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Atrium Mall continues to lose stores

The Boston Business Journal reports on the latest refugees from the increasingly empty Rte. 9 mall.

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The article suggests that increased commercial space next door as part of the Wegmans build-out will hurt the Atrium stores. Isn't it likely to have the opposite effect there? More people coming to that specific part of Rt 9 means more potential shoppers lookin to buy something at the Atrium before going next door to Wegmans, etc. Another part of the article blames places like the Natick Collection for stealing customers...but they are going there instead because there's more there than just the one or two stores they needed that trip. Wegmans will make that piece of road a destination again bringing people back to the mall's doors in my estimation.

In fact, if I were them, I'd work closely with Wegmans to see about connecting the lots so people could just walk right into a side door on the mall.

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People going to malls in Chestnut Hill don't walk anywhere, they drive. A neighboring mall might as well be on Mars. And the new building is likely to be surrounded by parking. Unless Simon owned them both, they're unlikely to cooperate.

Unless the Atrium fills the Borders space really soon with something really compelling, I think this mall is going under. Retailers want to go where there are lots of other stores. There's just too much vacancy to draw anyone unless they really slash the rents.

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It looks to me like a large apartment or condominium building (Imperial Tower) and several smaller buildings separate the two developments.

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It's amazing they have any stores left at all. I was there last year to use a Cheesecake Factory gift certifcate and the place is very dreary. I can't imagine they attract many shoppers.

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The Cheesecake Factory is often PACKED. I've had to wait over 40 minutes before at the Atrium location.

I think what the mall should do is keep the incredibly (almost freakishly) successful restaurants and convert the upper floors into either offices or condos. The thing Atrium has going for it is a very impressive free garage that goes deep. I propose that levels V, A, and B are reserved for restaurant parking and that C and D become office/condo parking.

The mall also has an abundance of great scenic Montgomery traction elevators. 2 should be kept to serve the restaurants and parking (serving B, A, V, 1, 2*) and the other two could be express to offices and parking (serving D, C, 2*, 3, 4).

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The Cheesecake Factory is often PACKED. I've had to wait over 40 minutes before at the Atrium location.

I seldom wait that long at real restaurants.

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...it's bleak and nearly dyin'.

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. . . not an eye pleasing drive to the 5 Guys place in Natick for my bi-weekly fast food feast.

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Bertuccis and the Vietnamese restaurant, Le's, are keeping the Atrium on life support. What it really needs is a solid anchor tenant and/or something that really differentiates it from the Chestnut Hill Mall.

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This article certainly didn't take me by surprise. My husband and I go to the Atrium fairly often, as it's just down the street from where we live and have free parking garage parking. However, we hate going there. We only ever go for the restaurants, but just walking through there is painful. It's so awkward when you pass a shop and the employees nearly reach out and pull you in, they're so desperate for customers. And if you do go in, it's even more awkward because they're all over you trying to "help" you (their first customer of the day, likely) to make a purchase.

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. . . going there and I don't like the Chestnut Hill Mall that much either.

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the worst! the place is built for two seat mg's. everytime ive ever gone there ive almost been crushed by some old lady in a benz. then you get inside and the stores blow! if i owned the place i would focus on spa/pampering type places that cater to the 1%s.

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The city of Newton should put a signalized pedestrian crossing between the Atrium and Chestnut Hill malls, somewhere around Moody Street. Then you could park at either mall and just walk a short distance to the other. As it is now, the Atrium mall is very difficult to reach from the north side of Route 9.

Edit: It looks like that's actually planned as part of the Wegman's development. See map and graphics at Newton Patch.

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If I wanted to shop sans car, I'd go to Newbury St., Harvard Square, Downtown Crossing, the Galleria or the Pru. For walkability, this section of Route 9 may as well be Houston, Texas. There isn't even a sidewalk here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=42.31955,-71.178693...

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The idea isn't so much that you'd arrive here without a car, but rather that you could park once and walk to all three shopping centers (Atrium, Wegman's, and Chestnut Hill Mall). The new crosswalk should help.

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in Atrium and Chestnut Hill without walking. It's called the Green Line. Tiffany's? In Copley. Williams Sonoma? Same. Apple store? Ditto. Crate & Barrel? Right again. Charley's? Now you're getting it. Sephora? Bingo. Le's? Packard's Corner. Bertucci's? Try Kenmore.

Bloomie's. Well, I guess we need to give the Cosmo lunch crowd something/

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so that will be a pretty big exception.

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Your point?

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Ron it sounds good on paper, but remember there's no public parking there. The malls are private property. They don't allow you to park there for free so you can walk elsewhere. In fact they have every right to tow your car should you park there and then leave the premesis. I don't like it, but that's how suburbia is designed.

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so if you parked at one and shopped at the other, you'd still be shopping at a Simon mall. Simon doesn't own the future Wegman's development, but from reading various news articles online, it appears that some agreement was reached between Simon and the Wegman's developers.

I don't know who else would use this new crosswalk, other than people who parked on one side of the highway and want to shop on the other.

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How about some affordable housing? Mixed income housing? Housing for people with disabilities? (Lotsa elevators in there already.)

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Yay! Section 8 housing to put a nail in the coffin of Atrium Mall!

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