HYDE SQ.—Construction work that began last month inside the long-vacant Bella Luna/Milky Way building is just spring cleaning, not a sign of new businesses coming in, landlord Mordechai Levin told the Gazette.
“Nothing is happening, other than we’re cleaning it up,” Levin said. “We’ve been approached by [potential] tenants, but we’re not close [to signing a lease] with any of them.”
The commercial property at 403-405 Centre St. in the heart of Hyde Square was home to the Bella Luna Restaurant and Milky Way Lounge until its 2009 move, amid a rent dispute controversy, to The Brewery on Amory Street. It also housed the June Bug Café, which closed in 2010.
The work—which includes removing acoustic tile ceilings and other minor structures—is intended to make the space look more attractive to potential tenants, Levin said.
The building is next door to the former Hi-Lo Foods, which is controversially set to become a Whole Foods Market. Levin said his cleanup was planned before the Whole Foods move was announced and is unrelated to it.
“Spring is historically the time people start looking” for property to rent, Levin said, adding that it remains to be seen whether Whole Foods actually will open and what impacts it will have.
While the ex-Bella Luna/Milky Way space has been vacant for years, Levin also owns the adjacent buildings that house the long-successful Ultra Beauty Salon and the newly popular restaurant The Haven.