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spenser1058

Vision for Tampa's future connects downtown, Channelside

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A great article about the challenges mayor Bob Buckhorn is facing in revitalizing downtown Tampa in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/vision-for-tampas-future-connects-downtown-channelside/1261047

For our purposes, this really struck me:

'Imagine what downtown Tampa's skyline would look like — and that dead zone that abuts the Channel District — if it had Westshore's 12 million square feet of office space. Imagine what that real estate black hole would look like with even a fraction of West Shore's two malls, 38 hotels, 250 restaurants, 4,000 businesses and 94,000 workers.

"It's been a huge factor," Buckhorn said. "It doesn't make a lot of sense to have two competing, highly dense urban districts within miles of each other, and that's what Tampa has." ' (italics mine)

This week, a number of folks have been applauding a possible redevelopment of Orlando Fashion Square. Fortunately, if the website of the purchaser, Scott Fish, is any indicator, we may not have too much to worry about. From what I can gather, he is just another Matt Falconer who seems to give more to charity. But, any success in that area is destined to compete, and if the history of the last 50 years is any guide, kill any renaissance of retail downtown. A choice needs to be made soon as many of the stores in Fashion Square have already or will soon reach the end of their lives: do we prop up a pedestrian-unfriendly, autocentric district or do we encourage the retailers to move to an area just slightly west whose street grid and planning encourages alternative means of transportation and, dare I say it, walking to their destination?

The decision is about to be made and every dollar invested on retail along East Colonial Drive takes us in the direction of the 1950s one more time.

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A great article about the challenges mayor Bob Buckhorn is facing in revitalizing downtown Tampa in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times:

http://www.tampabay....nelside/1261047

For our purposes, this really struck me:

'Imagine what downtown Tampa's skyline would look like — and that dead zone that abuts the Channel District — if it had Westshore's 12 million square feet of office space. Imagine what that real estate black hole would look like with even a fraction of West Shore's two malls, 38 hotels, 250 restaurants, 4,000 businesses and 94,000 workers.

"It's been a huge factor," Buckhorn said. "It doesn't make a lot of sense to have two competing, highly dense urban districts within miles of each other, and that's what Tampa has." ' (italics mine)

This week, a number of folks have been applauding a possible redevelopment of Orlando Fashion Square. Fortunately, if the website of the purchaser, Scott Fish, is any indicator, we may not have too much to worry about. From what I can gather, he is just another Matt Falconer who seems to give more to charity. But, any success in that area is destined to compete, and if the history of the last 50 years is any guide, kill any renaissance of retail downtown. A choice needs to be made soon as many of the stores in Fashion Square have already or will soon reach the end of their lives: do we prop up a pedestrian-unfriendly, autocentric district or do we encourage the retailers to move to an area just slightly west whose street grid and planning encourages alternative means of transportation and, dare I say it, walking to their destination?

The decision is about to be made and every dollar invested on retail along East Colonial Drive takes us in the direction of the 1950s one more time.

In short - Downtown to East Colonial: Drop Dead.

I appreciate what you're saying, but the Fashion Square/East Colonial area is a gateway to downtown and one that needs to be revitalized.

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