From a trainwreck in 2010, to a red carpet fashion show with sexy models strutting Spring Street in the newest spring and summer fashions. In a nutsheel, that's the three-year turnaround of Fairview Corner in West Roxbury.
Back in 2010, Kalembar Dune owner Shirley Walsh bought the block of stores she has since named Fairview Corner. Kalembar Dune had been in business on the block since 2005.
"In 2010 there was just the barber shop, and a real estate office. It was a trainwreck before," said Walsh, before the second Fairview Corner Fashion Show on Thursday night. The first one took place in November last year. She added, "I'm so excited. It's like when your kids come home with straight A's on their report card."
Since Walsh's acquisition of the block at the intersection of Spring and Baker streets, Top It Off Accessories, Fabutique, and Baker Baker, all women-owned businesses, have moved in.
"It just pops when you drive by (now)," said Clare O'Brien to Walsh, before Walsh handed out pizza to audience members who lined the red carpet to take photos.
All of the businesses had a hand in the fashion show, with 10 models donning goods from Top It Off Accessories and Fabutique.
"It is a gorgeous sunny night. We're using natural lighting," said Elizabeth Hoenscheid, owner of Top It Off Accessories. Hoenscheid said a new facet to the second show was audience members were handed out sheets to vote for their favorite look. Audience members selections were then pulled randomly and the individual selected received a gift certificate from all four stores at Fairview Corner.
And pies from Baker Baker were even shown off down the red carpet by a model or two, including West Roxbury's District Councilor Matt O'Malley, who rocked a sequined-apron with sunglasses on the last round of runway strutting.
"This a great cause with all pie proceeds from Baker Baker going to the Pan Mass Challenge," said O'Malley. "This a true example of a thriving corner in a small business district. It's been great to see Fairview Corner transformed by these businesses all owned by women."