske Pond along Rte. 135:"
... He said he saw an eight-foot crocodile swimming in Fiske Pond about 10 feet from shore heading toward downtown Natick. ...
Maybe the reptile had just come from the buffet over in Framingham.
Because this is a family Web site and all. The MetroWest Daily News reports:
A woman riding a MetroWest RTA bus made an unpleasant discovery last week when she sat down, only to find she her seat was covered in feces.
Yvonne Abraham nailed it in her column today about the emptiness that the Uptown Wing of the Natick Mall has become.
The kidlet and I roamed its sparsely populated walkways today and man, was it empty (don't worry, we weren't there to either smirk or check up on Abraham; we happened to be out that way anyway so we stopped in at Sears to get something truly boring and then decided to walk around). Clerks stared out at us bored as can be, when they weren't too busy chatting with each other or, as in the case above, abandoning all pretense that any customers would come in and so just surfing the Web. Even Neiman-Marcus was pretty much empty, which is probably just as well, since the kidlet spent most of our short stay there loudly complaining about how expensive everything was (I admit I snorted out loud when I saw a Juicy infant romper, although I couldn't decide which was worse: The sexualization of infants or the fact that the thing was going for $73).
However, I'm betting Abraham stayed on the second floor, because we did find one retail bright spot on the first floor: The Apple Store, which, while not packed wall to wall, seemed reasonably busy.
Meanwhile, the Ghetto Wing, i.e., the original mall, seemed to have a decent number of people walking around. We actually had to spend 30 seconds scouting out a table at the food court (I recommend the Indian food). I have no doubt people are buying less there, as well, but it still felt like a functioning place of commerce rather than a Potemkin Mall.