Today's Inky has a column by business section scribe Mark Armstrong, who ruminates on Chestnut Hill's retail woes and briefly touches on the plan by Midge McCauley and Downtown Works that was "unveiled" last night. McCauley was hired for $75,000 to conduct the study.
A takeaway figure from Armstrong's piece was this:
What did Downtown Works find from its interviews with "stakeholders" and on its walk-arounds? According to its report released Wednesday, too many banks, not enough restaurants, and a mix of stores that is not enticing to shoppers.
During the winter, the firm counted 175 business spaces on Germantown Avenue between Rex Avenue and Mermaid Lane. Thirteen percent of that space is now vacant. Retailers fill 43 percent of the space, while bars and restaurants account for 15 percent. Offices and religious institutions occupy 22 percent of the space, while service businesses work in 7 percent.
That's the kind of data that could probably have been gleaned from any regular Avenue shopper, but it will be interesting to see what solutions McCauley offers. We'll have more here on the plan shortly.