One real estate developer isn’t monkeying around when it comes to plans that could replace an iconic store in Harvard Square.
Equity One is planning a three-story mall in Cambridge, according to CBS Boston, which would need the space currently occupied by The World’s Only Curious George Store for a stairway, elevator and lobby.
The developer bought a trio of buildings in the area Brattle, JFK and Mount Auburn streets last October for $85 million, the Boston Herald reported. According to Curbed, the lease for the Curious George Store and others in the building expire next year. Plans call for the buildings to be linked to form the mall that will be situated on at least the bottom level, according to Curbed. The center of the top two floors would be made of glass.
The World’s Only Curious George Store owner Adam Hirsch told the Herald that the price of merchandise hasn’t kept up with rising rents.
“We are hoping we can stay as long as we can. … The big question is how can we continue to do what we do in another location?” he said.
“I don’t view this as good guys and bad guys,” Hirsch added. “It’s just interests, and it’s the city deciding what they want their city to be. I’m unfortunately a small player in all of this, and we don’t have much say about what happens.”
CBS Boston noted that the Curious George Store was not the only iconic store in Harvard Square that faces closure. Cambridge reportedly wants to renovate the plaza, which could kick out the Out of Town News kiosk.
“Harvard Square is very popular, it’s become very expensive and more attractive to chains over the years,” a passer-by told the station. “I can’t say it’s surprising, it’s kind of sad.”
The redevelopment plans are reportedly set to go to the Cambridge Historical Commission meeting on Thursday.