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GRDadof3

Marketing Downtown to Retailers

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Has anyone seen anything put out by the City or DDA that collectively markets downtown to potential local and national retailers? I found this great resource for downtown Kansas City:

http://www.downtownkc.org/FileUploads/Kans...portunities.pdf

It seems like something could be developed with local commercial brokers, developers, the CVD, Chamber and other organizations, especially with the upcoming building boom. What do you guys think (other than "get started on it, GRDad" :P )?

Yikes, there's my 1000th post! Now I'm a burg :P

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We can gett a guy to wear a superhero outfit and use him to promote the value of being a business in DT GR. He can walk around the city, go on dates, and sweat alot. Gotta have lots of sweat!!!!

We can call him GR-Man!!

My work here is done. :P

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We can gett a guy to wear a superhero outfit and use him to promote the value of being a business in DT GR. He can walk around the city, go on dates, and sweat alot. Gotta have lots of sweat!!!!

We can call him GR-Man!!

My work here is done.  :P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Uhhh. There is good marketing and bad marketing. I didn't see any mention of superheroes in KC's piece :huh:

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hey don't knock superhero's! I think Wy-man got Max10, to go in the strip mall accross from rogers plaza.

Seriously though, I'm not sure that we do have anything to that nature to attract retailers downtown. That was very well done I must say. However, is our CBD and downtown residential population large enough to attract the kinds of things we would all like to see downtown? I think KC is in a bit of a different league than we are.

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Has anyone seen anything put out by the City or DDA that collectively markets downtown to potential local and national retailers?  I found this great resource for downtown Kansas City:

http://www.downtownkc.org/FileUploads/Kans...portunities.pdf

It seems like something could be developed with local commercial brokers, developers, the CVD, Chamber and other organizations, especially with the upcoming building boom.  What do you guys think (other than "get started on it, GRDad"  :P )?

Yikes, there's my 1000th post!  Now I'm a burg  :P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hopefully they are going to get something done soon. There are 4 holes opening/opened in the downtown retail sector:

Frames Unlimited - A prime location for a retailer that would benifit from that much exposure.

Harry's Brooklyn Pizza - Out of the way space that helped launch the Dog Pit's success.

Herkner's Jewelers - Confirmed heading for the suburbs in another year.

Urban House - Moving to the suburbs in October.

Also, Rockford Construction hasn't had any luck filling their space in the new building that replaced the Milner. I'm wondering if the awful design would have something to do with it?

Not to be a nasayer, but we have opportunities out there for retailers, if the city would get a concerted effort going with the local developers to really market the empty space. It seems that a proactive approach would work a lot better than just sitting back and waiting for it to happen.

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Doesn't the organization known as The Right Place seek out retailers? Or do they limit themselves to industrial concerns? (what little is left of industrial in the U.S.)

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Hopefully they are going to get something done soon.

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I thought that the DDA had spent about $40 - 80,000 for a study of downtown with a group called UMC out of Toronto, and I was right:

http://www.jcwg.com/downloads/The_Downtown_Experience.pdf

The UMC Group did say that downtown has a lot of potential, but was severely lacking in marketing. Aha!

http://www.mibiz.com/absolutenm/templates/...d=5421&zoneid=7

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I thought that the DDA had spent about $40 - 80,000 for a study of downtown with a group called UMC out of Toronto, and I was right:

http://www.jcwg.com/downloads/The_Downtown_Experience.pdf

The UMC Group did say that downtown has a lot of potential, but was severely lacking in marketing.  Aha!

http://www.mibiz.com/absolutenm/templates/...d=5421&zoneid=7

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That just hits the nail directly on the head. The name "Grand Rapids" doesn't mean a whole lot to the world outside of West Michigan. We have got to go out there and sell the city and everything it has to offer.

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For those interested, here is a link to the DDA site where the UMC Reports are located:

http://www.ci.grand-rapids.mi.us/index.pl?page_id=2632

To sum up the Commercial Market Analysis, people who live in the Secondary Trade Area (burbs) actually do visit the Primary Trade Area quite often, but tend to only do one activity instead of multiple activities. Some highlights from respondents:

Not enough quality retail (women's clothing and shoe stores especially)

Not enough parking, aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

Parking not convenient, again aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

Trouble with one-way streets (what does everyone think about that?)

Want more casual dining instead of formal dining

Movies was cited as a big interest

Crime did not show up at all, generally downtown perceived as sociable, clean, lively

People watching scored a whopping 30% of respondents as an activity downtown!

about 40,000 people work downtown, about 7% of MSA

7818 residents live within close proximity to downtown, about .6%

The woman working on the project said that unlike many cities that she studies, we are not broken and need to be fixed, but good with the potential to get much better (that's what she tells all the guys :) )

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Trouble with one-way streets (what does everyone think about that?)

I remember when I first got my liscense many years ago; I went to an event DT for my Bday with a couple of friends. I got turned around and ended up going the wrong way down a one way street and got pulled over. The cop was really nice about it and didnt write me a ticket. But I remember being terribly confused.

It took me a while to get used to them, but now I would much rather drive on them than not when in a downtown area. They definitely move traffic more effectively, but confuse people not familiar with them. I say keep and expand them, but leave Fulton and Monroe as they are.

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I remember when I first got my liscense many years ago; I went to an event DT for my Bday with a couple of friends.  I got turned around and ended up going the wrong way down a one way street and got pulled over.  The cop was really nice about it and didnt write me a ticket.  But I remember being terribly confused.

It took me a while to get used to them, but now I would much rather drive on them than not when in a downtown area.  They definitely move traffic more effectively, but confuse people not familiar with them.  I say keep and expand them, but leave Fulton and Monroe as they are.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes I agree. I like am fine with the one-ways here, but that's because I know my way around better than most. I don't know my way around K-zoo at all, and I get extremely confused with their one-way streets. Once you get used to them they are fine, but for strangers they are a pain. Especially if the city streets aren't a simple grid. A few one-ways where necessary are ok, but other than that I would rather have 2 way streets.

And I agree with jeff about the parking: aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh indeed! :P Yeeesh!

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Yes I agree.  I like am fine with the one-ways here, but that's because I know my way around better than most.  I don't know my way around K-zoo at all, and I get extremely confused with their one-way streets.  Once you get used to them they are fine, but for strangers they are a pain.  Especially if the city streets aren't a simple grid.  A few one-ways where necessary are ok, but other than that I would rather have 2 way streets.

And I agree with jeff about the parking: aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh indeed!  :P  Yeeesh!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yah, people don't seem to understand that it's impossible to simultaneously offer more things to do (shopping, movie theaters, housing, etc.) and also provide convenient parking for all of those things. Land is finite, unlike a lot of people's waistlines :P

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In Chicago I see a lot of parking specials like 3 hours for $10. Maybe some kind of program like that could encourage people to come and stay dt a little longer, or maybe even get them to walk more than 2 blocks.

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To market ourselves well we should also try to lift up our selfesteems here in GR.

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