Could New Bedford transform Kings Highway like Fall River’s South Coast Marketplace?

Kings Highway has been a hot button topic of discussion as of late, specifically the old “Newport Creamery” building which has been vacant for quite some time. A resident posted in the New Bedford Facebook group wondering why the building is still vacant after so many years.

“When will someone buy that former Newport Creamery on Kings Highway this is getting sickening! That building has been abandoned for centuries. It’s so freaking annoying looking at it.”

This sparked a debate that led to an even bigger question, what is the future of Kings Highway as a whole?

King’s Highway Plaza. Steven Richard photo.

Surely, Kings Highway can not stay as it currently is now with its several vacant buildings, vastly empty parking lots, and dollar stores next to…more dollar stores? “Ray Goyette” commented under this thread which caught some attention stating:

“The entire Kings Hwy plaza could benefit from a massive overhaul. I’m hoping with all the “upscale” improvements because of the train coming, a developer will wipe out Kings Hwy plaza and start over.”

This is where other residents began mentioning how Fall River has done a fantastic job developing the “South Coast Marketplace” and New Bedford should maybe take some notes.

King’s Highway Plaza. Steven Richard photo.

Since its opening in 2017 the South Coast Marketplace has flourished. We have now seen the additions of Chik-Fil-A, Starbucks, Ulta, Marketbasket, and several other huge names that has completely transformed that area of Fall River. Along with its plethora of popular stores and restaurants, the marketplace has also maintained a clean and modern aesthetic which really adds a nice touch to the area.

On the other hand, Kings Highway almost feels like its sadly been stuck in time. It looks exactly the same as when I was a kid except now there are just more empty buildings.

Rather than complain, I think it is more beneficial to throw out ideas and see if they could work. I think Kings Highway Plaza could become New Bedford’s version of the “South Coast Marketplace”, what would you like to see happen to Kings Highway?

SouthCoast Marketplace in Fall River. Steven Richard photo.