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Saturday April 19, 2014
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Plymouth Road Plaza Opens

 

continued

Trim, silver-haired, drinking herbal tea and scrolling through his iPhone, Edelstein suggested meeting in the new Starbucks. This is his home turf. He lives and owns rental property in the neighborhood and conceived the idea for the plaza "eight to ten years ago, when the [branch] library and Bello Vino were here. I came to Plymouth Road Mall nearly every day for some reason or other, and I noticed that the parking lot was always empty." Edelstein, who has no ownership in Plymouth Road Mall, says the plaza would have been built in 2007, but he and his partners put it on hold when Pfizer exited and the economy sagged. Last fall the project was dusted off and completed quickly.

Edelstein says that though Hutton, obviously, did eventually agree to his proposal to infill his parking lot, it wasn't quite a no-brainer for him: "Vern was concerned about competition." The old and slightly decrepit Plymouth Road Mall is a haven of mom-and-pop one-of-a-kinds, newly energized in the last few years by the Songbird Cafe and Curry Up. Not only do Starbucks and the Big Salad offer competition, but the two-story structure very effectively blocks most of the mall from view. But Edelstein says: "I did the research. I found evidence that when Starbucks moves in near a mom-and-pop, it boosts business for the mom-and-pop."

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