In late Spring, I blogged an update on the progress of several important commercial properties throughout the City. I thought this may be a good time to revisit the progress being made and to take a look at the overall commercial real estate market here in Melrose.
Without a doubt, the residential and commercial real estate markets have never been more active than they are at this moment. A sentiment shared by Jason Madden of Pondfield Commercial Group: “The commercial market in Melrose is strong, with demand far exceeding the supply. We wish Main Street Melrose had another full block of retail buildings because we speak to business owners who want to open in Melrose, but there is no inventory available for them to occupy,” he said.
In addition, Melrose also has been able to maintain a very competitive commercial tax rate compared to many of the surrounding communities as shown in this 2015 graphic with local commercial tax rates.
The property I am asked most about is 530 Main Street, the old Moynihan Building that housed Breads and Bits of Ireland. The building recently changed hands and was purchased by John Wise of Wise Construction in Winchester. Wise Construction is responsible for the project at 99 Essex Street, which transformed the former Universalist Church building into a 15 unit residential building in an architecturally sensitive way. That project has been very well received and has helped to spur resurgence along the Essex Street corridor. We are extremely excited with the plans being developed for this landmark property on Main Street that will soon be made available to the public.
Mr. Wise added, “We are thrilled to be investing in Melrose and to be a part of the future of Main Street. We are currently in the initial design phase of the project and are expecting to submit our plans for review within the next 60 days. We have had significant interest in our retail space and look forward to bringing in new, exciting tenants to Main Street. Melrose is a thriving community and we are impressed by the quality of interest in this project from both the local community and the Greater Boston area.”
Also on Main Street, The S.D.M. Foundation will occupy the spot previously occupied by Boston Candle Company at 465 Main Street. The S.D.M. Foundation is a non-profit tutoring center created to help residents develop computer and technology skills through classes and programming.
We are also very excited about the opening of T’ahpas 529, located at 529 Franklin Street. Local businessman Lorenzo Tenreiro plans to open his third food establishment in Melrose, and this latest endeavor is his most ambitious yet: a Spanish Mediterranean Restaurant with fine dining for 77 patrons and a full bar. This great new addition is scheduled for opening this October.
Ice Cream will soon return to West Wyoming Ave, as a new establishment, Cloud 9, will replace the old Heavenly Licks at 40 West Wyoming Ave. This re-opening along with the recent approval of a new multifamily residential building to replace the dilapidated building at 10 Corey Street will pave the way for the revitalization of this important connection between downtown Melrose and the Wyoming Business District.
Further down the road, the Washington Street corridor has seen the opening of Little Sprouts Daycare in the location of the old registry building and the opening of Fitzgerald Physical Therapy Associates taking over the ground floor commercial space that anchors the new multifamily residential building at 2 Washington Street.
This past week, final approval was given by the Planning Board for the City to proceed with the demolition of 1 Kimball Court. By purchasing this abandoned property, we will be able to add 23 additional parking spaces in Dills Parking Lot (behind Shaw’s). This will add a significant amount of parking to our downtown area that will give an immediate boost to local businesses and their patrons.
Finally, there is the Caruso Building at 681 Main Street. As previously reported, after several years of vacancy and family litigation, there is a pending sale of the building between the family. At the moment, the potential owner is working with the State to remediate any areas that have been identified by the Department of Environmental Protection from decades past. We are hopeful that we will see resolution soon and a proposal for development at this historic location.
With the downtown Summer Stroll taking place this Friday night, I thought this was an appropriate time to focus on some positive local business development. While it is always important to keep a focus on our local businesses, the vacation-heavy times of July and August are especially trying for many small businesses. It is up to all of us collectively to support our neighbors in the community by spending time and money in these great stores throughout our business districts.
It all starts outside our front door! Affairs to Remember is looking forward to seeing old friends and making new acquaintances during this annual event. We are hosting a fun new class from 5-6 on Friday just before the stroll begins, so you don’t have to miss a minute of the festivities. It’s a fun class where you come to the shop and make a tabletop garden. With your registration we will have some fun “mocktails” and some yummy treats. Call the shop for more information and to pre-register. (781) 665-7477. Space is limited so register early.
From the Chamber of Commerce: “Come to downtown Melrose to enjoy this growing tradition! Main Street will be closed to vehicles between Upham and Grove Streets creating a pedestrian walkway where you can stroll, sip, dine and shop! Restaurants and retailers will extend their footprint onto the sidewalks for patrons to eat, shop, and linger. Specials, tastings, demos and live music make this a not to miss event! The Stroll also opens up the City of Melrose Four Corner’s Music Festival. Come to Main Street and patronize your favorite restaurants and merchants!”
July 29, 2016 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
WHERE: Main Street, Melrose MA
This free event is just one more way to take part in a community activity that builds connections and strengthens communities.
Why drive to Boston or leave Melrose to hear great music when you have it right here on Saturday! We have performances lined up throughout the day at the Four Corners Music Festival happening at the West Knoll, located across from Melrose Middle/High School from 2pm-8pm. A full schedule of the bands and performers is listed below. Bring your family and come support your talented friends and neighbors. The event will feature two stages of great music!
As a reminder, don’t forget to bring a blanket, lawn chair, cooler, and sunscreen.
Also, we will have amazing food options from Saigon Alley and Barracuda on the Fly food trucks, as well as an inflatable bounce house and obstacle course for kids along with fun and games with Melrose Recreation!
Here is the schedule for Saturday:
Melrose Four Corners Music Festival, 2016:
2pm Alastair Moock and Friends
3pm Tad Overbaugh and the Late Arrivals
5pm The Bridgebuilders
6:45pm Cold Car
Melrose Four Corners Music Festival, 2016:
2pm – 2:15 Tim Ko.
2:15pm – 2:40 Calvin Mausteller
2:45 – 3:10 Flash Jack Eppington
3:20-3:30 Nick Ryan
3:40 – 3:50 Gabe Klapman
3:55 – 4:20 Frank Stanford
4:25 – 4:45 Victoria Mall
4:55 – 5:05 Liana Joy
5:10-5:20 Molly Corr
5:30 – 5:50 Sam Chetkin
6:00 – 6:10 AARB
6:15 – 6:25 Ken Carter
6:35 – 7:20 Jiblantos
NOTE: All times are approximate.
Please be advised of the following upcoming road closures in Melrose
- DPW will be repairing an emergency water break on Main Street in front of CVS beginning at 10:00pm this evening (Wednesday) and working overnight. Main Street will be closed from Upham to Foster during this time beginning at 10pm. Work may have to continue into Thursday.
- Beginning at 7am Thursday morning, water main upgrades will be taking place on Tremont across the Lynn Fells Parkway. Detours will be in place during this time on Tremont Street and the Lynn Fells Parkway. Work will take place throughout the day Thursday with the potential of Friday morning also.
- Final Paving of Essex Street will take place on Monday August 1st weather permitting. Paving will commence at 5am in order to make businesses accessible by mid-morning. Paving will continue throughout the day on the balance of Essex Street towards Emerson, including Willow Street.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the DPW City Yard at (781) 665-0142
Here are profiles of some of the talented performers who will take part in the Downtown Summer Stroll on Friday night. Both the Summer Stroll and the Four Corners Music Festival are great opportunities to enjoy all our wonderful City has to offer, and I highly encourage everyone to make it a weekend of music and get to both events!
Let’s take a look at the fantastic entertainment lineup for the 4th Annual Downtown Summer Stroll, which will take place this Friday, July 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in downtown Melrose. This event drew well over 1,500 residents to downtown Melrose last summer to eat, shop, and listen to some great music outdoors.
Giovanni Moltoni Trio
The Giovanni Moltoni Trio will return this year by popular demand to the Summer Stroll. They feature Giovanni Moltoni on guitar, Daniel Assis on Bass, and Mark Walker on Drums.
Their music style can be best described this way: “Italian guitarist and Berklee Professor, Giovanni Moltoni and his crew ride a slow-burning, spooky groove, layering much texture and nuance along the way. Moltoni’s harmonically open guitar/synth arpeggios seem to ask their own questions, creating a stimulating, modern approach to jazz.”
YouTube page: www.youtube.com/user/giomoltoni
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/Giovanni-Moltoni/48769815940
Waiting For Neil
Waiting For Neil will make their first Summer Stroll appearance but are no strangers to the Greater Boston music scene. Waiting for Neil plays a joyful blend of folk, roots, old-time and bluegrass music with soaring harmonies, making for a high energy, foot-stompin’ good time.
Illusionist Phil Smith
Phil Smith is a master magician who has performed thousands of shows throughout New England. Phil has been combining expert slight of hand with juggling and comedy for many years to guarantee a not to forget performance.
To see Phil in action and learn more, please visit www.abracadabraprod.com/
Washington Street (from Pleasant Street to the Malden line) will be CLOSED to vehicles tomorrow Friday, July 22nd from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. This portion of Washington Street is being closed in order to complete final paving of the roadway.
All residents looking to access Oak Grove station must do so via Main Street.
Celebrating music, arts and community has always been part of life in Melrose. Continuing this tradition, the City of Melrose is excited to announce the 3rd Annual Four Corners Festival on Saturday, July 30th. This year’s event is being held exclusively at the West Knoll Soccer Field (across from Melrose Middle/High School). In addition to outstanding music, this event features artists that all have a connection to Melrose and our community which makes it even more special. I hope you will come out for a great day of music and fun on July 30th!
Highlights of this year’s festival will include:
- A kick-off performance by Grammy-nominated children’s performer Alastair Moock and Friends to start the event at 2pm
- Music throughout the day from great local talent including Tad Overbaugh and the Late Arrivals, The Bridgebuilders, Cold Car, and other local music talent on the community stage!
- Food from Saigon Alley and Barracuda on the Fly food trucks
- Inflatable obstacle course and bounce house for kids
- Games and activities for kids all day with the Melrose Recreation Department
- Plenty of free parking available
Here is a look at a few of the bands that will be performing at the Four Corners 2016:
Alastair Moock & Friends
Alastair Moock has worked with students from several of the Melrose elementary schools to create and perform new School Songs which will be featured at this year’s Melrose Four Corners Music Festival! Alastair is a 2013 Grammy Nominee, two-time Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Winner, recipient of the ASCAP Joe Raposo Children’s Music Award, and has twice been voted by the Fids & Kamily Industry Critics’ Poll among the Top 3 Albums of the Year. Long one of Boston’s premier folk artists, Alastair turned his attention to family music after the birth of his twin daughters in 2006. The New York Times calls him “a Tom Waits for kids” and The Boston Globe declares that, “in the footsteps of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Alastair Moock makes real kids music that parents can actually enjoy.” Moock and Friends’ live shows are rowdy, rootsy, singin’ and dancin’ fun for the whole family!
Web links: www.moockmusic.com
Melrose Connection: Alastair and his family have been Melrose residents since 2014, and are Lincoln School parent of two.
Tad Overbaugh & the Late Arrivals
Tad Overbaugh & the Late Arrivals are a 5-piece, rock ‘n’ roll band from Boston, MA. Mixing rock and classic country influences, Tad Overbaugh’s songs fall somewhere between the twang of Steve Earle and the chimey, hook-filled songwriting of Tom Petty. The band is made up of veteran musicians from the Boston, Seattle and Los Angeles music scenes. The collective band members have shared stages with The Drive-By Truckers, Son Volt, The Bottle Rockets, Cracker, Slobberbone, Robbie Fulks, Tim Easton, and Will Hoge. Tad Overbaugh’s latest album, “Beauty & Barbed Wire”, was released in 2015.
Melrose Connection: Drummer, Rick Cranford, originally from Holden, MA, moved his music career from Seattle to Melrose in 2011 and now has children at the Hoover Elementary and Franklin ECC.
The Bridgebuilders are part of a new wave of folk-inspired musicians putting their own stamp on traditional styles. Transcending the boundaries of traditional folk music, the Bridgebuilders began working out their trademark sound, the energetic and musical interaction between six players with years of experience playing together, lending to tunes that are both danceable and listenable. Before too long, the Bridgebuilders incorporated influences from bluegrass, jazz, roots blues, and 20th century classical music, exciting crowds up and down the East Coast from Maryland to Maine and causing the outbreak of an embarrassing number of dance parties.
Web link: https://thebridgebuilders.bandcamp.com
Melrose Connection: Fiddler, Jeremy Van Cleave has lived in Melrose since ’98. He grew up playing in the Melrose Public School string department, now teaches lessons out of his Stoneham music studio, and for nearly ten years has been a morning barista at the local Bohemian Coffeehouse.
An emerging band born from the Boston open mic scene, and growing up fast. Led by Ken Carter and Tim Ko., Cold Car is a roots rock group found swaying on a wave of influences such as Springsteen, Petty, Young, Wilco, and The Felice Brothers. Steady rock, hook-in-mouth melodies, with heart and mind lyrics that shoot arrows at realism.
Web link: https://www.facebook.com/coldcarmusic/
Melrose Connection: Lead guitarist, Tim Ko.(short for Kochanski), brought his family to Melrose in 2011 and is a Lincoln School parent of three.
Stop by City Hall on Wednesday, July 20th between 9:00 AM and noon to sign-up for a no-cost home energy assessment with Homeworks Energy. Free muffins and coffee will be provided.
Due to the participation of many Melrose homeowners, the Melrose Energy Challenge 2016 is almost halfway to the goal of achieving 511 home energy assessments by the end of the year. Melrose stands to be awarded up to $34,000 by National Grid for future community energy projects if the goal is reached.
If it’s been more than two years since your last home energy assessment, you’re eligible to receive another one this year. There are new features to the 2016 program such as LED lightbulbs, a grant program to assist with costs associated with removing knob and tube wiring so insulation can be installed in older homes, an expanded 0% financing program that covers a wider variety of home energy improvements, and increased insulation incentives.
There are several ways to schedule your no-cost home energy assessment:
Call HomeWorks Energy at (339) 502-4353 or sign up on-line at www.HomeWorksEnergy.com/Melrose-Energy-Challenge.
Volunteers and staff will also be at these upcoming events to answer your questions and schedule assessments:
- Wednesday, July 20th, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, at Melrose City Hall Aldermanic Chamber
- Friday, July 29th, 6:00 – 9:00 PM, at the Summer Stroll on Main Street
- Saturday, July 30th, 2:00 – 8:00 PM, at the Four Corners Music Festival at the Knoll on Lynn Fells Parkway
- Thursday, August 4th, 3:00 – 7:00 PM, at Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market
Please stop by the table to learn more about how to save energy and money in your home. If you’ve had a home energy assessment and would be willing to have a yard sign promoting the program for a few weeks, contact Martha Grover at firstname.lastname@example.org or (781) 979-4195.