Sunday, August 09, 2009

Roslindale Bradlees To Become New Stop & Shop

We're in the throws of losing yet another vacancy left by the late New London-based discounter Bradlees -- in the state of Massachusetts.

As previously reported, there was only two vacant Bradlees sites left in Massachusetts; Roslindale and Foxboro -- to which we reported early last year. Many of the state's 33 former locations have swept up as it is now the case for the Roslindale location.

ROSLINDALE, MA -- Located at American Legion Highway, at the dilapidated, former "Mini City" long anchored by once parent company Stop & Shop, the chain who once adopted Bradlees will be doing so yet again -- by demolishing the former building and its own for an entirely new location to be build on the original site.

In the early 1960s, when the Stop & Shop Companies adopted Bradlees into its own brand, the uniform built modelesque homogenies called "Mini City" plazas which consisted of the three major brands; Stop & Shop supermarket, Bradlees discount department store and Medi-Mart drug/pharmacies. Design traits were fairly typical across the board: a strip-lined variant of the brown-shades of brick stores, a simple awning covering the sidewalks and typically conveniently connected through each store's interior.

When the companies began to break up by the discontinuation of Medi-Mart in 1986, Walgreens had purchased many of the leases and converted all stores. When Bradlees finally went out of business in 2001, Stop & Shop commonly purchased those leases and built larger stores upon its ambitious expansion midway through the post-millennial years.

Roslindale Bradlees folded in early 2001 with the rest of the chain, but even in its final years was one of the many stores which reflected an aging, crippled chain losing market share to rising competition like Walmart, mirroring our own (still vacant, graffiti-laden) Hartford, CT location. Like many Bradlees originally joined with Stop & Shop through the interior, this store sat beside an equally distressed, asthetically neglected Stop & Shop to the right of the shuttered, signature rock-walled Bradlees, whose legacy is scarred on the building.

Despite the steel-shuttered Bradlees, time has clocked the the plaza itself, anchored by an old Stop & Shop and Walgreens with a slew of smaller retails lined-up in the middle. A plaza like this has seen little remodeling (if any) or maintenance with massive deterioration all over the pothole-filled, uneven and crackled plaza which has long been a staple of the area, dating back to the early 60's. The area, neighboring a graveyard and a South Boston (Mattapan) reputation leaves an impression of an unsafe and desirable area for all but locals, despite the somewhat posh surroundings to the other side of town.

As you can see from far above, this plaza's certainly seen better days long past.

Sadly, The Caldor Rainbow arrived a bit too late for the long-standing hand-painted sign around the side of the store, which was tarped over with a 'coming soon' banner. Luckilly, we caught the building, well half of it at least, and its elderly brother Stop & Shop on their death beds even with half the outer regions of plaza fenced off.

Even living in Connecticut, where the supermarket chain has reigned supreme now for decades, and keeping their status above the rest, I haven't seen such a nasty, old Stop & Shop quite like this one.

In case you missed it, we've been reporting much on other vacant Bradlees stores left in the Northeast region including ones in Hazlet, NJ and a recently demolished one we caught last Summer in New City, NY.

As far as Connecticut goes, we've still got Manchester and (the aforementioned) Hartford stores hangin' in there, and a good handful in The Garden State.

Stay tuned for our exclusive reports on a few more vacant locations we recently visited in New Jersey.