Maybe it's just time to wave the white flag on retail DT. We have to face facts that none of the big names will ever locate right in the middle on Monroe Ave. or nearby. Those buildings were built for old-fashioned shops that were for a different era. Apple, Ikea, GAP, Best Buy or any other known chain wont put themselves in such a cramped place of little renown. They specialize in urban stores that stick out visually, and are sometimes tourist destinations of their own. The Apple store will not be next to Grand Central Market no matter how much we hope.These days the biggest shops have specific needs and are not going to be shoehorned into these tiny storefronts with little prospects for constant foot traffic.
If retail as we imagine it is ever going to occur it will ONLY exist in three locations:
- N. Monroe
- The area SW of Founder's
- South of Wealthy along S. Division
2 is doable with a massive (mystery project) level development on both sides of the river.
3 is possible only with a huge shift in population and income in the surrounding area.
1 is the most likely because it is geographically contained, has great proximity to the part of the Grand River that doesn't look like a walled ditch, contains an existing population that skews to the higher end income wise, and has room to spill over to the other side of the river where there is even more land to develop.
All three have excellent highway access. If you can get something going in each location, they will ring DT nicely and will make it lucrative for smaller stores to fill in places like Monroe Center. You can also get a decent shuttle system up and running between them, negating some of the need to drive between each site. All of them can have massive parking ramps (with "free parking") so that no suburbanite will feel slighted in paying or in having to walk....far.
Edited by GR_Urbanist, 28 January 2013 - 01:24 PM.