The comments thread on a related post was vile: the usual they-should-just-raze the place was paired with anti-immigrant sentiment. However, someone compared the selectmen's suggestion of building mixed use on the site (what I would have thought of, but hey, look where I come from, right?) to "Dennison", saying look-how-that-turned-out. Well, much like the Natick mall condos (also mentioned), Dennison Triangle suffered from poor timing with the crash; the condos are being rented, and the rents they are asking are reasonable (the commenters don't think so, but they're crazy -- altho it looks like there's some availability which suggests maybe not so crazy).
One way or the other, I wound up at an excellent blog:
Dominated by restaurant reviews (with really good pictures), the blogger notices businesses coming and going in a way that gives a sense of the ebb and flow of business between downtown and Rte 9 that would probably not be possible to convey in a more pleasant way.
In my mind, Framingham is always the place that has instances of the shops that I want to visit -- but the get-stuck-in-traffic risk means I often choose instead to order online or go a little further out along Rte 2, rather than go in towards Framingham (proof that I have indeed been turned into a zombie by life in the 'burbs). Well, that is, when I don't immediately think of that longitudinal study that was "Framingham" before I even knew where Framingham was. But it's really nice to start to develop the sense of place here that I have had for so long in the place where I spent over 30 years.