In a real estate facelift extreme enough to rival one of Joan Rivers’ many nip-and-tucks, a fading Chestnut Hill mall has transformed into an expansive, upscale shopping center, The Street.
Following a steady stream of spring retail openings in the area, on Tuesday, June 11 The Street welcomed Showcase SuperLux, a huge luxury cinema (and sister venue to the theaters in Randolph and Dedham) with amenities including a cocktail bar and fine dining via Davio's Cucina.
The addition of the swanky new cinema is a particular boon for the neighborhood, as its appearance offers art, culture and entertainment, along with drinks and dining, to the area.
“We were looking for a prime location with no entertainment competition,” said John Bilsborough, Chief of Operations for National Amusements, which owns Showcase SuperLux. “When The Street was presented to us by our longtime partner, Jeremy Sclar of WS Development, we knew that we had found the perfect site.”
Until recently, affluent Chestnut Hill — a suburban “village” six miles west of Boston, which comprises parts of Newton, Brookline and West Roxbury — had little to offer in terms of nightlife and entertainment. It did, however, boast shopping at The Mall at Chestnut Hill and the Atrium mall, though the latter is now all but shuttered.
“I was in there with my son and it was like a ghost town,” says Newton native Dan Demeo, of the Atrium. Demeo, a real estate broker with RE/MAX Leading Edge, sees The Street as a big selling point for Chestnut Hill’s already pricey residential real estate market.
“It’s putting up home values without a doubt, it’s a bonus to the area. The only negative is the traffic increase,” adds Demeo of the notoriously car-choked Route 9, which bisects Chestnut Hill. “But that’s everywhere, as the population continues growing.”
Word on The Street
For existing business, The Street isn’t competition, it’s a welcome spruce-up. “A significant portion of our business has always been regular guests,” says Jeffrey Gates of Boston restaurateurs, the Aquitaine Group. Aquitaine Chestnut Hill opened at the site 12 years ago. “With the opening of The Street, we have seen a significant up-tick in new faces dining at Aquitaine. The updates should solidify the area as a dining and shopping destination,” he says.