If you walk through Old Town Winchester you may notice many empty stores, but that doesn't mean those spots are vacant. In fact, even the utility improvement project that will tear up the pedestrian mall is not deterring businesses from opening up in Old Town.
Right now, there are only about three vacant store fronts in Old Town Winchester. One of them is near Union Jacks. Another one is at the corner of Boscawen and Loudoun Street and the third one is of course that bottom retail space in the Taylor Hotel. All of these have positive signs that they'll be filled.
"I really enjoyed coming downtown. Gets you out of the mall and gets you out of the everyday. Brings you back a little bit to the way things used to be," said Downtown Muse Owner Jessica Wayland.
Jessica Wayland has lived in Winchester for seven years. She moved here from Florida. When she saw the Old Town Pedestrian Mall, she says she knew she had to open a boutique here. Her store, Downtown Muse, is the newest business to come to Old Town.
"This is just synonymous with a life cycle. A lot of the business that have left or have failed because they couldn't keep up with the trend and respond to the market place," said Old Town Development Board Karen Helm.
Helm says new businesses continue to move in to Old Town. Even with the big utility improvement project that is going to tear up the mall.
"They understand the construction is coming and that's going to be an inconvenience we all know that, but what we also know is at the end of the day next spring is that this is going to be the best place to be and these people don't want to miss the opportunity. They want to be here when the new mall is unveiled next spring," said Helm.
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