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Yesterday everyone was buzzing with news of Converse signing a lease to anchor the Lovejoy Wharf development, subsequently moving its world headquarters from Andover, MA, to the North End. The sneaker giant (and Racked 38 member) will not house its 400 employees at the new digs until Apring 2015, which seems like a really long time away considering the major coverage this announcement is receiving. Of course, they have to actually build it first, so there's that. Lovejoy Wharf, right by the TD Garden, is definitely not on the shopping radar, but that neglect will be short-lived as the destination is revitalized with both office and retail space.
If any regionally-based competitors—adidas, Reebok, New Balance—are hoping to be neighbors, they are out of luck, as the Boston Herald reports they will be banned from opening shop in the adjacent retail space at the complex.
Mayor Menino is pleased with the plan, commenting that "Converse is an 'all star' company moving to an 'all star' city." Cheesy expressions aside, we are also thrilled to see an internationally-oriented brand continue its commitment to a legacy grounded in Massachusetts.
What impact do you think this will have on the North End as a burgeoning shopping neighborhood? Which retailers do you hope to see in the new space, especially since so many national ones are on the restricted competitor list?
· Converse Announces New Global HQ in the City of Boston [Nike]
· Converse feels the Lovejoy [Boston Herald]
· Lovejoy Wharf coverage [Curbed Boston]