Let’s Realize Prescott’s Full Potential Promise
To The Editor,
I've long believed that the Prescott is the unpolished jewel on Main Street. From the first I understood that its presence is more than historic, more than memories shared; it is the embodiment of this unique and important town that is on its way to becoming a small center of leisure time activities which include a hotel, music and the arts, dining, adult education and shopping. I envision this building as an all-encompassing community center with rent paying tenants.
What has perplexed me is that except for the friends of Prescott and generous donors, the town, which seems to spend $ like they can print it, has not earmarked any funds for the rebirth of this building and the very necessary parking it can have more of (and is needed) in the rear.
As a consultant and designer I appreciate the layout of the interior with its high ceilings and center hall. I can see the lower level having a mini 'snack' court with perhaps a coffee roaster, a tea/coffee/dessert bar, a visitors center and tables for shared bonhomie and community meetings and classes.
The current gym can continue to provide space for films, sports, and other classes.
Each former classroom provides a perfect space for retailers and service providers who might also sell products that dovetail with their services. I can envision shops that might provide;
• Home design services with merchandise
• Retailers like Kitchen Outfitters
• Art gallery of local and N.E. artists (with art classes)
• Antique sellers who feature small ready for the home pieces
• Local products with made in Massachusetts offerings (there are many) & even made in New England
I believe the first step is to create a proactive outreach folder to be circulated to possible tenants who currently have an existing store elsewhere in MA. This requires a brief outline with photos of the spaces and the building with demographics for potential renters. Local brokers can assist in the search as well as one-on-one contacts made by a key, experience person who can be trawling for tenants.
Rentals need to be long term (a minimum of 2 years with extensions available) and the rates small business friendly. Occupancy should be arranged so that most renters move in within a few months or weeks of each other. Being a solo shop in a building of this size can be daunting and spirit crushing.
I can envision the grassy front lawn having a few tables and chairs for outside noshing and meeting. Imagine small white lights glowing in those 2 trees that shelter that grassy area. Each of those former classrooms can share a similar lighting pattern so that each front window has light or lamp. As dusk turns to dark Prescott will light up Main Street.
A direct road exiting from the back of Prescott to the rail trail access road and then connecting to Broadmeadow is needed to avert more traffic clogging Main Street. This will also connect the rail trail road to Station Avenue and the restaurant there. When Indian Hill is in residence this additional conduit to Farmers Row is critical.
The building's frontage needs a sign --perhaps; The Shops & Services At Prescott, with a listing of each.
I think the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, The Groton Herald, Nashoba Publishing and other on line publishers will cover this story, which may result in potential tenants coming forward.
Joyce. L. Faiola