Monday, June 27, 2011

A Sweet Lease

If the lines are any indication, the cupcake company Sweet is a new
Downtown Crossing hit. Historic Boston Inc. welcomes this very saavy home-grown Boston business as our new retail tenant at 9 School Street. They’ve been expanding rapidly with stores on Newbury Street, in Harvard Square and now Downtown. And they produce these luscious sweets daily in Hyde Park, a neighborhood within which HBI’s has some very focused preservation projects underway.
About six months ago, CEO Courtney Forrester came in to pitch her business for a space we had available after long time business Copley Flair departed. Wisely, she brought a big box of product with her (see photo) and she took the time to print up our logo on the top of each one. We all sat seriously through the meeting, negotiating square footage costs, tenant fit outs and utility payments, but after one bite of Sweet cupcakes, we were (secretly) sold.

Lest you think we’re a bunch of sugar fiends, let’s make the most important things clear.

Historic places like the 1718 Old Corner Bookstore building are VERY desirable because they are unique, attractive places in the business environment that draw customers. HBI’s flagship building is an excellent example of a very small building that anchors what retail brokers like to call a “100% corner” – a visually prominent location that high concentrations of people pass each day.

But Sweet and all our other retail and office tenants at the Old Corner are important because their lease payments support HBI’s mission of rehabilitating at-risk historic buildings throughout the city of Boston. A vacancy in this building means fewer resources to invest in wonderful places that could do the same thing for Dudley Square, JP Center or Fields Corner. So, whether it’s Brueggers Bagels, the Body Shop, Oakmont Partners, or Sweet, Historic Boston Inc. is happiest when our Old Corner is humming with business.

Historic Boston Inc.’s 50 years of preservation work saves places for future generations and defines the unique character of Boston, but we think it’s pretty good economic development too.

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