Empty or inactive store fronts are a problem in every business district. That is why the ECBA focus’s alot of our effort towards creating an atmosphere that is attractive to new business, and builds relationships with landlords to help attract new and responsible business.
ECBA faces a challenge of covering a very large, mostly linear, area. At the time ECBA was establishing, the blocks between the tracks and 6th St were pitted with vacancies, but business owners recognized the potential. Three years later we are proud to see how these spaces have evolved.
We have welcomed Threla, which specializes in hand made beauty products, Two Little Owls Day Care, one of 3 new daycares in East Cambridge, a massuese, the New England Tango Academy, and Cafe Kafofo (we finally have a coffee shop). One of our greatest accomplishment has come in the form of the Pop-Theatre, a Pet Shop, and Music School.
The Blue Building on the corner of 7th had long been vacant and many hoped something, anything would open there. The first business to apply for licenseing there was a Subway Sandwich Shop. Suddently the ECBA was faced with its first delemia as an organization. While vacant store fronts were not good for anyone, a national fast food chain threatened to take root in what has been a small independantly owned business district (not to mention one that was alread served by a number of local indepedant sandwich shops). After a long process the application for a zoning variance that would have paved the way was denied. During the process ECBA maintained a relationship with the landlord, who had concerns about how long he may remain vacant, but we maintained that the right tenant would present itself.