Boston Redevelopment Authority.

City of Boston commercial shopping area survey. Draft (Volume v.1) online

. (page 1 of 7)
Online LibraryBoston Redevelopment AuthorityCity of Boston commercial shopping area survey. Draft (Volume v.1) → online text (page 1 of 7)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


BOSTON

PUBLIC

LBRARY




Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Boston Public Library



http://www.archive.org/details/cityofbostoncomm01bost



0^Y^h 57 7



GOV DOC

3 3.^^







DRAFT
CITY OF BOSTON
COMT/IERCIAL SHOPPING AREA SURVEY

VOLUME I



INTRODUCTION
ALLSTON-BR IGHTON
BACK BAY-BEACON HILL
CENTRAL
CHARLESTOWN
DORCHESTER




J^ •— '



CITY OF BOSTON
COMMERCIAL SHOPPING AREA STUDY

(DRAFT)





W \ \ \




TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Introduction

II. Summary & Conclusions

III. Allston-Brighton

A. Harvard Avenue

B. Brighton Center

C. Brighton Avenue

D. Cleveland Circle

E. Oak Square

F. WashingtonStreet - Commonwealth Avenue

■ IV. Back Bay-Beacon Hill

V. Central

A. Hanover/Salem

B. Uptown (Boylston/Newbury)

C. Boylston Street/Massachusetts Avenue

VI. Charlestown
Thompson Square

VII. Dorchester

A. Codman Square

B. Uphams Corner

C. Fields Corner

D. Neponset Circle

E. Pierce Square

F. Adams/Gal li van Boulevard

G. Peabody Square

VIII. East Boston

A. Maverick Square

B. Central Square

C. Orient Heights

D. Day Square

IX. Fenway/Kenmore

A. Kenmore Square

B. Huntington/Massachusetts

X. Hyde Park

A. Cleary Square



TABLE OF CONTENTS



XI. Jamaica Plain

A. Centre Street

B. Brigham Circle

C. Hyde Square

XII. Mattapan

A. Mattapan Square

B. Blue Hill Avenue/Morton Street

XIII. Roslindale

A. Roslindale Square

XIV. South Boston

A. West Broadway/Dorchester Street

B. East Boston/Emerson Street

C. Andrew Square

XV. South End

A. Tremont Street (from West Newton to Berkeley)

B. Washington/Massachusetts Avenue

XVI. Washington Park - Model Cities

A. Dudley Station

B. Grove Hall

C. Egleston Square

XVII.. West Roxbury

A. Centre/Belgrade Avenue

B. Centre/LaGrange



I. INTRODUCTION

The commercial areas in the City of Boston were examined to determine
which areas were in need of increased off street parking facilities,
street trees, street furniture, neckdowns, improved pesestrian access
and additional street lighting. An attempt was made to determine which
areas in need of improvements could be improved at little expense to the
City.

Upon examination, it was found that commercial areas in the City fell into
three broad categories: regional areas, community areas and local neighbor-
hood convenience areas. For the purpose of this report, the community
commercial areas have been singled out as all of these areas are in need
of improvements. Most of these areas can be improved by the addition of
aesthetic type improvements without involving the private sector. However,
it is hoped that such improvements will stimulate provate investment and
interest in the areas.

The following report contains a list of all commercial areas, a list A/^<^
of the twenty-seven community areas, a capsule summary, and a brief descrip-
tion of each area and' maps of each area.

II. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

The primary purpose of this report is to examine the primary and
secondary commercial areas in each district to determine which areas can
be effectively improved by the addition of new street lighting, street
furniture, neckdowns, off street parking facilities, shopper parks and
other amenities. These areas have been examined and determinations have
been made. Priorities for improvements to commercial areas within each



/ORIENT HEIGHTS



THOMPSOr-I

~ so.-'



'HAYES
'^SQ.



DAY SQ.
■CENTRAL:' SQ.



BRIGHTON.
AVE.?

-BRIGHTON,
^CENTER-



lHARVARC



X\/



STUART-

.dartmouth ■
i >iuntington-

W. NEWTON
MASS. AVE.-^
lK)YLST0N



''V/ASHINGTON

VCOMMONV/EALTH

^( /AVE,

CIRCLE>



CAMBRiDGE)<^Os^-,ER

:harles
: boylston

'^'•ySWCHINAtw^



rpOWNTOWN



KILMARNOCK-

BROOKUNE-V HUt^rriNGTON-
LONGWOODK. MASS. JWE.^
IMASS.
''BRIGHAM /TREMO^

'CIRCLE-



ISTREMONT

!a^e, Sq.,



'MAVERICK 5a



HYDF/Sa



:;oLUMBLis';i



^massTave
vashington'



: BROADWAY- .

• DORCHESTER BROADWAY-

t. p/ 3(iP— ^»^E^/£RSON

ANDREW SQ



^DUDLEY/ STA5



rCENTRE ST/



EGLESTON,SQ.
\e^OVE\ HALU



JPHAM ^CORNER



'FIELDS CORi'vH

30WD01^*
WASHNGTON



CENTRAL-
BELGRAVE



CENTRAL -
LAGRANGEJ



ROSLINDALE SQ.



3LUE HILL
DRTON
/

BLUE HILL-\ I it^- /
■-TALBOT \/ r /



CODMAN SQ;
' / \

PEABODY SQ



/BLUE HILL=
fVifALK HILL

PIERCE Sd

jf;iAtTAPAN"



GALLIVAN- NEPONSET
ADAM.S^,^r CIRCLE



\CLEARY SQ



,//



-^Y-



CITY OF BOSTON
SHOPPING AREAS



BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY





district have been established. These priorities are based on the need

for, effect of, and relative cost of improving each area. tAiLL,.^

The improvements consist only of aesthetic improvements. Actual 'improve-
ments to physical buildings have not been considered in establishing this
program for improvements. The physical condition of the private sector of
each area does, however, play a major role in determining the effect of
aesthetic improvements on each area. If the area's buildings were badly
deteriorated and blighted, they would have a negative effect on any
aesthetic improvements. However, if the physical areas were in good con-
dition, the aesthetic impact would probably uplift the area.

Upon examination, it was found that all of the commercial areas studied
were in need of some type of improvements. Twenty-seven of the fifty-three
commercial areas studied are community centers. It is upon these areas
that any improvement program should be focused. Sixteen of these community
centers are generally in fair condition, seven areas are in poor condition
and four areas are in good condition. /^'''^^^i^t^

Twenty-two of the twenty-seven community centers have arbitrarily been
assigned a high priority for improvements. These areas should be examined
by the District Planners to justify this determination. These areas have
been assigned a high priority primarily because of the great need for im-
provements. Some of the areas will remain viable without improvements.
These areas are high priority areas because they can effectively be improved
with relatively little expense.

The following is a list of the twenty-seven community centers showing
the condition and priority for improvements assigned to each area. The
District Planners should study these areas and select the area from their
districts which they feel should be improved first. This should be the



area which has an urgent need for improvements, can effectively be improved
with a modest expenditure of city funds, is most vital to the community and
is the area which the residents of the community are most concerned about.

The areas selected for improvements by the District Planners should
then be reviewed by the planning supervisor to determine city-wide priorities.
From the list of thirteen areas submitted by the District Planners, four
or five areas should be selected for immediate improvements. The program
for improvements should then be geared to the specific problems of the
selected areas.

Community Commercial Areas in Need of Improvements

District/Area Condition Priority

Allston/Brighton

Harvard Avenue Fair High

Brighton Center Fair High

Brighton Avenue Fair Middle

Back Bay-Beacon Hill

Uptown (Boylston/Newbury) Fair High

Massachusetts Avenue/Boylston Fair High

Central



Hanover/Salem Fair High

Chinatown Fair High

Downtown Good Low

Charlestown

Thompson Square Poor Middle

Dorchester

Codman Square Fair High

Uphams Corner Fair High

Fields Corner Good High

East Boston

Maverick Square Fair High

Central Square Good High



//



District/Area Condition Priority

Fenway/ Kenmore

Kenmore Square Fair High

Huntington/Massachusetts Avenue Poor Low

Hyde Park

Cleary Square Fair High

Jamaica Plain

Centre Street Fair High

Mattapan

Mattapan Square Fair High

Blue Hill Avenue/Morton Street Poor High

Roslindale

Roslindale Square Fair High

South Boston

West Broadway/Dorchester Street Fair High

East Broadway/Emerson Street Good Middle

South End

Washington/Massachusetts Avenue Poor High

Tremont (from W.Newton to Berkeley) Poor High

Washington Park/Model City

Dudley Station Poor Low

Grove Hall Poor Low

West Roxbury

Centre/Belgrade Fair High



El/12



III. Allston-Brighton

A. Harvard Avenue

B. Brighton Center

C. Brighton Avenue

D. Cleveland Circle

E. Oak Square

F. Washington-Commonwealth Avenue



OCT 1 1 1973

A. Harvard Avenue - from Commonwealth Avenue to Cambridge Street

1. Number of acres: nineteen

2. Existing uses^ retail , Commercial , customer parking

3. Existing parking areas:
a. Private

1. Next to 121 Harvard Avenue / , ^'

2. Area behind B.P.L. ^) ,

a. 40 Harvard Avenue and abutting land ) ,. i ^ /

/ YPCr{tLUriCk3 l/ce.

b. Rear #156-162 Brighton Avenue f \ t

c. 138 Harvard Avenue j i ^

d. 122 Brighton Avenue

5. Class "B"^ V^^.^u.^= \c^m.^^Ad<^^^jA. •

6. Number of Retail Stores: seventy five

7. Number of banks: three

8. Number of offices: thirteen

9. Number of apartments: six

10. Number of gas stations: zero

11. Number of cacancies: nine^^ aU.^ *VWi c2^ O, /o <^^X>0

12. General condition of the area: fair

13. Total number of addresses: one hundred eight

14. Comments:

The Harvard fflvenue Commercial area is one of the most impootant
commynity centers in Allston. The residents and the businessmen are
yery concerned about the future of the area. They feel that the
area is being ocerrun by fast food enterprizes, nightclubs and adult
book stores; thus destroying the area has community retail shopping
area.
/ 15. Priotity: high

■/7 y




Mi?m



A. Harvard Avenue

1. Description - §ize Location

The Harvard Avenue commercial area comprises approximately nineteen acres
acetaes extending from Commonwealth Avenue to Cambridge Street. The area is a
Class "B" commercial area and has approximately 85 retail and wholesale
outlets. In addition to these the area has several apartments, offices,
a library, fire station, used car dealer, post office, church, and several
vacant stores. Harvard Avenue intersects Brighton Avenue; thus there are|
several stores common to each area.

2. Types and Number of Shores

The Hafvard Avenue commercial area has approximately 100 businesses. The
area has both retail and wholesale enterprises. Also, many dating bars, liquor
stores, fast food stores, and other types of enterprises which cater directly
to the large student population in the area are located 6n Harvard Street;
however, there are grocery stores, appaell stores, furniture stores, banks,
barber shops, laundries, beauty sa5ons, etc., which serve the geBeaai community^.

3. Conditions/ ' :-^sfjLG>^ (L0w^c::iyiro'^i\s- U'l-R,
The Harvard Street commercial area is generally in fair condition. The

buildings from Commonwealth Avenue to Brighton Avenue are primarily in good
condition. The other section of Harvard Avenue from Bfgghton Avenue to Cambridge
Street is in fair-good condition. The area has only one structure that can
be considered in poor condition and there are only five vacant buidlings in
the area. None of the structures are seriously blighted or deteriorated.

The Harvard Avenue commercial area is a strip commercial area. The
buildings extend along both sides of Harvard Awsene with the entrances right
on the sidewalk. As in most strip commercial areas, space is limited and
runentttielare lacking. Vacant land, which could be developed as a shopper s
park is also lackigg.

■ The l lay ii 'Q c elr A- lJ



The Harvard Avenue eommercial area is approximately one-half mile long.
The roadway iiself is sixty-vf#et wide and is a two-way street. Cars park
at the curb on both sides of the street thus limiting through traffic to one
lane in both directions. The area is not large enough to widen the sidewalks
in order to provide pedestrian amenities.

4. parking

The Harvard Avenue business area is in desperate need of municipal parking.
There is approximately 24,000 s.f. of available parking in the area. This is
customer parking for a few of the businesses such as Baileyj's Drug Store (5
TiOnrn"!, Shiirmut '^inh (ffi (i|ifiiiri), liilnnrhnrd''



spaces), Shawmut Bank (8 spaces), Blanchard's (20 spaces) and behind 123-145



Harvard Avenue (15 spaces). The parking lot on Glenville Avenue is owned by
the G & G Auto Park which leases approximately 50 spaces by the month to
residents in the area.

The area definitely has a lack of parking and also a need for a municipal
parking lot. There are several possible sites which could be used for off
street parking: 1. The Glenville Avenue parking lot, 2. |40 Harvard Avenue,
3. Behind #138 Harvard Avenue, 4. Behind #122-124 Brighton Avenue. Those
sites are currently used by the owners for parking; conversion to a municippl
facility should not be too expensive or difficult. However the feasibility
should be determined. These lots may not be adequate or may not be obtainaBiQ)e.

5. Evaluation of Viabilijzyt^ Community Intersit

The Harvard Avenue Business area is a viable area vl i m i oi ' D ' a i'

however, it has its

problems. The local businessmen claim that they are being squeezed by dating
bars, fast food establishments, and liquor stores. The area is mainly populated
by students and the commercial area is changing to meet their needs. The
older community is upset by this trend and is getting together to fight
what they feel are unwanted businesses currently the community is up in arms
of the opening of an adult book store. The community feels that the commer-
cial area is viable and they want to elckf) it that way. They are determined



(^i-'<



\,<j picvciiL uiiucbirauie uub i iicises i i uiii urit; aica.



6. Priority - Need - Effect'

The Harvard Avenue business area has problems which should be studied
and should be corrected. The parking problem is serious. The local
businesses have bery little parking and the businessmen are screaming for a
municipal lot. The area also lacks amenities for shoppers. There are no
benches or areas for shoppers to sit and relax for a few moments.

The Harvard Avenue area has a need. However it would take a considerable

expenditure of city funds to have an impact on the area. The area is nearly

a 1/2 mile long thus more than oee parking lot would be required to supply

addquate and convenient parking. AmonliiiiioB fari

Amenities for shoppers wbaflid not be feasible

because of the lack of space. Tte^ ihe priority for improvements should be

high. It should be the hi§h§st priority area for Brighton because the effect

of improvements would be great and the concern expressed by the community

is intense enough to justify all large expenditure of city funds.



STORES ON HARVARD AVENUE



/


1




1


3




3


8
11




^


11


Vacant
-Vtrcsnt


&'


15




c


16




V


17




r


20




9'


22-;


?4


10


25




II


32




/J


J4^




/3


37




'9


SO




/s'


44




/6


47




/?


51


Vacant


'f.


55




''/


57




ao


61-


63


^1


64




^.:)


66




^J


66A




.7c^


66B




,7 c,-


68




Sd


. 69





Straet ^ Store

Harvard Avenue Vacant
Blue Point Inc. Tavern



" V Q C ii><^t>



Furniture Leasing of America



Whileys Antiques & Used Furniture

Fire Co. Eng. 41 Ladder 14

Baker Drug & Novelty Co. Sundries

Chain Baygain Store Inc. Clothing

Model Hardware Inc.

Donerite Col Auto Uphol. Clnrs.

F C Gas Service Gas Water Heaters Sew,

Allston Tavern Inc. Liquors

Weinstein Motors Used Cars

Ritchies Towing Service

Sallet Furniture Co.

U. S. Post Office

Central Appliance Serviee Center

Central Appliance Service Inc. Repairers

Rassells Furniture New & Used

Allston Methodist Church

Specialty Cleaners & Dyers

Residence

Allston Lock Co. (overflow) & apartments (6)

Allston Lock Col - Vacant

6 apartments /-



5>9


71




^S


73




^?


74




3c^


75




3/


77




ja


81




3J


83


Vacant


3^


84




3^


85




J?C


90




s?


92




-^


94




.3-7


99




^a


103




ti


113




/J


116




^-j


120




//


121

122
125






^


■^7


125




-/^


125


rear


^-/


125


rear


?~c


127




pV


128




5~^


130




5:3


131


Vacant


sv


132




s'T


133




S'^d


134


Vacant



Harvard Avenue



4 Apartments

6 Apartments

6 Apartments

Sam's Laundry and Dry Cleanee?

Council Thrift Shop (Used Clol)

Allen Supply & Surplus Co, Hsehold Appliances

6 Apartments

ToU Gate II & Sperling Co. of N. Eng.

Lannes Beauty Salon

Lighting Fashing Center

Washerette Self Sewv. Laundyy

BostonPpaint Supply

Blanchards INc. Liquor

Blanchards Inc. Parking Lot

Warren's Men Store

Quality Delicatessen

Brighton Five Cent Savings Bank



Fathers Restaurant

Eastern Enterprises Inc.

City Bank & Trust

Seltzer & Co.

Body & Seal

Paradise Travel Service, Inc.

H-Two-0 Water Beds

Cappy Jean Inc. Beauty School

Academy of Beauty Cufliltwee
Tripoli Market Groceries



A-



^-y


135


9^


136


^~7


137


Co


138


c 1


140


C7


141


CJ


183


GY


146


c^


146




4&a— ~-


cc


150


CI


151


Ci


152q


cT?


152


yo


153


7/


154 Vacant


7;>


155


yj


156 Vacant


'^9


157


'7T


157a


■?c


160


'? 7


160


>5


161


77




^^




$1




%^


162


15


162


^^/


164


^^"


165



Harry Koss Watchmaker & Jeweler

Three Roses Pizza

Home Fair Discount Center

Allston Storage Bharehouse

Kenley's of Allston Women's Apparel

Allston/Brighton Area Planning Action Council

Allston/Brighton Neighborhood Employment Agency

Harvard Dress Shop

Woolworth



Jo Fran Shop

Nobby 's Men's Shop Inc.

EastBSffiitit'it|EEterprise

Miriam Trading Co.

Harriets Children's Shop

Thorn McAn Shoe

InsuRBnce & Realty

Rings & Things

Harvios Alloj/^ Precision Metals

Cohen Philip & Co. Appraisers

Dentist - John Hancock Ins.

Real Estate - Podiatrist - Personnel

Brokerage - B.P.L. - Optometrist

2 vacancies

Rose Fish Market

Capital Formal Shop Tax Rental

Quality Meat Shop

Betsy's Fashion Fabrics



SL>



ic


166


^7


168


n


170


S'}


L71


?o


172


«


74 Vacant


fa .


L75


9J


L76


'?f ]


L08


9'S'


L79-181


^^- ]


L81A


f7 ]


L84


f^ :


L85


f 7 J


186-188


/-=^c5


L87


/-/ ]


L90


l-J.


L92


/~3 '


L93


/-^


L93


/-5'


194



Army BaMAVy
Suburban Hair Goods
H & R Block
Shawmut Bank
Grow4eE' Fruit Co.

Bailey's Drug

Star Cleaners

Tower of Pizza

Edward's Coiffeures

Harvard Barber Bbpp & 9 rooms

A & P

Income Consultant

Bunretty's

Smart Uniform Center

Op)|btcian

Arena Loan Co.

Macy's Liquor
Auto Body Shop
Experiment Tv;o



•^ m
'-i



B. Brighton Center

1. Number of Acres: Eighteen

2. Existing Uses: Retail Commercial, Customer Parking

3. Existing Parking Areas:

a. Private ^■

(1) Lot behind #16 Wirt Street

(2) Lot behind #418 Washington Street

(3) Lot at Corner of Parsons and Washington

(4) Lots behind 290-338 Washington Street

(5) Lots behind 329-343 Washington Street

(6) Lots behind 412-414 Washington Street

b. Municipal

(1) Area wsxt to 398 Market Street

(2) Angle Parking adjacent to Police Station

(3) On Street meter parking

4. Potential:

5. Class "B"

4. Potential: Vacant lot behind Parsons and Washington Street

5. Class "B"

6. Number of Retail Stores: Siisty-five

7. Number of Banks: Six

8. Number of Offices: Nineteen

9. Number of Apartments: Nine

10. Number of Gas Stations: Two

11. Number of Vacancies: Six

12. Total Number of Addresses: 113

13. General Condition of the Area: Fair

14. Comments: Brighton Center is a community commercial area which
/ suffers



14. Coiiiments : Brighton Center is a community commercial area which
suffers from an inadequate off street parking facilities, open
space and amenities. Community concern although high is not as
concerned about Brigbton Center as it is about Harvard Street.

15. Priority: High "^



c;/r



II - Brighton Center

A. Description - Size - Location

/ Brighton Center is one of the most important of Brighton's
several retail commercial areas. The retail area extends along
Washington St. from Cambridge St. to Poster St. a distance of
approximatly 2/5 of a mile; the area contains approximately
eighteen acres. Approximately 90 stores , banks and offices are
located in the area, primarily along Washington St. In addition
to these 2 residences, several public buildings, private clubs,
2 gas stations and 8 vacant buildings are located in the center.

B. Types and Numbers of Stores

Brighton Center contains approximately 90 stores which
provide the basic goods and services needed by the community
which it serves. Included among its stores are a textile goods,
several fast food, banks, insurance firms, gas stations, a
police station, post office, churches, private clubs, realtors,
furniture and drug stores & offices. A Woolworth's, a pub and
a cafe are located on Market St. The Warren Hall Market and
Horrigan's Market are the local grocery stores. The majority
of the stores are retail oriented and as such deal directly with
the public.

C. Conditions

The physical condition of the Buildings is fair to good.
As noted Brighton Center is a long narrow strip commercial area.
The stores are attached in Block Long Rows fronting on Washington
St. The Buildings are one, two and three stores and are fairly
well kept. The stores are all occupied and operating. The area
has approximately 8 vacant buildings and no abandoned or
seriously blighted areas. Only four stores can be considered
in poor condition.

Brighton Center is a strip commercial area with the
structures at the side walk. Thus the area does not have a
green or park for pedestrians and shoppers. The area also lacks
available vacant land which could be developed as a park. In
addition, the sidewalks are not wide enough to allow benches for
shoppers.

Washington Street at Brighton Center is approximately 70'
■ wide. Cars are allowed to park on both sides of the street limit-
ing the traffic to two lanes, one in each direstion. Trolley car
tracks, once used by the now defunct Oak Square Branch Line,
remain in the right of way and should be considered as an imped-
iment to through traffic. The tracks should be removed and the
street repaved. Possible, the Side Walks could be widened to
allow space for the installation of pedestrian amenities.



D. Parking

Brighton Center has roughly 221,000 S.F. of available off
Street parking space which provides approximately 750 spaces.
The majority of this space is located behind the businesses on
Washington St. Most of the available space is privately owned
by the Banks, Stores, Offices, and Markets. They provide space
for their customers only. The municipal parking lot is located
on Market Street and provides space for forty cars. Also
approximately 75 spaces are available along Washington St.

It appears that by shear number that there is more than enough
parking in Brighton Center. However, in actuality a real parking
problem exists. The problem is primarily the result of poor access
to and poor visibility of the existing areas. The area lacks signs
directing shoppers to the existing lots. Access to the lots is
from the side streets and is not very convenient or accessible from
Washington Street. Also, people tend to want -to get as close to
the store as possible. Thus they desire to park along Washington
St. which increases congestion and restricts pedestrian movement.

E. Evaluation of Viability

Brighton Center is a viable community shopping area. The
area provides the essential goods and services needed by the
Community. The stores are in relatively good condition and they
attract the necessary customers to maintain operations in the
center. Improvements should be undertaken to increase the viability
of this area.

F. Priority - Need - Effect

Brighton Center has a need for improvements. The parking
situation should be studied and improvemients undertaken which would
increase use of the existing areas. The area also lacks green
space and pedestrian amenities. Efforts should be made to add
benches or to create a small park for shoppers. Physical improve-
ments are also necessary on Washington Street. The trolly tracks
should be removed., the side walks widened, the street repaved and


1 3 4 5 6 7

Online LibraryBoston Redevelopment AuthorityCity of Boston commercial shopping area survey. Draft (Volume v.1) → online text (page 1 of 7)