Charles Street Market Prevails for Now

The desire of Capital One Bank to take over the commercial space now occupied by the Charles Street Market caused a great stir among many residents and organizations like the Beacon Hill Civic Association in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

That powerful collective voice caused 1,300 Beacon Hill residents to sign a petition stating that Beacon Hill did not want to trade an everyday marketplace important to the life and times of nearly everyone living on the Hill but that they especially didn’t want to trade it for another banking branch.

Beacon Hill residents threatened, and justifiably so, to take their case en masse to the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals which would have been required to make zoning changes asked for by the bank in order for the bank to operate legally in the space.

Over the weekend, a Capital One spokesperson said the banking company was re-evaluating their opportunities in the area and was trying to determine what would work best for the bank in Boston.

Capital One has withdrawn its application with the city.

Capital One Bank is to be congratulated for putting on the brakes on its effort to locate in the Charles Street Market space.

The market, upon much closer scrutiny and observation, is as much a useful Charles Street treasure as its fine eating places, antique stores, fashion shoppes and the wide variety of commercial spaces that abound on the street.

Banking branches have their place and they certainly have spaces in and around Beacon Hill and on Charles Street where hundreds even thousands of customers do their business on a daily basis.

In this instance, the Charles Street Market serves the neighborhood in dozens of ways at all hours of the day and in the evenings that the Capital One Bank could never be expected to do.

The decision by the bank to withdraw, postpone or to likely give up entirely on its intentions to attempt a takeover of the Charles Street Market commercial space comes as good news.

This busy corner on Charles Street seems especially suited for a busy, neighborhood market rather than a bank branch.

It goes to show how the neighborhood can come together and have its opinion not only heard but paid attention to.

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