This Is Framingham

This Is Framingham
Life in the ‘ham

Another one bites the dust…(kind of)

March 20th, 2009

I was walking by the Franklin St. Plaza, which I call “Sad Plaza” because of it’s occupied to vacant store fronts (not to mention lack of building maintenance in general) , and saw that O’Brien’s package store was closed and had a sign saying it was moving next door to where “Giant Gifts” used to be.  So it’s not so bad for people who like having a package store in the area since it’s just the next building over, but it does add yet another vacancy in this particular plaza.  As of now, there is just the Dunkin Donuts, St. Paul de Vincent thrift store, Maenzo’s Barber shop, and the time-warp laundromat that people say the machines eat up their coins.
I REALLY wish this plaza would liven up but even when the economy was good, I have heard the landlord of the plaza is rather difficult to deal with and likes having a “losing” property.


  1. I often wonder if the same person owns the Nobscot plaza…seriously, why would someone WANT to own a shopping plaza with half the spaces empty??!

    Comment by Krista March 20, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

  2. This is similar to the situation with the mall in Nobscot but they’re not owned by the same groups. The Franklin Street property is owned by Framingham Franklin LLC and their offices are in Worcester. The Nobscot property is owned by Nobscot Center LLC and their offices are in Salem. (This is all public information on the state website)

    It’s my understanding that the owner of the Nobscot property has actually turned people away who were looking to rent store fronts. I don’t understand what type of incentive these owners get from turning away people who want to give them money for rent and letting their properties fall into disrepair.

    Comment by Susie March 20, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

  3. I’m assuming they dont want those stores filled (Nobscot) because they want to tear down the entire mall and turn it into high-priced real estate lots, only problem is the real-estate market tanked unexpectedly. My guess is they are currently waiting on it to pick up again, then sell the property for millions.

    Comment by Chris March 21, 2009 @ 1:38 am

  4. Both owners are actually doing quite well with what they’ve got. The Nobscot Plaza is leased entirely to Shaw’s. At Franklin Street the thrift store lease is a great deal and carries that place. Of the two, Franklin Street is a relic with little viability for its current incarnation. Nobscot is just a shame.

    Comment by charlie March 21, 2009 @ 11:24 am

  5. I probably should evenmention this, but my brother works for the company that owns the Franklin Street Plaza, he told me that Papa Ginos was looking to move there and close on of the other Framingham locations. He also mentioned that the store that used to be the pool store, is going to be reconstructed within the next 2-3 months and become a Chinese resturaunt/take out/delivery place. The owners are the owners of the Star House, I guess the rent is so much lower in the Franklin plaza as compared to the one on 135. So looks like there will be some improvments though nothing spectacular.

    I think a bar would do well, within walking distance for people very close to Framingham State, and if the 400 can survive a dive could do well.

    Comment by Gerald Rose March 21, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

  6. I would be interested to hear why Chris thinks the Nobscot plaza is leased to Shaws. Shaws is in Sudbury. Countryfair Star, which was in the plaza before, was privately owned and not related to Star Market, which is now owned by Shaws.

    Comment by Susie March 21, 2009 @ 8:18 pm

  7. Because it is leased to Shaw’s. They did the deal when the Plaza changed hands a couple years ago. Not sure if they ever intended to open a store or just wanted to block potential competition. You can call Supervalue’s (Shaw’s parent) excess real estate director and she will confirm.

    Comment by charlie March 23, 2009 @ 9:35 am

  8. FSC was looking at the Franklin lot for parking years ago as well as FSC wanted to construct a train station at the bottom of Maynard Rd. Seems logical to me to raze the plaza including all the way to Portland Group and build an up scale “green” train station with DD, maybe a pub and run a spur from downtown to that area. It would off load the downtown station and give FSC their access to rail. Should be funded by Federal, State, local and private. With all the talk about public transportation, this make sense to me. Otherwise it will also remain a dump.

    Comment by Alex March 23, 2009 @ 12:17 pm

  9. I walk by this plaza all the time with my dog and always wish there was something there worthwhile. I would definitely love a pub or other restaurant there within walking distance. The only thing I have gone to in this section was the convenience store when I needed some sugar in a hurry. “Sad Plaza” is a rather accurate name.

    Comment by Matt March 23, 2009 @ 6:14 pm

  10. Both of those plazas are a real shame and make our town look like a dump. And I REALLY don’t understand the economics of owning partially empty buildings. It’s too bad that no one can do anything about it.

    Comment by Bill Greenberg - Good Computer Guy March 24, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

  11. I read the town is looking to meet with the landlord about this property? Has anyone heard what is going on?

    Comment by Dennis April 11, 2009 @ 11:38 am

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