Arlington Center shop gets new sign, thanks to town grant
Next to Whittemore Park in Arlington Center is a brick walkway that, at first glance, may look like an alley. This pathway to the Russell Common parking lot is actually a part of Mystic Street and is home to several businesses including Restoration Services.
Established in Arlington in 2000, Restoration Services restores antiques and keepsakes for local and international clientele.
Until May of 2018, they did not have a sign.
Grant funding from the town
“There was no sign, just the window decals, which are helpful but we’re in sort of a weird, tucked away area so people are constantly calling us from the parking lot asking where to go because they can’t see where we are,” said Restoration Services’ office manager Krystal Hayden.
Owner Michael Kopson and Hayden began discussing installing a sign a year earlier and stumbled upon the Storefront Enhancement grant from the town of Arlington.
Economic Development Coordinator Ali Carter told the Advocate that this grant was a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) that existed for several years. The grant took federal funding and allowed for businesses to make enhancements to their storefronts.
″[It’s] partly meant to incentivize owners to make improvements [and to] beautify the town,” Carter said.
Restoration Services was the third and final business to receive funding from this grant in the past few months. Arlington Centered and 13Forest Gallery also used the Storefront Enhancement grant to replace glass and add new signage.
Unfortunately, Carter said, the program was cut due to a lack of funding. CDBG funding is divided among several initiatives in town, including affordable housing and organizations like Food Link.
Increasing foot traffic
Kopson told the Advocate he hopes the new sign will increase the amount of foot traffic Restoration Services sees now that they have a sign that is visible from both the parking lot and the street.
“Even people stopping in to take a look is always nice. It feels good,” said Hayden.
Kopson also hoped that the Whittemore Park redevelopment project would make efforts to increase awareness of the businesses located next door.
“I want to scale things up if it’s at all possible and maybe work towards helping people fix smaller projects and getting more local customers to stop in,” said Kopson.