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Downtown retail initiative

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Nashville's downtown is trying to attract new retail business's. What kind of retail would you like to see downtown or do you see a need for? Also What retail services do yo envision for downtown as the residential population grows. Also included is an article from the CP.

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm?se...s&news_id=48972

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Nashville's downtown is trying to attract new retail business's. What kind of retail would you like to see downtown or do you see a need for? Also What retail services do yo envision for downtown as the residential population grows. Also included is an article from the CP.

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm?se...s&news_id=48972

Just a few (some obvious):

Hardware store

Veterinarian

Book store

Office supply

Liquor store (wine, baby, wine)

Clothing

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Definitely a hardware store

hopefully an urban Wal mart or Target.

As a side not there was an article in the print addition of the Tennessean that said WalMart was planning on opening 50 urban stores in the US.

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In addition to cliffs list, how about a...

sporting goods store

electronics retailer

hobby shop

music store

furniture gallery

many, many, small grocers

a SMALL theatre/play house

My only hope for the future of our city is that a Wal-mart/Target DOES NOT move to the downtown area. These stores are very convienient and are based on the idea of one-stop-shop. The idea(and the best part of urban life) is to get the items one needs from a specialist of that genre. This also encourages private business, and a spread-out shopping district. The idea is to get what you need only when you need that item. If i live in a walkable community im not going to walk to get eggs and walk home with $100 of groceries, a new outfit, a basketball, can of paint, new DVD player, and that recliner that was such a bargain. There is no way i can carry it all home. Dont think that I am tying to discourage consumerism(Americans will always buy what they want) Im simply opposed mega-stores. A person can always stop buy the sporting goods store the next day for that basketball, and it wont be a task because its on your walk home from work anyways.

If we build this megastore downtown where will it go? In the core? Where do the residents of The Gulch and SoBro shop? Do they now have to walk all the way to the core to get those eggs they needed?

Now lets say a resident in the gulch has eggs just down the street, in which they only have to walk a block or two once a week. Would they then be more willing to walk to SoBro to get that basketball? I personally wouldnt mind that walk every now and then, but not everyday.

Dont get me wrong, i am for a free market, I'm just imagining a once-again bustling 5th ave.

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There's no Music store in downtwon "Music City?" As you mention it, I can't recall seeing one, but I just assumed there was something music related downtown other than bars. Maybe if you count the Hard Rock Cafe store...

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I agree with the specialty shops format that Nashvillwill talks about. A Butcher Shop, A Vegetable Stand and a small grocery store would be a much more logical fit than one super store that has no idea what the customer really wants. Also the need for a theater/playhouse. Surely there is room for this somewhere. A lot of the ones in Chhicago have been below ground.

Some more ideas:

Viking Culinary Arts Center (cooking classes AND kitchen store)

Florists of reputable quality

bank branches & ATMs (the main branches don't count if you're in the Gulch)

Office Supply store like Office Depot

Ann Taylor

Banana Republic

Nordstrom - LOL

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This sounds a lot like the downtown of pre-70s. I remember the Hewgley's Music Shop at Commerce and 7th (where the Midas Coming Soon sign has been for 132 years, fed ch site), I remember the theaters, Bookworld on Church, a Hallmark store and so many more. There was a store for everything including the three or four large department stores. There's aleady a sporting goods store on 8th next to Josh's place. It has survived remarkably. It's old and gritty, but quite authentic. Will it continue to survive? Don't know.

I think if there's a Target, or such it'll be in a mixed-use building in the Gulch, not in the core, there's no space. There is and will be tons of streetfront retail spaces. I hope the mix is good and the stores somewhat small, like the American clothing thing on Broadway will be. I've forgotten the name, but putting downtown back like it used to be would be a great thing. Most of you don't remember, but none of this except the huge numbers of residences will be different than what was there anyway. It was wonderful thing, our cities were very cool, and certainly should be again. It'll take caution and control and good sense, but I think it can be done. Greedy megastores should be discouraged anywhere near the core.

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I remember some of those places. Cain-Sloan and Castner Knott Co. more than any other department stores. I remeber Hewgley's - one of my friend's dad used to work there. I think there is still a Hallmark on 5th though.

I'd be very much a loyal customer of anyone who wanted to put something original iin downtown. We need some locally-owned business to keep us from looking and feeling like Atlanta or Charlotte.

I would still like to see some sort of department store (doesn't have to be huge) on Church Street. Something thin and tall in the 5-7 floor range. That way each floor could be a department. Mens on 6, cosmetics on 1 and Home Store and restaurant on 7. Would be sort of cool - kind of like the SAKS mens store in San Fran which is a narrow building with a few floors. This could be done and as long as it isn't a Macy's or Dillard's it could work because people - especially shoppers like selection and uniqueness. - LOL jmo though.

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This sounds a lot like the downtown of pre-70s. I remember the Hewgley's Music Shop at Commerce and 7th (where the Midas Coming Soon sign has been for 132 years, fed ch site), I remember the theaters, Bookworld on Church, a Hallmark store and so many more. There was a store for everything including the three or four large department stores. There's aleady a sporting goods store on 8th next to Josh's place. It has survived remarkably. It's old and gritty, but quite authentic. Will it continue to survive? Don't know.

Me, too, I remember that stuff... you're gonna make me cry. :cry:

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Some more ideas:

Viking Culinary Arts Center (cooking classes AND kitchen store)

Florists of reputable quality

bank branches & ATMs (the main branches don't count if you're in the Gulch)

Office Supply store like Office Depot

Ann Taylor

Banana Republic

Nordstrom - LOL

Thats everything in downtown Memphis, except Nordstrom and Banana Republic. I also don't agree with putting mega-retailers in downtown Memphis or Nashville. There is some talk of a Target store in Midtown Memphis and I think it would be disasterous for the many small businesses in the area! :(

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All the things mentioned would be great additions, but for me, I want to see locally-owned restaurants open new spaces downtown. I think it would be a huge sign of confidence in the market. Baja Burrito, Bread&Company, Calypso Cafe (again - the one in the arcade didn't last), Fido/Bongo Java, Bosco's, Pizza Perfect(!), etc. Right now, none of the current locations of these businesses are walkable distance from downtown. This drives me crazy. I love living downtown and plan to stay, but I reeeally miss living by Vandy where I could quickly walk or bike to all of these businesses. So yeah, more retail downtown of all kinds is absolutely welcome!

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If we build this megastore downtown where will it go? In the core? Where do the residents of The Gulch and SoBro shop? Do they now have to walk all the way to the core to get those eggs they needed?

Now lets say a resident in the gulch has eggs just down the street, in which they only have to walk a block or two once a week. Would they then be more willing to walk to SoBro to get that basketball? I personally wouldnt mind that walk every now and then, but not everyday.

Dont get me wrong, i am for a free market, I'm just imagining a once-again bustling 5th ave.

I don't know if you remember or not, but downtown department stores sold clothing, TV's, stereos, refrigerators, you name it. Some even had small boutique groceries. The old time department stores themselves were pretty "big box".

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To me it seems we need to define "downtown" again...our what, ten little blocks usually get us screwed in the population counts for "downtown" housing, but what about the retail. I know of many places who consider some of their retail corridors "downtown" but they're a couple of miles or more away. We get spanked when we consider Church past the loop downtown, but it was before. If that were the case here, then we've got tons of retail already. But I understand the need and desire for the storefront variety set inside a block long sets of buildings. It would add so much. If I have ride the bus for 5 minutes to get to Office Depot at Vandy, that's okay.

I hope the initiative will consider the fact that within a stone's throw are many retail establishments that serve a rather wide midtown/west populace. The core stores should concentrate on the stores that really mean a lot to the convenience and needs of people living downtown. I'd sure love to see a wide variety of small business pop up down there. Food, groceries, drug, cleaners, liquor and wine and other such goodies.

I don't think any of the things mentioned are out of the question or out of reach especially when we're simultaneously creating multiple distinct neighborhoods: the Core, RMH, Gulch, Northside, Germantown...all close enough to be called "downtown." I'm guessing things will escalate quickly once all these people with spendable cash get settled in. Face it, not everything is going to be within a five minute walk. You might live by the Bicentennial Mall and need to hit Whole Foods at Struever (just a thought)...that's too far to lug groceries. Let's just hope the downtown circulator routes needed for moving people are well thought out and up and running when the crowds hit.

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I don't think any of the things mentioned are out of the question or out of reach especially when we're simultaneously creating multiple distinct neighborhoods: the Core, RMH, Gulch, Northside, Germantown...all close enough to be called "downtown." I'm guessing things will escalate quickly once all these people with spendable cash get settled in. Face it, not everything is going to be within a five minute walk. You might live by the Bicentennial Mall and need to hit Whole Foods at Struever (just a thought)...that's too far to lug groceries. Let's just hope the downtown circulator routes needed for moving people are well thought out and up and running when the crowds hit.

You just made a great argument for bringing back streetcars to downtown ! :yahoo:

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I don't know if you remember or not, but downtown department stores sold clothing, TV's, stereos, refrigerators, you name it. Some even had small boutique groceries. The old time department stores themselves were pretty "big box".
Unfortunately i dont remember those days. Being in my mid 20's, I cant remember the glory days of the core. The only comparison I have is other cities I have been to. I tend to make alot of comparisons to NYC, and although I love NY after living there briefly, I understand Nahville is nothing like NY....one of the reasons I call Nashville home. I simply think NY is a great roll model in the sense of walkability, and the key to walkeble communities(besides the obvious sidewalk) is street-fronted retail/commerce.

Let's just hope the downtown circulator routes needed for moving people are well thought out and up and running when the crowds hit.

Dave, brilliant point! :w00t: Honestly this thought had not crossed my mind. Whatever form of transit it may be(dont knock the bus!), inner circulation(as opposed to the current exoudus) would be great for residents. Perhaps a discounted rate for residents?

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I was just thinking if I were going to the Mall at Green Hills...I would take my car. That would apply to many destinations, but if I lived on Rolling Mill and I wanted to shop at [email protected], drop off clothes at the cleaners, meet someone for lunch @ Germantown, stop at Farmer's Mkt, return a book to the library, and come back later for dinner at the Standard, make it to the Schemerhorn before kickoff (well...) some local transport would be just perfect, especially if it was frequent with little waiting. I think some efficient, smallish electric buses would be just perfect. Keep 'em moving, and I'll keep riding.

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I am 43 this summer and I remember going "up town" when I was a kid in the 60's and 70's. As I have clearly stated in posts about urban sprawl, I dislike what happened to our downtown shopping districts. The suburban shopping malls were perfect for my mother who left the hustle and bustle of NYC and Houston Texas. She was afraid to drive in a new city because she was afraid to get lost. I never understood being she was from NYC.

The "transplants" who left the big cities for smaller cities in the south like Nashville, Birmingham, Memphis etc... did so for the quiet and peacefulness as reflected by the mythical stories of a serene slow moving south written by William Faulkner, Alan Tate and most recently William Gay. They also like the smaller amount of traffic, and having everything just right outside their door.

Some Nashvillians think 1.6 million people in our MSA is too much! If they work downtown, and there are 45,000 workers downtown, why not shop downtown after work? Why battle the traffic at shopping malls?

We had a downtown shopping mall and it closed. Was it because people were afraid of what was then called "the urban element?" Hmmm. Since more people are living downtown now, maybe the mall or a shopping district will come back. Maybe Nashville has grown up a bit.

The biggest complaint I have from hotel guests is there is no downtown shopping. I envision an urban shopping district like I have experienced in Toronto, San Francisco and NYC. We can only hope.

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We had a downtown shopping mall and it closed. Was it because people were afraid of what was then called "the urban element?" Hmmm. Since more people are living downtown now, maybe the mall or a shopping district will come back. Maybe Nashville has grown up a bit.

If you remember when Church Street Center was built around 1989, it was at a time when retail businesses and shops had been closing up en masse downtown over the past decade (and had yet to hit rock bottom, generally considered to be when Castner-Knott closed the last downtown department store in the '90s). Aside from the lunchtime crowd and some office workers, it was an utter fiasco as it was practically a ghost town the rest of the time (since there were no residents downtown to justify it -- and why would most want to leave the suburbs to come to a downtown mall when most of the same shops were at all the suburban malls ?), so I'd say no racial element here at all. However, a racial element DID come into play at another fiasco, Fountain Square. Whomever thought building a mall in an out-of-the-way office park right next door to a high-crime low-income neighborhood was certainly a brilliant fella. :blink:

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While DT, I'd like to be able to buy a chain saw and a weed-eater. Cool, Rock City Mach. has that covered....LOL

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The downtown retail that we used to know is all but gone. With the consolidation in the retail industry there are very few stores left that we don't already have, if we don't have it then the store doesn't want us. This is why downtown retail is going to become very specialized and serve just the people who live there.

Had someone like McClures been able to hang on to life or maybe even Gus Mayer make the brave move downtown (once the customer base is there) that is what I see as the future of Downtown Nashville retail.

For those who don't know - Gus Mayer was actually a Department Store Chain in New Orleans with small satellite locations in other places. Today the only stores are in Nashville and Birmingham. What Nashville really needs is a great retail family to bring back some identity to Music City - bring on the Cain's, Sloan's or Harvey's of the 21st Century. Urban Target and Wal-Mart just will not be able to serve the market.

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