Tomorrow (Thursday, December 6, Town Hall, 7 p.m.), the Planning & Zoning Commission will review a text amendment involving retail uses above the 1st floor on Main Street.
Currently, only offices, restaurants, apartments and retail food establishments are allowed above the 1st floor in the “Business Center District” zone. The amendment — submitted by architect William Achilles — would greatly expand the ability of retail uses to occupy space on upper floors.
There must have been some grandfathered uses. Klein’s (now Banana Republic) operated on the 2nd floor — in fact, they built it during one of their many expansions.
The Sport Mart — now god knows what, near the cut through to Parker Harding Plaza — used to sell ski equipment on its 2nd floor.
Today there’s an art gallery on the 2nd floor of the east side of Main Street — the same spot where (I think) the old African Room used to be. Further down, just past Brooks Corner, check out these 2nd-floor stores:
And before it moved to the 4-story 125 Main Street building, didn’t the Gap use its 2nd floor?
This seems like a no-brainer. Is there any good reason to prohibit businesses from operating on an upper floor — particularly when they’ve done it before?
Besides — judging from the shops that remain closed, long after Hurricane Sandy — I bet insurance companies would love a 2nd or 3rd floor store.