The Barn Family Shoe Store in West Newton is moving...but not too far away.
The longtime retailer — which opened in 1948 when Russell Wennberg sold overstock sneakers from the trunk of his car — is moving about a mile east of its current Kempton Place home to Washington Place, a mixed-use housing and retail development now under construction at the corner of Washington and Walnut streets.
Joe Carrigan, the store’s president, thanked customers in a statement announcing the move.
“The Barn’s loyal customers are the key to our success and we are grateful for the support they have shown our independent family business for over 70 years,” Carrigan said in the statement. “We are confident that our new location at Washington Place will offer them greater convenience and an improved shopping experience while also contributing to the vitality of Newtonville.”
Developer Robert Korff is proposing a mixed-use housing development that includes the Barn’s present West Newton location; that project would include 243 apartments and ground-floor retail space.
Korff is also building the 140-unit Washington Place, also a mixed-use development, at the site of the former Orr Block in Newtonville. The Barn is the first locally owned business with a lease at Washington Place, and will occupy 8,500 square feet in the complex, the statement said.
Patrons will have access to more than 100 free surface parking spaces in the complex, the statement said. A grand reopening of the Barn is expected in the fall of 2020.
In the statement, Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller called the move: “a great example of how new development can accommodate our local businesses so Newton families can continue to enjoy this institution that has served families for generations.”
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.