As Talbots Says Goodbye to Chestnut Hill, Other Shopping Areas Plan Expansion

The Chestnut Hill Shopping Center will be before the Land Use Committee tonight for a public hearing on potential expansion.

Adding its name to the list of recent store closings in Chestnut Hill, in the Mall at Chestnut Hill closed its doors earlier this month.

Talbots Corporate Communications & Community Relations Director Betsy Thompson said in an e-mailed statement the clothing store chain closed down the Chestnut Hill location on June 11. The shut-down came with the company's plans to close 110 of its stores "as part of an ongoing effort to optimize the productivity of our retail stores."

The Chestnut Hill location was closed, Thompson said, after the company did a "market by market analysis." 

"We look forward to serving customers at one of our many stores throughout the Boston area," Thompson said in the e-mail.

The majority of the 110 shore shut-downs will be done in 2011, Thompson said. Other Boston-area locations that will remain open include Wellesley, Natick and Boylston Street in Boston Back Bay. The company also offers online catalogue sales.

Talbots is just one of several stores in Chestnut Hill to recently close its doors, others include Williams-Sonoma, Origins and Borders in the Atrium Mall as well as  and  at the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center.

Both the Mall at Chestnut Hill and the Atrium Mall are properties of Simon Malls

Despite several stores closing, though, Newton planning and business experts , arguing that while some businesses are suffering from the economic downturn, restaurants continue to do well and consumer confidence is up.

To that point,  at the shopping center, and according to an article on Boston.com, Ann Taylor recently opened a "concept store" in the Mall at Chestnut Hill, the first of its kind in the Boston area. 

Meanwhile, developers working with the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center will be before the Board of Aldermen's Land Use Committee tonight to petition for several zoning changes and special permits that would allow some renovation and expansion at the Boylston Street property. 

According to a memo from Newton's Director of Planning Candace Havens, W/S Development Associates is looking to make several changes to the shopping center area. Those changes include:

  •  Reconstruction of a portion of 33 Boylston St. with a three‐story mixed‐use building
  •  Additional restaurant uses with greater than 50 seats
  • Conceptual approval of building and facade improvements for 55 Boylston St. (former Macy’s building)
  • Rezoning the site from Business 1 and public use to Business 4 including portions of the frontage road (located between the subject property and Boylston Street)
  • Approval of schematic plans for a new deck at 27 Boylston St. for a prospective restaurant use
  • 1/3 reduction in total number of required parking stalls (i.e., the waiver of 590 parking stalls)
  • Potential improvements to the frontage road
  • Various waivers to the parking requirements including for parking stalls located in required setbacks, for interior landscaping requirements, for loading requirements and for approval of a future valet parking service
  • Related site improvements including reconfiguration of parking stalls, changes to sidewalks, landscaping and lighting

To view the memo from Havens, check out our photos and .pdf section above.

The Land Use Committee will hold its public hearing on the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center changes tonight at 7 p.m. in the chamber at . 


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