Sad to hear about the Miniature World of Trains. I certainly liked it. It really should retool to be part of a "real" railroad museum. Spartanburg has a "real" railroad museum, and there is another one on the way to Columbia that has real trains to ride. Perhaps Greenville could get a "real" railroad museum with real railcars, and what results could be even better than expected. Or maybe it could have a model train store attached to it? Having $5 admissions as the only source of revenue, for all I could tell, perhaps was a tough business model.
Kermit, wow, great post and that's really shocking. I would assume (without a basis that I have verified) that VA has done well because of DC-area Federal government employment. I would guess (again, without a basis that I have verified) that the rest of the state has fared more like NC and SC. I'm shocked to see NC doing so badly. I'm also depressed to see SC doing not much better now than it did when I was born--particularly as the US as a whole isn't doing particularly well. I would guess (again, without a basis) that the low education levels in all of these states (outside the major urban areas in each state) are what's holding things back, but who knows.
cltbwimob, FYI, South Carolina is a very heavily Republican state, with a much deeper GOP control of government at all levels. Virginia has a GOP legislature that has an even larger GOP majority in the lower house than the NC one does.
So "the heavy hand of GOP-controlled NCGA" drives companies to relocate to neighboring states that also have GOP-controlled legislatures, and that are more GOP-controlled overall in some respects? And "the heavy hand of GOP-controlled NCGA" drove off companies to relocate to SC, a state that until yesterday had a Confederate battle flag in front of its State House? The NCGOP is THAT bad?
FYI, here are economic data about NC, SC and VA. From best to worst, VA has the lowest unemployment and SC the highest; NC has the highest income growth and VA by far the lowest. So neither state seems a clear winner over the others.
I don't care what the movie theater serves as long as it's a "nicer" movie theater; I don't want the trailer park crowd taking over downtown and running the rest of us away.
I have concerns about movie theaters in general, though: movie theaters have low sales per square foot and are generally a declining industry, with dropping attendance recently. I'd prefer a large destination retailer or anchor, like a Cheesecake Factory or a Target, or even a Saks Off Fifth or an H&M.
1. The surrounding area has lower incomes than Woodruff Road does.
2. Haywood is not aesthetically appealing: particularly the zone between the mall and Laurens Road.
3. The surrounding area isn't experiencing as much residential growth as downtown and further-out suburbs.
4. The area has lost its short-lived monopoly on upscale chain retail. High-end chain stores can now consider downtown as a viable location.
Haywood still has a strong central location, so if the area can improve its aesthetics, attract more upper-income residential development and lure some more strong retail anchors, it can certainly stay strong. Haywood certainly has not deteriorated like Pleasantburg Drive did, although it has trended in the same direction.
Haywood Mall certainly needs to be preparing for the day it becomes a 3-anchor mall, minus Sears and JC Penney.
As much as I dislike Haywood (the clientele, the exterior, the location, etc.), it's not a B mall; it's certainly a strong and dominant center- at least for now. Once downtown and exurbs keep building up, and once Sears closes (which will happen), things could change, but for now, it's a strong, mid-market shopping center.
I also agree that Cheesecake Factory would do great downtown. The perfect location would be the Greenville News site, Riverplace or maybe McBee Station (for the ample parking).
Here's Greenville's. It doesn't even list the draws that will help new high-end stores come downtown. Anthropologie is one of this era's most in-demand retailers and so it should be trumpeted, to draw more stores and people downtown, but it's not even listed:
I can't repeat this enough: we need more traditional architecture in these developments.
What's in vogue today won't be in vogue in 15 years, and using "trendy" architecture, given all of the new construction downtown, will result in a skanky looking downtown soon, once they're out of style. Look at the existing Greenville News building: it and the Daniel/Landmark building were stylish when built, but they were eyesores within 15 years.
There are plenty of architectural styles that have lasted hundreds of years. We should have more buildings using those styles.