There is a new watchdog in Beacon Hill, a band of officious residents which wants to make sure the Great Bank Branch Scare of '12 never ever happens again. That was when Capital One tried to supplant the Charles Street Market at 66 Charles. More than 1,400 residents signed a petition against it; and 200 residents packed a public hearing to speak about how it would damage the neighborhood; and Capital One backed off.
The new retail vacancy task force of the Beacon Hill Civic Association plans to fan out amongst along Charles and Cambridge streets in particular to monitor vacancies and what might fill them. Plus, it's time to get a dialogue going. “We also want to find out from landlords and business owners why it is businesses leave," Michael Bruck, the task force's chairman and a nine-year neighborhood resident, told The Herald. "Is there anything the neighborhood can do to help them?”
Right now, by the look of things, it seems the task force will spend most of its time anticipating: there are not too many retail vacancies; and where there are new tenants are slated, like jewelry and craft shops for 88 and 133 Charles (or the J.P. Licks that moved into 151 Charles in April). Still, this new watchdog is out there; the last time it barked, everybody listened.