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spenser1058

Sundial announces its lineup of tenants; 90 percent leased

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This is the old BayWalk festival marketplace in downtown St. Pete, which has undergone a major renovation after a variety of travails. I thought it interesting for us because the article looks at what types of retail may and may not be feasible for our downtown (even when someone is REALLY trying, unlike the crowd over at City Hall and DDB):

 

 

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/retail/sundial-announces-its-lineup-of-tenants-90-percent-leased/2191848

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And then there is this example:  http://brickellcitycentreconnect.com/

 

What I find interesting is that this now puts us well behind two Florida cities (Miami and St Pete), both of which are very different in scope and vision, but have nonetheless found success in bringing retail options to the center.  Where is the disconnect?  Does it really rest at City Hall?

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Retail does not just spontaneously combust - retailers (especially chain retailers) are some of the most risk-averse folks around. They also rely on others to point out locations. Someone has to be the champion. That can be a known entity like Simon (do you really think H&M would ever have gone to Sanford's mall  if it weren't for SImon?) or it can be a particularly aggressive developer, or it can be the city (Greenville, SC*, has been pretty successful at it, to name one.) 

 

The irony is that Orlando has more of the components to make downtown retail successful than just about any Sunbelt city, but so far, no champion. In economics, we call that market failure, and that's when the city needs to step in. Meanwhile, we wait....

 

 

 

*Let me add for anyone who thinks this is some left-wing, liberal attempt to let government take over: Greenville is one of the most Republican places on the planet. When they set out to save their downtown, they rebranded the effort as a "public-private partnership" to make it palatable, as James Fallows and others have discovered. A rose by any other name...

Edited by spenser1058
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You Liberals! 

 

Maybe DTO will have some interesting ideas that will work. But we mainly suffer from availability. 400 n orange would have been a good parcel but that ship has sailed. I always liked magnolia as a good retail street. And the sentinel's property creates great options. 

 

Ultimately, it will be up to a developer with enough cash and bravado to make it happen. 

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Magnolia / Pine / Central could be rebranded / retrofitted for retail.  The church parking lot at South / Magnolia would be a good opportunity to develop a retail outlet as a sort of entryway into a retail corridor along Magnolia that extends all the way to Heritage Square.  The city could offer incentives to businesses along this corridor to retrofit their existing spaces for retail use.  Once it takes hold, Magnolia could be turned into a pedestrian zone (a mini-Lincoln Rd Mall) and Lymmo could be bumped out to Rosalind, which has plenty of room for dedicated BRT.

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This topic is becoming a dead horse that continues to get beaten. If its such an obvious "win" and the only reason that we don't have the retail is because the DDB and City Hall are conspiring to keep it away, then take advantage of first mover advantages and open up a Sunglass Hut or Walgreens - or if you don't have the capital, start up a mom and pop and let us know how it works out...

I want to see it sooner than later, but outside of rediculous incentives (which I wouldn't support) the city is doing a ton in setting the stage in terms of investment in venues, transit etc.

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With all due respect, no one ever said they were "conspiring to keep it way," they are simply doing nothing. They simply do not care. Does that matter? Not at all, if you do not care that downtown can offer the one automobile-free alternative in central Florida and that, because the "rent is too damn high" no one can afford to stay downtown when they get past living four roomies to a condo and want to settle in with a family. The way it can work is if you eliminate the need for a car. You do not eliminate the need for a car if you have to have one for the basic necessities. 

 

For those of us downtown, that's a lot more important than a soccer stadium that was primarily situated to get a payout for a group of speculators or an arena replacing one less than 20 years old because an out of town billionaire decided he had to have one.

 

As to "ridiculous incentives," no one is asking for anything like the $1 million (1995-era) dollars  given to build the monstrosity that is the Colonial Plaza Marketplace or the millions of dollars given to access Millenia when FDOT had said for years that I4 could not handle another exit along that stretch (a point that is confirmed daily in the traffic generated out there.)

 

No, all we ask, and all we have ever asked, is to simply have someone with actual ties to the retail community do the due diligence required to complete the downtown community. Had anyone in the administration seen fit to do that, one step at a time, we would likely now have the few remaining bits of retail required. By now, we'd have a drug store, a hardware store, a clothing store, etc., or, if required, at least a Walmart rolling them all in one. If that had been done, this would be one of those few civic problems that would just go away, solved. Instead, as is typical of this administration, just like DPAC, everything gets halfway completed while Buddy runs on to the next thing. For God's sake, let's complete a project for a change.

 

As far as "setting the stage," that's the excuse that's been used for 20 years. As Lord Keynes once observed, "in the long run, we are all dead." Now is the time, not later.

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So, what exactly is keeping the retail away then? What factors?

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When even Wal-Mart is seeing declines and pulling back on expansion because of e-commerce, I think there are more forces working against brick and mortar retail than support of gov entities can mitigate. I get my shoes from Harry's in NY as well as supplies for my work from B&H Photo in NY and a couple other place in LA and have no idea where. I want to fram a pic, yeah I hit Colonial, or hardware bits an Ace or Lowes, but I'm pretty much buying stuff online. Must be a bit disquieting for shop keepers.

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i don't think the City can help unless they offer ridiculous incentives. Maybe I am just a pessimist but the problem is very tricky. We are a successful downtown so rents are high. There are no vacancies except in challenging areas. We have dynamic just outside of downtown. 

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E-commerce is certainly going to play a bigger and bigger role in retail, but as of today it's still <20%. There are a lot of folks out there that still want to touch and feel before they buy. I'm with you, Boomer, I get almost all my clothes from LLBean and, after 30 years, I know before I order how things will fit. Obviously, that doesn't work for folks who truly like to "shop" among many choices (especially in a lot of women's wear - it does not have anything approaching the standardization of men's.)

 

Boomer also, ummm, nails it on hardware. We should also note that retail is a form of recreation for many (not to mention retail therapy)  and it's odd that in our desire to build all these entertainment venues downtown, they're not being accompanied by shopping. 

 

Jernigan asks exactly what factors are holding up retail downtown, which is an important question. Since obviously I'm obsessed with the topic, I've gleaned a few insights about how retail works over the years, which I'll be adding to an additional post.

 

One thing I'd like to note is that, when redevelopment of downtown began with Mayor Bill in the early '80's, no one gave much thought to retail other than the lack of a grocery store. That was because there were still choices. With the announcement of both the Church Street Exchange and the Church Street Market in the mid-80's, everything seemed fine. Today's retail desert came later and, unlike some of the challenges downtowners had sought solutions to from the beginning, it was one that kind of crept up when we weren't looking.

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I think people tend to forget the Orlando metro area market is pretty saturated in retail for a region our size. Thanks to tourism and other factors, we have very successful shopping destinations and multiple malls in a relatively small market. When you compare other markets of similar sizes, they may have great downtown shopping, but that is just about it for the most part for shopping and entertainment. We have multiple successful nodes of shopping and entertainment here. Unless a developer with lots of money comes in to develop an outdoor mall in the urban setting, and possibly transportation options, it will be hard to create the critical mass needed, in the perspective of retail developers. I believe we do have many of the qualities needed to support basic needs at least, we'll just have to wait for the tipping point a developer wants. People already come from far away to come to Thornton Park or Lake Eola park for the setting itself. I live deep in the suburbs and know of many people, myself included, who will make the trek just to walk around, have a picnic, get a snack or drink from a shop/bar in the area enjoy the atmosphere. Our downtown has come a long way from where it used to be. Of course, there is still lots of room for improvement.

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Dillard's at Orlando Fashion Square to become clearance store

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-dillards-clearance-fashion-square-20140808,0,6465223.story

 

This is the beginning of the end for Dillard's at OFS. As I'll be noting shortly in my response to what factors are challenging retail downtown, one at the top of the list is the fact that Colonial Plaza and OFS, which originally sucked the life out of downtown retail, are just too close. As Fashion Square transitions to more of an entertainment venue and the anchors need to think about whether to stay or move, this creates opportunities for downtown. As Jack notes, the key question is where will they fit?

Edited by spenser1058

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What about a small shopping center in Thornton Park on the empty block south of the Sanctuary? There is over 3/4 of a full square block there if you include the parcel The Jackson sits on and build around that. I don't know if it is zoned for something like that, or if the roads could support it, but if that is possible it would really add to the whole scene around Lake Eola. Sundial sits on only one square block, and half of that is a movie theater.

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The land costs are too high. And it is too far from the main road. 

 

Every time i am with someone (generally lenders) from out of town and we drive by, they make the same comment about that being a bad place for retail. 

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What about a small shopping center in Thornton Park on the empty block south of the Sanctuary? There is over 3/4 of a full square block there if you include the parcel The Jackson sits on and build around that. I don't know if it is zoned for something like that, or if the roads could support it, but if that is possible it would really add to the whole scene around Lake Eola.

 

 

The block immediately south of The Sanctuary is almost completely vacant aside from two houses on the NW corner of the lot and the block to the south of that one is where The Jackson sits. Not sure which block you're referring to, or if you're including both lots as one block.

 

In any case, the block--or at least a portion of it--between The Sanctuary and The Jackson is about to be developed by Thornton Park Brownstones, which is slated to begin construction in a couple of months.

 

tp-brownstones-corner*600xx4640-3093-0-1

 

tp-brownstones-row*600xx4620-3080-0-193.

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Yes, I was talking about the combination of the block south of Sanctuary plus the lot where the Jackson is.

 

Thornton Park Brownstones is going on the block to the east of The Jackson on the lot fronting Summerlin Ave. The lot to the south of Sanctuary and the undeveloped lot where the Jackson sits has nothing planned to my knowledge.

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