When it comes to the Bunker Hill redevelopment, not many people get beyond the living space, the height and other matters in the proposed development, but one key piece that is currently up for major input is the substantial retail space that would be a part of the project.
Within the project, there is 60,000 square feet of retail and community space, and a majority of the retail space will be on Bunker Hill Street – a move to activate that area of the street.
Gustavo Quiroga of Graffito SP consultants said they are taking a hands-on, very local approach to the proposed retail in the redevelopment – and from the beginning.
“We’re back again with the current development team and we’ll be starting all over again,” he said. “We want to respond to the needs of the community today. With the retail, we want to create a very vibrant corridor along Bunker Hill Street. We hope to engage and do outreach with the rest of the neighborhood and re-knit these two parts of the community again.”
One of the things that Graffito has been working on is finding out what the retail needs are for the community.
There is currently no laundromat in Charlestown, and despite all of the proposed new units having laundry facilities included, many have called for that to be a focus.
Others would like more sit-down restaurants in that part of Charlestown, and then there is obviously the Post Office dilemma – as well as a push to try to get some type of grocery market on that end of the Town.
“We want it to be something that helps residents stay in the neighborhood and also brings some folks to Charlestown as a destination,” he said.
One thing that the retail will be is very localized with a focus on locating small businesses in the Town that want to expand. That, he said, is what is different about this project from many of the other retail-residential communities.
“We think very local first about retail,” he said. “Local business is the major focus of our leasing strategy and we’ll do that here – both with existing businesses that may be looking to expand or emerging entrepreneurs that could use retail space.”
He said their mission from the beginning, which he said is unlike most retail brokers, will be to listen to what the community would like to see in the proposed new stores and commercial spaces. They will use the input they get through the planning process to reach out to local business operators in and around the Town for the opportunity.