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spenser1058

Waiting For Godot...er, Downtown Retail

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I posted this article in the Creative Village thread as well, but an interesting tidbit by Ustler about downtown retail:

"I don't want anybody to think that any of us are talking about downtown becoming a major retail destination as much as we are it's an integral part of the lifestyle as an urban amenity," Ustler said. "It doesn't ultimately take up a ton of square footage. It just really provides a lifestyle balance to what will largely be — because the young, smart creative people that are starting companies and what not, they drink coffee and beer, walk their dog and do that kind of stuff, so that's what you're going to react to, more than just saying, 'Hey we're going to build a Banana Republic because somebody wants to buy a shirt.' That is not what's going to happen in urban environments more or less. It's going to be totally lifestyle-based and really be an urban amenity to a larger division."

Sneak peek at retail plans for Creative Village

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One interesting thing I've noted is that what retailers we have seemed to be sticking around longer. I wonder if there are any incentives assisting with the cost of rent or if it's just the bullish economy keeping them afloat.

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Walked by what looked like a newly opening store on Magnolia between Jefferson and Robinson, "Sneaker Syndicate"

Also, could see the bright white walls of Walgreens today - I guess some of the stuff covering the windows was removed. Looks like an empty Walgreens so hopefully move-in day is soon.

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4 hours ago, Jernigan said:

Walked by what looked like a newly opening store on Magnolia between Jefferson and Robinson, "Sneaker Syndicate"

Also, could see the bright white walls of Walgreens today - I guess some of the stuff covering the windows was removed. Looks like an empty Walgreens so hopefully move-in day is soon.

That's sort of back to the future given that Denmark's used to be along that stretch of Magnolia (it and later mall locations were THE sporting goods stores before the big box era - imagine Colonial Photo and Hobby with footballs.)

 I remember being so psyched to go to Denmark's to get my first glove for Princeton Little League. Sadly, to quote Bart in 'Making Love,' "the only thing athletic I did as a kid was jump to conclusions a lot..." My baseball career was quite short.

Edited by spenser1058
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Walked by what looked like a newly opening store on Magnolia between Jefferson and Robinson, "Sneaker Syndicate"

Interesting concept: they sell collectible & rare shoes, all brand new. No consignment with outside sellers. I guess the goal is to offer an upscale, personalized experience for the rare shoe collector, which apparently is a thing.

 

https://sneakersyndicate.com/

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I wasn't sure if this was going to go head to head against Marcus Jordan's Trophey Room.   Sounds like different segments though 

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13 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

That's sort of back to the future given that Denmark's used to be along that stretch of Magnolia (it and later mall locations were THE sporting goods stores before the big box era - imagine Colonial Photo and Hobby with footballs.)

 I remember being so psyched to go to Denmark's to get my first glove for Princeton Little League. Sadly, to quote Bart in 'Making Love,' "the only thing athletic I did as a kid was jump to conclusions a lot..." My baseball career was quite short.

 Photos of signage on the Weekly.

http://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2017/04/10/walgreens-finally-coming-to-corner-of-church-street-and-orange-avenue-in-downtown-orlando

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Strong Towns has an interesting piece by one of its participants protesting the possibility of a new gas station in downtown Rockford, IL (once known as "The Screw Capital of the World" - I'll let your imagination do with that what it will.)

Personally, I bemoan the lack of a gas station in the downtown core ever since the onetime Amoco at Church and Parramore stopped selling gas. There is the 7-Eleven at Colonial and Magnolia but it requires getting across 50 and back, always a tedious proposition.

Otherwise, one has to go down to Gore St or Ferncreek and Colonial. In my own case, I go all the way to the Mobil at Primrose and 50 because of their car wash, even though Exxon Mobil is an abomination on social issues (I could wash my car myself, but then all my suds go straight in Lake Eola - talk about Inconvenient Truths *sigh*.)

Nevertheless, I miss having gas stations right downtown. There once were many, including the former Gulf station much discussed recently at Orange and Robinson. My favorite for years was Hank's Chevron on the site of the Vue (it was full service only (talk about retro.)

As much as we like to pretend otherwise, it's not easy to live life in Orlando without a car. Until that changes (requiring a much different mindset in the federal, state and county governments), it's unfortunate but still true.

With proper design restrictions (and not abandoning the ones in place with a wink and a nod like the City did with the absurd 7-Eleven on Magnolia), we can work to minimize the sea of asphalt common in suburban stations and also encourage charging facilities or LP refills to keep it urban.

Just saying no as the author did in Rockford's case is no solution at all and simply screams NIMBY.

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2017/7/21/a-letter-to-the-zoning-board-of-appeals-no-gas-stations-downtown?utm_content=buffer3118b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Edited by spenser1058

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The issue is really that restrictions are in place that literally prohibit the construction of a gas station like those in cities across Europe or South America. As a result, our gas stations would continue to be a disruption to the urban area rather than an enhancement. For this reason alone I'd say it's best to keep them outside the core of cities as much as possible.

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Bungalower is reporting the appointment of downtown's first "bar czar," to coordinate the activities of the core's multitude of night spots.

While this is wonderful, it brings up the fact we need someone just like that for the retail sector but with even broader responsibilities in recruitment of retailers, marketing and property management assistance, the same type of role managers for firms like Simon, Taubman and GGP play for lifestyle centers and malls.

One can only hope this is the first step many of us have long wished for.

http://bungalower.com/2017/07/30/city-orlando-appointed-first-bar-czar/

Edited by spenser1058

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1 minute ago, spenser1058 said:

Bungalower is reporting the appointment of downtown's first "bar czar," to coordinate the activities of the core's multitude of night spots.

While this is wonderful, it brings up the fact we need someone just like that for the retail sector but with even broader responsibilities in recruitment of retailers marketing and property management assistance, the same type of role managers for firms like Simon, Taubman and GGP play for lifestyle centers and malls.

One can only hope this is the first step many of us have long wished for.

http://bungalower.com/2017/07/30/city-orlando-appointed-first-bar-czar/

Sentinel reported that last week.

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It was on the local TV news last week, too. I looked on the Ch 9 website for a video or other link to the report so I could post it, but never found anything.

I think they referred to the position as a "downtown night manager".

I wonder if they're the same thing?

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 I was hoping we'd get someone with a stronger planning background ... or someone who had done something similar in another town. I'm interested in watching how she does. 

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I found it interesting that the lords of retail space are trying to regain the narrative about the impending (or not) retail apocalypse. Of course, that's exactly what they should be doing, even if objectively the US has several times the amount of retail space per capita compared to Australia or Canada (the only countries remotely close to us in that metric.)

They make a valid point that opportunities still exist - indeed, that should include the thousands of new residents moving to Downtown Orlando.

As usual, however, we hear crickets from DDB and City Hall *sigh*.

From CNBC:

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2017/08/07/mall-shopping-center-landlords-are-tired-of-industry-chatter.html

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That didn't last long 
IMG_2931.thumb.JPG.c2abd325590865f24acf5e2c97569e5d.JPG

I just walked past this today and didn't even notice. Lol.

Incidentally, I was on my way to the Philly Connection and noticed as I opened the door they have new hours: closed on Saturday and Sunday.

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This is in Crescent Station or whatever its called? Was shocked they filled the retail so quickly there with some good names. Seems like a bad spot unless you can kill it with the courthouse lunch crowd.

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This is in Crescent Station or whatever its called? Was shocked they filled the retail so quickly there with some good names. Seems like a bad spot unless you can kill it with the courthouse lunch crowd.

Greenbeat is doing just that. It's still not unusual to see a line close to out the door between 11:30-1:30. I'd have figured by now the excitement would have calmed down.

Philly Connection still gets a line, but not that bad.

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