As retail moves evermore online, vacant storefronts have become ubiquitous sights in American cities and towns. Often located in formerly prime downtown real estate, the darkened windows have a knock-on effect, sapping urban vibrancy and sometimes falling into disrepair. Discourse surrounding the predicament of dead malls and traditional retail space is ongoing, but a one-size fits-all solution clearly isn't the answer here. Architecture-startup Spaceus has gone local with their Boston-based solution. Their pop-up community hubs, populating formerly vacant retail spaces provide an opportunity to create thriving community hubs and promote creativity through revitalization and a new purpose. Created in 2018 by two MIT graduate students in architecture and planning, Stephanie Lee and Ellen Shakespear, Spaceus just opened its fourth pop-up location in the Boston area in early February.
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