Retail Consultant Presents Findings of Hyannis Main Street Study


Consultant Michael Berne speaks to business owners and groups at Alberto’s Ristorante . Tim Dunn/

HYANNIS – Business owners and community stakeholders gathered at Alberto’s Ristorante Wednesday to for a presentation of what the retail mix can become in both the near and the longer term on Main Street in Hyannis.

The Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District (HMSBID) organized the event, highlighted by a presentation by Tenant and Retail Consultant Michael Berne, one of the leading experts North America on the retail industry as well as urban and downtown development.

“Today is about a summary of a years-worth of work working with a national tenant consultant to talk about recommendations and a status of what could be expected to evolve Hyannis Main Street and strengthen the mix,” said BID Executive Director Elizabeth Wurfbain.

“As we know, it’s not the old Main Street it was 15 years ago. Everything is evolving, so what can we expect from a national consultant and his point of view.”

As the Founder and President of MJB Consulting, Berne has amassed more than twenty years of experience in conducting retail market analyses, devising tenanting strategies and spearheading implementation efforts across the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

Berne took an in-depth dive into what changes could be made to the business sector and area workforce housing to what should remain the same.

Berne is a regular presenter and keynote speaker at industry conferences, including those of the International Downtown Association (IDA), the National Main Street Center, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the American Planning Association (APA) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), among others.

Before founding MJB Consulting, Berne worked on market studies and commercial revitalization for a planning consultancy, leasing and acquisitions for an urban retail developer, and policy analysis for a citywide elected official.

He received a B.A. degree from Columbia University (Columbia College) in New York City, and an M.Phil degree from Cambridge University (Gonville & Caius College) in the U.K.

Berne has also lectured at University of Pennsylvania, Pratt Institute, City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of California, Berkeley. He’s served on expert advisory panels for the ULI and IEDC and is often quoted in high-profile publications, such as the Financial Times, TheStreet and the Washington Post.

Currently, Berne splits his time between residences/offices in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood and Manhattan’s Union Square.

“This has been a collaboration between the town and different businesses and the chambers. We came together and hired an experienced consultant to give us recommendations, probably including things like density and types of businesses to look for in the future,” Wurfbain said.

Wurfbain says the slideshow associated with the presentation will be posted to the organizations website,

The Town of Barnstable, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, the Cape Cod Realtor’s Association, Cape Cod Five, and the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center sponsored the event.

By TIM DUNN, News Center 

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