Dartmouth wants to think outside the box when it comes to their commercial area.

The town recently completed their Retail Corridor Study, which looked at different options for unused areas around the mall and other shopping spaces such as empty parking lots and undeveloped land.

The idea is to maximize the town's retail space, even when it's not the holiday season.

Town Administrator David Cressman says, "Whenever I go to Khols, I see is a sea of parking spaces, and if some of those parking spaces were converted to offices or offices, say, above Cold Stone Creamery... that would then therefore create a greater density there..."

The study also looked into the possibility of converting land near shopping areas into student housing, or other types of residential areas. Cressman says the vacant land behind Home Depot and BJ's is just one example of possible residential destinations.

Select Board Chairman Shawn McDonald says he would like to see the empty land near A.C. Moore and Toys 'R Us built on for housing or other businesses.

"I'm not looking to say we need to sell the town to get businesses in, but you know, we gotta be maybe a little bit friendlier," McDonald tells WBSM News.

McDonald says the space would be especially good for businesses around the United States that haven't quite made it to the Northeast.

While zoning in these areas will have to be changed for certain projects, the study says many of the target areas will be able to handle the traffic.

While the Dartmouth Mall already boasts one of the region's most efficient revenues in the region at $440 per square foot, Cressman says utilizing the unused spaces will keep the area thriving.

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