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What Would You Want to See in Endangered Durgin Garage?

There are four empty retail spaces in the Durgin Garage, and we want to know what you would pick.

Put on your Town Planning Caps, because it's time to share your vision for the Durgin Garage building.

The 2012 Preservation Massachusetts list of "Most endangered historic resources" includes the Durgin Garage, built in 1926. Of the seven storefronts in the building, today only a handful are occupied by Tiny Hanger (currently celebrating a 1-year anniversary), Jerusalem Pita and Brookline Superette.

Every now and again, we like to ask you What Businesses is Brookline Missing? On Route 9, for example, we asked last month what people would like to see. 

Take a second, think about what you'd like to see, and share it with us in the comments section below.

If you were looking for businesses to fill in the remaining four storefronts, who would you seek out? What do you think the neighborhood is missing? What do you think would draw people to the garage site? Let us know in the comments.

Matthew Weiss October 25, 2012 at 02:08 PM
A New York style appetizing store. A Zathmarys type place would be great. A "good" Jewish deli (NY style).
Brookline Symphony Orchestra October 25, 2012 at 02:24 PM
I want a performing arts center. Brookline has no stage for its multiple arts organization (Ballet School, Symphony Orchestra, Music School, Children's Chorus, Theater Companies, etc..). How great would it be to have it in the heart of Coolidge Corner?
Tiny Hanger October 25, 2012 at 02:39 PM
How about a men's shoppe? Specialty food store? Coffee shop? Craft store?
Carol Caro October 25, 2012 at 02:45 PM
I would like the Durgin Garage and the adjoining property developed as a Continuing Care Facility. The location would be perfect for seniors!
St. Paul's Episcopal Church October 25, 2012 at 04:55 PM
New England Soup Factory should move there from the village location.
Bill Davidson October 25, 2012 at 05:19 PM
It's a difficult location, not easily seen from Beacon Street. It seems to be challenge to generate consistent foot traffic there. Perhaps businesses focused on daily neighborhood needs like a dry cleaner, nail salon, or pet care would succeed long term. I was surprised when the laundromat closed. That seemed like a perfect fit for the building.
George Drugas October 25, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I agree with the Brookline Symphony Orchestra - a performing arts center would be a great opportunity to bring more people into Coolidge Corner...
Diana Spiegel October 25, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I like these ideas. But Bill Davidson's ideas make practical sense - for years, several small service oriented stores existed there - a copy store, laundromat, and upholstery shop. The biggest demand these days seems to be storefront space for day care or fitness centers. Having all the storefronts filled would do a lot to improve foot traffic, regardless of the specific types of stores.
Eliot Gelwan October 25, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Whole Foods, since I hate Trader Joe's. No more coffee shops, please, and no more Asian food, please. No more banks or cellphone shops. I agree about performing arts; we might even use another art cinema screen or two. Branch of EMS? Major computer store like Micro Center?
Jean Stringham October 26, 2012 at 01:32 PM
How about a "virtual office space" for the people who hang out at the coffee shops and restaurants with their laptops for the day. They could go to this virtual office space to work in peace without being bothered by those of us who want to talk and drink coffee.
Diana Spiegel October 26, 2012 at 06:25 PM
As long as we're brain storming, how about a store front local tourism center? The Chamber of Commerce, the National Park Service, the Brookline Historical Society, the Coolidge Corner Merchants Association (and other such associations), Brookline Greenspace Alliance could have booths where they offer information about local accommodations and restaurants, local historical landmarks and natural history sites, maps of self-guided walking tours and of local and national register historic districts. That said, a challenge in that block is to find uses that serve unmet needs but are also financially viable.
Nelly Langlais October 27, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Since the child care business is for ever expanding in this area and the parks and libraries find it difficult to accommodate the growing numbers of children in care centers, perhaps an indoor gym would be welcome in Brookline. Children in centers walk long distances to find a space where they can run and climb. During the long winter months they would still have a place to work on their gross motor skills.
Gerrit Petersen October 29, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I'd like to see a year-round farmers market on the first floor, with specialty vendors--ala Fulton Market in DC--connected to a plaza in the surrounding space outside. Second floor could be multi-use, such a swing space for start-ups and non-profits, but needs to be revenue-generating.
J. Levine November 01, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Seems as if there are so many of these types of places already in the general vicinity. I love the idea of a performance space -- that could be great for the business of the surrounding stores as well as the neighborhood in general.
lisa wasserman sivan March 15, 2013 at 09:34 PM
this is exactly what I am looking to develop in Brookline: coworking space for the independent professionals who live in the neighborhood and work from home. would love to connect with freelancers to further this venture. www.lisawassermansivan.com

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