During the early years, many of the shop owners agreed to sell their properties to the Foundation and move into this new area of what was then considered “Uptown”; that end of Duke of Gloucester Street near William & Mary. Buildings of the new Merchants Square were set back farther from the street, offering easy pedestrian access. Power and telephone lines were placed underground. Large trees were planted, and modern elements such as air conditioning ducts and garage equipment were concealed behind plantings and shrubs. In later years, the street was closed to traffic, thus allowing for an expansive pedestrian mall connecting the stores.
Over the years, as the town has grown, most of the early shops, such as the small grocery stores, have moved nearer the expanding neighbourhoods and become supermarkets. But Merchants Square, that idyllic shopping district, retains that friendly, quaint quality.