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Charlotte_native

Small downtown retail

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If you had access to a street level retail space of only 600 - 800 SF, what would you put there? What would you like to see there? This is being asked on behalf of an investor buying two such spaces that front Tryon Street -- he is interested in what people want and what they think will serve the area best...

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A bagel shop or a music/record store would be nice.

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A noodle shop (serves bowls of noodle soup) would be good.

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A bagel shop or a music/record store would be nice.

Honest question because I don't know -- do music stores do well any longer with MP3's, downloads, etc? I still buy CD's some, but get a lot of music burned for me from friends...

Maybe combine music and bookshop?

And, Metro, noodle shop is GREAT -- I love those when I travel...

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a noodle shop is a great idea! something like doc chey's in asheville or pei wei.

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I'm not sure what the profit margin is on magazines, but I like the "newsstand" idea. There is such a place in the shopping center on Independence where TJMaxx is. I think it's owned by a Russian guy and he carries magazines from all over the world. Something like that might be nice along with a small amount of sundries. Or, if the space is large enough, do a book and magazine store together.

If he goes that route, it'd be great if he would be open on the weekends. That'd be a great place to spend some time on a Sat/Sun morning for those of us that live downtown.

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I'm not sure what the profit margin is on magazines, but I like the "newsstand" idea. There is such a place in the shopping center on Independence where TJMaxx is. I think it's owned by a Russian guy and he carries magazines from all over the world. Something like that might be nice along with a small amount of sundries. Or, if the space is large enough, do a book and magazine store together.

If he goes that route, it'd be great if he would be open on the weekends. That'd be a great place to spend some time on a Sat/Sun morning for those of us that live downtown.

How about a standing room only cafe? Fast healthy food for the people on the go in downtown.

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There is a place in NY called the Pump- health food, but it tastes really good. I would LOVE something like that in Charlotte.

http://www.thepumpenergyfood.com

Or a Haagen-Dasz.

Both of those fill untapped markets uptown, and quick restaurants seem to work very well uptown since the target audience is usually office workers.

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I love the noodle shop idea, and it wouldn't hurt to have a Haagen Dasz here as well. Maybe a Haagen Dasz and coffee shop (for the winter) together would work well.

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I love the noodle shop idea, and it wouldn't hurt to have a Haagen Dasz here as well. Maybe a Haagen Dasz and coffee shop (for the winter) together would work well.

All of these would likely do well. With the park going in across the street and down half a block I think the site should have some relevence to that as well (i.e. a magazine shop or ice cream would be something I would want to grab before an afternoon in the park!)

Keep the ideas coming! They are being passed on...

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There are aleady at least two magazine stores/newsstands nearby: in the BofA Plaza and in Founders Hall.

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Isn't there a noodle place downtown? Tin Tin Box & Noodles on Tryon.

More of these is always good, but I am just bringing it up in case you didn't know about it.

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There are aleady at least two magazine stores/newsstands nearby: in the BofA Plaza and in Founders Hall.

I was hoping for a neighborhood-type place that was open more than 9-5P Mon-Fri, and had more ambience than the average Circle K. I'd like to be able to walk in with a cup of coffee, pick up a few magazines (other than Forbes and Fortune) and hang for a while.

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^I'll allow that! :lol: Ok, Charlotte_native.. there you have it. Get crackin'.

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Newsstand with a small but high quality pastry/coffee counter.
That's something along the lines of what I'm thinking.

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I wouldn't mind something like a bookstore/news stand/ coffee shop/ music store mixed into one.

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I think the book/music/cafe hybrid is a good idea as well. It would really need to have extended hours and be located near the new residences . Local ownership would help grow loyalty. Drum circles, poetry readings and speakers on a variety of topics would attract residents looking for culture with their coffee. I go out of my way to shop at locally owned stores that care about the community. It would be wonderful to intermingle some jeans and birkenstock among the suit and loafers crowd that dominates the CBD currently. Uptown sorely needs community based businesses to help the area develop some of the vibrant feel of Asheville and Charleston's downtown districts. I worry that the powers that be are only in favor of more sports bars and movie theatres. I am very excited about the latter but there needs to be a balance. FYI: Newstand Intl moved from Independence to Morehead St in the same center as Dilworth Neighborhood Grille this past year. They died a quick death due to the horrible parking situation and are not expected to reopen anywhere else. Its a shame, I enjoyed the place.

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Drum circles? :)

I've been thinking about this a little. I don't even know what to suggest. We have quite a lot of different restaurants, we have a lot of convenience stores, and neighborhood services, and we have a number of coffee shops and all that. I agree that adding some boutique (ie. non-chain) versions of any of type of business would be a welcome addition.

I like the idea of a small bookstore/newstand, but then again Newstand at Morehead and McDowell is going under (as voyager mentioned). Maybe they could be convinced to relocate to a pedestrian corridor like Tryon to succeed, but otherwise, I'd be hesitant to suggest that if an existing business can't make it work.

I think I'd get behind the idea of a combo newstand/bookstore/coffee shop. I would certainly go there myself.

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I think they should try to snag a few of the small independent business that have thrived in other Carolina towns.

1)a chocolatier but not a chain chocolatier. Chocolate Fetish (www.chocolatefetish.com) is a locally owned chocolatier in Asheville that is always talked about far outside of Asheville's city limits. There is also a famous Belgium chocolatier in Charleston called Lucas Belgian Chocolate (www.lucasbelgianchocolate.com), they're noted for some of the best Belgium Chocolate in the US. A top notch chocolatier would get a lot of off the street traffic from Tryon as chocolate always side tracks folks and it also makes great professional as well as personal gifts.

2) It would be great to see newsstand intl. relocate to Tryon as the place is a Charlotte staple.

3) An ice cream place certainly wouldn't hurt but I would try to go a with something with a little more draw to it then say a Haagen Daaz. Perhaps trying to land something like Original Painter's Homemade Ice Cream out of Myrtle Beach.

4) With all of the NC wineries out there perhaps the NC Wine and Grape council (www.ncwine.org) would be interested in getting involved with opening a store on "NC's main street" that specializes in NC wines.

5)I would hate to see them go the coffee shop route as it appears that uptown is already pushing around 20 coffee shops. However, if that was the route chosen it wouldn't hurt to attempt to get Summit Coffee (www.summitcoffee.com) from Davidson to open a 2nd location uptown. They offer organic shade grown coffee and promote fair trade, they also offer live music.

6)A problem with music stores is that 1) they all seem to be dying 2) Most music shoppers tend to be pretty loyal to a particular place (mostly Manifest) and likely wouldn't come uptown for a small 800 sq. ft. store because it would be too much of a hassle. 3) it would get next to no business from walk by traffic on Tryon. Once again I do have another option if that was the chosen route, Earshot (www.Earshot.com)out of Greenville. It is a bar/coffee shop with computer terminals where you browse the music selection on the computers and then make your selections on the computer, it sends the request to the bar where they make your custom CD for you for a per song charge. They also offer live music and beer specials ;) .

Hope these suggestions help. I'm sure I could come up with more but this is a short list. I'm kind of nerdy and tend to keep a running tally of cool stores in my head that I see around the Carolinas and South.

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I'm kind of nerdy and tend to keep a running tally of cool stores in my head that I see around the Carolinas and South.
I think you've come to the right place. :)

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Trying to think creatively dubone :P Tryon will never be Haywood St. but a smaller Malapropesque store would be a lot of fun :w00t:

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