June 24, 2019

The Hub: ‘Peddling’ out of Maple Tree Place

Observer photo by Marianne Apfelbaum Kathie Cooke, owner of The Paper Peddler, has decided to move her business from Maple Tree Place to a larger location on Blair Park Road.

Observer photo by Marianne Apfelbaum
Kathie Cooke, owner of The Paper Peddler, has decided to move her business from Maple Tree Place to a larger location on Blair Park Road.

Business owner says parking headaches spurred relocation
By Adam White
Observer correspondent
After 13 years in Maple Tree Place, The Paper Peddler is moving to a different location in Williston. The new space at 34 Blair Park Road will provide a bit more room for the jewelry, stationery, cards and gifts the store is known for.
But for owner Kathie Cooke, the biggest improvements will be noticed before customers even set foot in the door.
Cooke said that despite being one of the longest-tenured businesses in Maple Tree Place, The Paper Peddler has seen its bottom line suffer due to limitations imposed by the shopping center’s infrastructure.
“The parking here is terrible, and it’s gotten worse and worse,” said Cooke, who has owned the business since 2007. “We lose customers because of it; I think everyone in here does.”
Cooke said her complaints about the parking have been met with too many words and too little action by the management at Maple Tree Place.
“We have talked with them several times over the years, had meetings and negotiated with them,” Cooke said. “It was always a constant, ‘yes, we’re working on it.’ They’ve talked about improvements they are going to make, but we’ve been told that since we came here and it has never gotten done.”
Cooke added that a lack of ample signage—particularly on U.S. Route 2—has also cost her store and others within the plaza.
“They told us they were going to put up signs for all the businesses out there, where the sign for Maple Tree Place is, but it never happened,” Cooke said.
Representatives from Retail Properties of America, which owns Maple Tree Place, could not be reached for comment before press time.
Cooke said the new location is in a building attached to the back of the Williston Post Office, and faces the New England Federal Credit Union. She said the new space has a more square shape than the current one, with a few other details including split-level ceilings.
“It’s a little bit bigger, and the design is more different,” Cooke said. “There is more warmth to it, more character.”
The additional floor space will allow expansion of The Paper Peddler’s inventory, including more cards and a larger selection of handbags.
The current location will close on June 28 and remain shuttered until a “soft” re-opening in the new space on July 1.
Cooke said her customers are mostly optimistic about the move.
“Some are hesitant because it’s a change, but the majority are quite pleased,” she said. “Most of them are happy because they’ll be able to come without having to look for a spot to park.”

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