Looking at Success: The Remaking of the Old Marketbasket Building is a Chelsea Business Miracle

Less than 2 years ago, the Demoulas Family put back to use the building that housed the old MarketBasket.

The new MarketBasket had opened. Hundreds came to be employed there. The old building was shuttered.

With the backing of Chelsea City Hall and City Manager Jay Ash, plans were discussed by the Demoulas Family to redevelop the empty store.

Nearly 2 years later and the formerly empty grocery store now houses 8 businesses.

They are: TJ Max, Dockside Restaurant, Super Cuts, Metro PCS, Fancy Nails, Five Guys, a Home Goods, Radio Shack and a Sprint store.

For those of us who have spent our lives here, it sometimes becomes easy to overlook the benefits that come with this type of redevelopment of an empty store. This is to say, we see the new businesses come but we don’t necessarily stop to think about the consequences of the new businesses coming to town.

Suffice to say, the new businesses operating out of the old MarketBasket store have brought to the mall a whole new persona – and the mall is buzzing with business, literally and physically.

What some of us don’t realize until we take a close look is this: these new businesses have created as many as 500 new jobs – probably more – but who’s counting.

The payroll for all those new jobs is enormous. The taxes paid are enormous. The benefits to this city are over the top.

This being accomplished in the down market, with the recession still weighing upon all of us in one way or another, makes the rebirth of the old store all the more remarkable.

In a small square of the city – the mall – hundreds of new jobs have been created during the past 18 months. There were already 800 at Demoulas and 600- 700 at Kayem not too far away, and now another 500 in the old grocery building.

There are cities in this nation not as poor as ours, not as ambitious as ours, that have not created a single job since 2007!

The near collapse of the economy almost killed many smaller cities – but not ours.

A great deal of what we see going on is the product of the vision Jay Ash brings to his office.

It isn’t just him – but its almost all him.

His entrepreneurialism is what brought that old building back to life, that, and his ability to persuade the Demoulas Family to finance the deal – which they did.

Bottom line, that mall is hopping and frankly, there is no end in sight.

Take a walk around and be amazed.

I did and I was and I remain amazed.

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