Monday, March 15, 2010

Something doesn't add up.

I haven't made up my mind about the proposed CSX Expansion Plan.  While that area of the city is already used by CSX, and the expansion would take abandoned factory buildings and an abandoned supermarket, I'm not sure that dropping this in the middle of downtown is the best use of land.  (Plus the added traffic on Franklin Street would mess up my summer bike rides to work.) 
When I got to work this morning, I read Nick Kotsopoulos's article in the T&G which detailed opposition to the expansion from The Grafton Hill Business Association.  The article made some good points, and then one point that baffled me.
"Ron Gestone, owner of Frank’s Flower Shop, 165 Grafton St., said he hopes the city will stand by those residents and property owners who he said will be “totally impacted” by the CSX plan. His business, which has been at that Grafton Street site for more than 40 years, is just before the I-290 eastbound on-ramp “My property will no longer be of use for me because I will have more than 500 trucks on a daily basis going by my place of business,” Mr. Gestone said. “With all those trucks, no one will be able to get in or out of my driveway.”
I go by that piece of property every day on my way to work.  There hasn't been any business in that building for the past year or so.  There used to be a flower shop there (I bought my senior prom date's flowers there in 1993, but I don't remember the name of the florist.)  Until recently, 165 Grafton Street was the sight of Upscale Consignmint II (still viewable on Google Maps.)  On my way home from work, I stopped by to see if my memory was faulty.  Maybe something had opened up while I was away on vacation.

Here's the sign for Frank's Flowers:
Here's the building:
Here's the front door, with a sign (no one answered when I knocked and called):
If Ron Gestone's business has been at Grafton Street for more than 40 years, my question is this:

Which 40 years?

Because on March 15th, 2010, there wasn't any business to be seen at 165 Grafton Street.

Will Frank's Flower Shop open up at 165 Grafton Street in the near future?

When you search for Frank's Flower Shop, 165 Grafton St, Worcester MA on Google, you end up with this link.  It's for a flower shop in Mississippi.

I'm confused.  Can someone please explain this to me?


Nicole said...

See this for information on their closing.

I saw that that flower shop had given some donations to Ed Augustus in 2004/2005 (via the OPCF website) -- so it was doing business in that name then.

Sean Dacey said...

Thanks! It's nice to have a librarian available with helpful information.

Nicole said...

I'm not a librarian. My husband has actually told me he would leave me if I ever became a librarian.

Sean Dacey said...

Sorry- I assumed your interest in the library stemmed from your involvement with it.
Was your husband shushed by a librarian one too many times?

Jules Miller said...

Hey Sean, I've actually been a customer at Franks for a long time and I think I can give some insight. Frank's Flower Shop opened up at that location in 1968 or 69 somewhere around there -about 40 years ago. It did a prosperous business until it closed at that location and relocated in 2008. The building was leased to another type of business in late 2008 and operated there until late 2009. The building is for lease now. The owner of the business Frank's Flower Shop is also the owner of the building.

All sorts of property owners and business owners will be affected in different ways. I think the quote clearly expresses the property owners concerns for what is obviously an unclear future for a building into which he has invested his life. And I think the sentiment - simple concern over investments - is shared by many in the neighborhood.

Sean Dacey said...

Thanks for the info, Jules. Where did Frank's relocate to?

I understand the frustration Mr. Gestone must feel, but I felt it a little disingenuous (or a sloppy use of tenses) to present Frank's as still occupying 165 Grafton St.

Crystal said...

That building on Grafton Street was just a consignment shop recently,which I now see is no longer open.