If you’re on Martha’s Vineayard and have driven down Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, chances are you might be wondering what is happening with the old Seasons building. It’s true — it is becoming retail space, and here’s the scoop on the design.
The building is owned by Robert (Bob) Murphy and James Ryan. Last year, it was decided, they would close the popular Seasons Restaurant, leaving a large space vacant on Circuit Avenue.
The owners had hoped that someone would come in and open a new restaurant in the space, but that was not the case. They even toyed with the idea of doing a complete renovation of Seasons, but that was not in the cards.
Of course I was super curious about the space, especially now that the outside facade of the lower half of the building is gone. So, I met with Bob to talk about what’s happening with the space.
A Complete Change
The building is being divided into three separate retail spaces which will be equipped for businesses year round (if they choose to). Hard to imagine isn’t it after being inside it as a big restaurant?
Each space is roughly 1,000 square feet, each with its own entrance and even bathroom. The old skylights from the Boston House days have been uncovered, letting in natural light. Everything is brand-new.
Well, almost everything. The tile floors from Seasons will be used with new ones added to complete the space. The old fireplace from the Boston House that was covered up, is now exposed, and will be part of the design of the retail space on the left hand side.
Walking though the space, which I did with the builder, Brian Lane, you get excited. I should mention that he has working a lot on this building and its nine lives. The spaces are large and open, and will appeal to quality retailers. They offer the chance for downtown to continue to move in the right direction.
Since it is such a large piece of real estate, it will really brighten up the middle of Circuit Avenue, which is great for other businesses as well.
Sullivan + Associates is the architect, Bob and Jim have partnered with principal Chuck Sullivan, who has done a number of residential and commercial properties in Oak Bluffs, so this seems like a natural fit.
Though most of the design is done, the roofline is still undecided. I can’t wait to see what the final design brings.
This is going to dramatically alter the outside of the space in addition to the fact that all three spaces will have big glass windows and doors that will be slightly recessed. The look is clean, simple, modern, with a nod to the Oak Bluffs cottage-y architecture history.
I know many of us had hoped that the space would once again open as a restaurant, maybe even bring back The Boston House building. However, the new building will be fresh and will be a good addition to downtown.
Completion of the construction is planned for Winter 2015. I asked Bob if he had anyone committed to the spaces yet, but not just yet he said.
However, there’s a lot of interest from potential businesses. I don’t think anyone is going to buy in until the space is finished. It’s hard to imagine the finished product even if the location is key.
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