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Empty Downtown Space Hopes to Go to Retail Use, Not Offices

The owner of a downtown building where there's an empty store front says they hope to rent the space to a retail use rather than offices, which have expressed interest.

The owner of a prominent downtown storefront that is vacant says he is holding out for the right retail use to go in to the space.

Giggles was a toy store and kids clothing consignment store on Railroad Avenue in Hamilton . The space at 54 Railroad Ave. has been empty since then.

“We want to rent something that is going to benefit the other tenants,” said Artie Bennos, a principal for Hamilton Realty Trust, which owns the building.

On one side of the empty space is and , a spa, is on the other side.

Bennos, himself a retailer who , said he has received some inquiries from prospective tenants that wanted to use the space for offices.

“We chose not to put that in on the ground floor,” he said.

There has also been interest from restaurants but Bennos said that the septic system is not designed to handle that sort of use.

“There’s only enough for the owners and their employees,” he said.

A Facebook poll on Hamilton-Wenham Patch’s Facebook page in early June showed that .

Bennos said a restaurant would require a restroom for customers and the septic system could not handle the added demand.

Giggles owner Aimee Oliver said in April that she closed the store after five years because of a lack of steady business and the economic downtown.

Prior to Giggles, the space was home to a florist and a chiropractor.

There continues to be interest in the space, Bennos said, which is about 1,400 square feet adding that “there are a number of people we are talking to.”

Renting the space would be easier, too, Bennos said, if the economy was slumping and there was more encouraging economic news.

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