Newbury Street Foot Traffic Increased 150% on Car-Free Days

Newbury Street, often called “Boston’s Rodeo Drive”, introduced car-free days to draw foot traffic to its businesses this summer.

As retail evolves and e-commerce giants give consumers more convenient and affordable alternatives, speculation has risen that Newbury Street faces some challenges.

This is far from the truth.

Even though retail vacancies continue to increase, with collaboration of the City of Boston, Back Bay Association and retailers launched an initiative to reinvigorate the mile-long retail drag.

Dubbed ‘Open Newbury Street’ the program halted all motor-vehicles and turned the historic brick-century row houses into a booming pedestrian oasis. The arrival of new mixed-use developments across the City has been a key catalyst for sluggish retail growth on Newbury Street, but Newbury Street still holds the retail throne,with many new tenants on the way.

Source: Boston.Gov

The event, which allowed retailers to utilize outdoor space was a success, with most companies reporting higher sales, many of whom were able to double their sales from the previous year. The 3-series event, starting off in 2016 and took place on Sunday’s throughout this summer, with its last event wrapping up September 9th.

Urban Land Institute, a prominent organization in commercial real estate, said the initiative [On Newbury Street aims] to give consumers a new way to experience the street—“the opportunity to take this street and turn it more into a place to be—not just going to visit a particular store or a particular restaurant, but a destination in and of itself as a place to go,” says Jacob Wessel, who works for the mayor and was behind the launch of Open Newbury Street.

Recent Newbury Street Transactions / News

  • 164 Newbury sold for $10,000,000 in September, fetching $1,550 PSF
  • Haberdashery, a women’s boutique is set to open on 114 Newbury Street
  • M.Gemi, an Italian shoe company opened a pop-up on 172 Newbury Street
  • Yogibu, a trendy bean bag company opened a pop-up on 174 Newbury 
  • Marakech Designs an interior design company opened on 179 Newbury
  • Roots, a Canadian eCommerce company opened a store on 344 Newbury this June
  • 172 and 110 Newbury are expecting tenants soon!

Source: Boston Realty Advisors Research Team, ULI & ICSC