Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What goes in at Sixth and Maine?

KIRLINS IS CLOSING its Hallmark store at Sixth and Maine. It's been there nearly 70 years. This is a blow to downtown Quincy, but as always, there are several things to consider.

For one, Kirlins will keep its corporate offices in the upper floor. Owners say they want another business in the space. It's very nice in there, but is there a business big enough to pay the rent for all that room and flourish downtown? This is a great opportunity to ask what is really needed down here, and to see if somebody has the intestinal fortitude to make it happen.

Hmmmm. Wonder if it's been done before, like, say, a block away.

This is a business decision. And it's too bad. I have no interest in going to the Kirlins in the Quincy Mall, which will remain open. I'm sure it has more traffic and makes more money. So be it. Enjoy fighting your way down Broadway to get those Christmas ornaments.

Sixth and Maine is an interesting intersection. On the northeast corner you have the new and flourishing Grown N Gathered, with refurbished apartments about to open on the second floor and Ryan Christian's coffee business ready to roll, too. On the northwest corner is the gorgeous Maine Center, which has great businesses but hasn't been able to fill the key Joseph A. Bank spot.

Then there's the dollar store on the southeast corner. I go there only to get my chocolate fix or if we need a light bulb or something in an emergency. The place is always busy and it fills a niche.

Sure, Kirlins closing the downtown store is sad, and part of the ebb and flow of life. A piece of Quincy dies when a longtime business shuts down. From the ashes, something will rise, and maybe we'll all be better off for it in the long run.

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