originally published in the Metrowest Daily News on January 23, 2017 by Jonathan Phelps
(edited for space purposes)
Husband and wife Kevin Carter and Margaret Nichols bought the Bakery on the Common on South Main Street in Natick in October and a few months later opened The Common Cafe & Kitchen.
Since 1999, the couple has run a catering company, La Fete. Nichols said her husband was itching to get back into a restaurant kitchen. "It was always in our plan to open a cafe," Nichols said.
She said a lot of work needed to be done to transform the space into its new modern-vintage look. The former bakery was in business for 17 years.
"We wanted it to be fresh and current, both from an aesthetic standpoint and the type of food we serve," Nichols said.
The restaurant features organic produce and antibiotic and hormone free meats. Craft beer and wine is also served.
Some of the menu items include The Oddfellow sandwich, roast beef, horseradish cream, arugula on sourdough ($11); Vegetarian sandwich, roasted eggplant, pickled red onion, arugula, shaved manchego cheese on a baguette ($10) and variety of soups and salads ($5-$9). Breakfast is served until 11 a.m.
Nichols said they plan to add pop-up dinners once or twice a month, which would require reservations.
"Even before we opened we felt a lot of love," she said.
To read the full article, go to: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20170123/hungry-here-are-some-new-metrowest-restaurants-to-check-out
originally published in the MetroWest Daily News by Brian Benson on December 24, 2016
(edited for space purposes)
NATICK - Kristina Burkey knew she wanted her first brick-and-mortar store to be in Natick.
In the six months since she opened Calliope Paperie, a stationery and gift shop on the corner of North Avenue and Rte. 27, she found her instincts were right. Burkey is impressed with the activities and sense of togetherness she has experienced in Natick Center.
"People here value their town and want to invest in it," said Burkey, who lives in Marlborough.
And, while she understands concerns some people may have about increased development, Burkey is excited to see how redevelopment projects currently under construction add to the liveliness and mix of businesses in downtown.
Natick Centerhas seen an influx of nearby housing thanks to the demolition of the Paperboard factory and construction of the Modera Natick Center housing development in its place. It's poised to add more housing and businesses thanks to ongoing redevelopment of the American Legion and Hometown Paint and Hardware properties close to the intersection of Rte. 27 and Rte. 135.
The core downtown by the 27/135 intersection generally features multi-story brick buildings with shops and restaurants at street level. Municipal buildings, including Town Hall and a library, line Rte. 135 heading east. The area also includes religious and arts venues. Neighborhoods around the core downtown include single- and two-family homes as well as new and re-purposed larger multi-family buildings.
Natick Center is an example of new investment happening in downtowns around the region, as developers and planners recognize the growing desire of millennials and seniors to live in areas where they don't have to drive everywhere. But, downtown development can also raise concerns about traffic, parking and effects on municipal services.
Traditional town centers generally pre-date the car-centric, suburbanization landscape of many neighborhoods. But, with factors such as higher gas prices at play, people really started to think long and hard, "Should we be building our entire society on access to the car?" said Christopher Ryan, of the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission.
Developers and investors recognize that millennials are looking to live in places where they can walk to shops and services and owning a car is not the "be all, end all," he said.
The commission is emphasizing to municipal leaders that this is a successful model, Ryan said.
The commission has worked with Upton officials as they explored potential zoning changes that would foster mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly village center areas that still maintain Upton's historic character, Ryan said.
On Thursday afternoon (December 15th) some of our youngest residents at Park Village enjoyed "The Secret Life of Pets" and popcorn in our clubhouse.
It was a great way to escape the frigid temps outside and both the movie and the snacks received 2 enthusiastic thumbs up from all who attended!
NATICK – Construction at the highly anticipated former American Legion development continues at a rapid pace. The foundation has been prepped and Liberty Construction Services poured the concrete mat slab on November 18, 2016. The project will soon be turned over to Capone Iron Corporation, who will begin to erect the building’s steel frame. All construction activity is under the supervision of PointsNorth Construction Management, LLC.
With construction progressing on schedule and expected to be completed by late spring 2017, the Stonegate Group has commenced its marketing of the restaurant and retail spaces at the property to much interest and fanfare. Spaces range from approximately 823 square feet to a contiguous 6,452 square feet or more when combining multiple units.
While available for restaurant or retail use, many Natick residents have voiced their hopes for more dining options in the downtown district. “We would welcome new restaurants to our center and view them as an incredible asset which we are extremely supportive of. A new restaurant in our downtown would join an already strong economic and growing business center,” said Athena Pandolf, executive director of the Natick Center Cultural District.
Those retail level units designated for use as a restaurant are already approved to include outdoor seating, which has been another desire expressed by Natick residents.
Call (508) 655-1700 for more information, and follow the progress on Facebook: Stonegate West Central
Our Park Village residents had a terrific time at our annual Halloween Party in our clubhouse.
All the children enjoyed decorating their pumpkins and special treats!
Originally published in the Metrowest Daily News (9/24/16)
photograph by Daily News and Wicked Local Staff Photo / Art Illman
To view all the photographs, click on the link below!
written by Nancy Olesin, originally published in the MetroWest Daily News on 9/9/16
NATICK – Local developer Stonegate Group is pledging to match up to $50,000 in donations received by Oct. 22 for The Center for Arts in Natick’s $1.7 million capital campaign to transform the second floor of its former Summer Street firehouse into a 120-seat art house movie theater, pay off debt, and renovate other parts of the facility.
Yesterday, as workers painted, plastered, hammered and scurried to complete lobby renovations and to rearrange the first-floor main stage seating in time for an evening concert, the electricity in the building suddenly went out when a branch fell on a wire down the street, cutting power to the neighborhood for a few hours.
But the show must go on. Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre was scheduled to play Thursday night, and TCAN Executive Director David Lavalley was taking it all in stride.
"This is a huge gift for us, and it comes at a time when we have just $350,000 remaining to reach our campaign goal of $1.7 million," said Lavalley. "The renovations to our lobby and upper level are well underway and we are expecting them to be completed by Oct. 22."
The downtown arts center has already raised $1.4 million toward its goal, Lavalley said, from corporate and foundation donors, as well as $105,000 from an online Kickstarter campaign, which ended in July.
Renovations began in late July. The concessions area has already been expanded, the ticket office downsized, and new restrooms and the movie theater are nearing completion. New vinyl floors that look like hardwood are being installed, and in the lobby there's an expanded art gallery wall area, new track lighting, and a ceiling with tiny twinkling lights.
As a TCAN neighbor, Stonegate Group wants to add to the vibrant life of the town center, said company president Sean McGrath. Stonegate is currently renovating a neighboring property, the iconic American Legion building at 13 West Central St. to include 11 condos, 7,000 square feet of retail space and an 18-car garage. It’s hoped the retail space will attract restaurants.
“TCAN is a community-building and arts center that provides important cultural experiences for residents,” said McGrath. The Weston resident, who is also a trustee of the Highland Street Foundation - which sponsors Free Fun Fridays at arts venues across the state - said he met with Lavalley several months ago and “loved the project they are doing.”
TCAN, which has occupied the firehouse since 2003, was formed in 1997 and currently has about 1,800 members. The new movie theater - which might offer free popcorn - will start showing films just before Halloween. Lavalley said he's hoping the new theater will help grow the organization to about 2,300 members.
The deadline for the matching donations coincides with TCAN’s Oct. 22 Annual Gala, this year featuring singer-songwriter Marc Cohn.
Cohn is best known for his soulful ballad "Walking in Memphis" from his 1991 eponymous album. Tickets for the gala are $100. Pre-sale for TCAN members ends Sept. 23. Both individual and corporate sponsorship packages will also be available.
To donate to the capital campaign, and for gala tickets and more information, visit www.natickarts.org or call 508-647-0097.
NATICK – Construction of the highly anticipated former American Legion development began in mid-August, with Stonegate Group reuniting with PointsNorth Construction Management and Lim Design Studio on the project. “Stonegate is pleased to once again work with PointsNorth and Lim Design on this exciting renovation project. The quality craftsmanship and superior design of our most recent 2013 collaboration [Piccadilly Place in Downtown Westborough] proves that this team works cohesively with us to create an outstanding product,” stated Dean Calivas, chief operating officer at Stonegate Group.
Over the next several weeks, with guidance from structural engineering experts from Boston Building Consultants and geotechnical engineers from Geosciences Testing and Research, contractors will work to protect the historical integrity of the building by shoring and stabilizing the exterior brick walls in preparation for the interior demolition this fall. While this extra step will add additional time and expense to the project, Calivas explained that “Stonegate understands the importance of preserving this historic Downtown Natick landmark.”
The project is scheduled to be completed in late spring of 2017.
Follow the progress on Facebook: Stonegate West Central
Stonegate was pleased to sponsor the August 1st Concert on the Common with the Roy Scott Big Band. Great music, great giveaways and a great time was had by all. Our Stonegate Group Frisbees were a huge hit with kids both big and small!
Thank you to everyone who came over to visit our table to learn about our two upcoming development projects in Natick Center- we enjoyed meeting all of you!