Economy Hardware, a store frequented by members of the MIT community, closed its doors earlier this winter to undergo renovations. Economy Hardware owner Larry Friedman confirmed that the store will reopen sometime in mid-spring at a reduced capacity, sharing the space with Cambridge Community Television. CCTV has also signed a lease with the MIT Investment Management Company on the space formerly occupied by Economy at 438 Massachusetts Ave.
According to Friedman, the decision to reduce their space was not a result of Economy filing for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.
“The space was bigger than we needed, expensive, and just didn’t flow very well”, Friedman said. “We’re going to use this as a chance to retool ourselves, to provide a similar product at a little less than what we had. We’re going to keep a focus on unfinished furniture with some hardware.”
He says the act of filing allowed them to take a step back from the business and look at what they could do to streamline it.
“My family has been in this business in Cambridge for the last 100 years, and we intend to stay.”
According to Patrick D. Rowe ’07, MITIMCo senior investment officer in real estate, the renovations are mainly to bring the building up to date and meet CCTV’s needs. CCTV was outgrowing their current space on Prospect Street and was facing a 60 percent rent increase when MIT approached them about the space a year and a half ago, said CCTV Executive Director Susan Fleischmann. They plan on building a new 21st-century multimedia center for the Cambridge community, complete with a computer lab, studio space, and a dedicated space for their teen programs.
“We’re extremely excited to come closer to the MIT community and look forward to interacting with the students, faculty, staff, and other community members in the area by moving into our new space,” Fleischmann said.
CCTV is set to complete these renovations and move into the new space this summer.