It's the end of an era.
Lord's Department Store, the "little bit of everything" store that has anchored Medfield's downtown for 73 years, will close its doors on Feb. 28.
Nancy Kelly-Lavin, who runs the business with her brother Tom, said the time is right to close the store.
"It took us months and months and months to figure out what we wanted to do but we think the time is right," said Kelly-Lavin. "We have mixed emotions, it's sad, but we're trying to do what's best for our families."
Kelly-Lavin said she and Tom discussed the future of the business with their .
"My father actually talked to us about this and gave us his blessing," Kelly-Lavin said, adding that their mother, Kathryn June, has also given her blessing.
After Mr. Kelly’s death, the family's legal advisors suggested they hire a real estate consultant to address the numerous inquiries that were coming in, almost daily, about the property.
The siblings obtained such a broker but told Patch in September that they were not interested in selling, they were simply following advice to their options open.
Now, the Kellys say, it's time to spend time with their spouses and children.
"We've been here every day for years and years; we've both been here over 40 years," said Kelly-Lavin of her and her brother. "It's time for us to focus on our families...All of a sudden you blink and your kids have grown up and are gone."
Among the many considerations was the economy, the business scape, the town's changing character, the possibility of 400 housing units at the former Medfield State Hospital and the influx of retailers that could attract which would impact their family business -- all of these issues were part of the decision-making process.
"So we thought, 'Why not go out on top instead of struggling and possibly not doing as well," said Kelly-Lavin.
The property was sold to a "local developer" -- who is not from Medfield but is from a town closeby -- on Dec. 31. The fate of the property is unknown but it is expected to be renovated in the spring and to have a new tenant shortly thereafter.
Selectman Osler "Pete" Peterson noted on his personal blog, Medfield02052, that:
The Lord’s store property appears to have been purchased by the same company that is exploring siting a Starbucks at the old Mobil gas station site next to the Town House.
The deed, which was recorded at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds on 12/31/12, lists the buyer as an LLC named for the street address. It is common for attorneys to recommend a separate LLC for each property owned. However, the required mailing address for that LLC is the same office address as Salvatore Capital Partners, LLC and GJS Management, LLC, 858 Washington Street, Suite 309, Dedham, MA 02026, which is the entity working on the Starbucks deal.
...the Salvatore Capital Partners, LLC website lists the firm’s clients, three or four of which struck [Peterson] as possible candidates: Bertucci’s, Trader Joe’s, Eastern Bank, and/or Walgreens.
Peterson also says the deed lists a purchase price of $1,725,000 for about 38,615 sq. ft., slightly less than an acre.
A retirement sale will start next week, everything will be sold right down to the fixtures.
The nostalgic "Lord's" neon sign has been offered to the Historical Society who must find a place to store it, if they decide to keep it.