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bradsp

A large downtown Casino will revitalize Pittsburgh!

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Would anyone agree that a large downtown casino would help the city. Should the large gaming, entertainment, restaurant, bar, cafe facility which is under one roof be allowed to stimulate our city.

As an an new urbanist and sustainable city thinker what is the general consensus regarding the big downtown casino development.

Should the community and local urban thinkers back the project to some degree to get what thy want or is this a dire matter that requires absolute rejection.

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I personally have mixed feelings on the whole thing.

I would rather there be no casinos at all....not because of the gambling but because it just draws people to drive someplace, lose money, eat some food and drive home...kind of like the mall.

Here in CT years ago there was talk of bringing a casino to downtown Hartford. The plans fell through though. Years later the two largest casinos in the world (Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino) are located in southeastern Connecticut in the Norwich/New London area. These casinos keep on expanding to become more competitive...they are adding more gaming space as well as retail, meeting, hotel, and entertainment space to attract everyone.

Down the road from the casinos a developer is proposing to build a 1.6 billion dollar movie studio, film college, 4200 hotel rooms and a theme park on the site of the former Norwich Hospital. The developer hopes to make the area the Hollywood of the East.

And just yesterday the developer announced he has plans for the two small cities in the area...Norwich and New Londong. Both very historic cities that have hit some bumps in the road but are slowly on the rebound. The developer wants to build two 37 story towers that would house hotel rooms, condos, a nightclub and a restaurant on a marina in Norwich. The developer also wants to become the prefered developer for that city which would give him control over much of the historic downtown. After he tackles Norwich he wants to move onto New London (home of the Sub base, coast guard acadamy, CT College).

Well what can I say. These casinos compete with Connecticut's larger cities in ways you would not believe. Currently Hartford is seeing billions of dollars in new development in everything from a new convention center, hotel, science center, new condos, apartments, schools, etc. But everything is becoming competitive. The 540,000 square foot CT Convention Center just opened last year and has had much better then expected results in terms of conventions but faces stiff competition not from meeting places in Providence but from the casinos. The Dodge Music Center and Hartford Civic Center draw in hundreds of big name concerts each year to the city but also face competition from the casinos.

I guess my view is if there has to be casinos like the ones in CT I would rather have them in the city but overall I would rather not have them at all.

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I have mixed feelings. In some ways it will be good. For instance it looks like this will provide the money needed for a new arena. One developer has even promised to build a new arena entirely on their own dime if they get the casino license. They would also rebuild the lower Hill District, which would be great.

On the other hand I am somewhat concerned that this may draw people away from other Downtown businesses. Only time will tell, I guess.

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while i enjoy the casinos in CT, for a city, i don't think a full scale casino would be good. considering most cities have their nightlife, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment already, if a casino were to open, i'd say it should be just the gaming and maybe some bars.

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I personally do not love the casinos in Connecticut...but would I rather have them in neihboring Rhode Island...No.

There is no doubt that the two largest casinos have spurred lots of development all over southeastern CT. There are skyscrapers in places that used to be the middle of nowhere.

The casinos opened a few miles out of two small CT cities: Norwich and New London. These casinos never really did much for these two cities. They slowly started helping out in Norwich (the closer city to the casinos) by renovating buildings in the city's downtown and becoming the sponsor for numerous city events.

Then a non casino related developer came in with the Utopia Studios plan which makes this plan very convenient to these two casinos.

And just days ago an article was published that this developer had big plans for Norwich

1) Two 37 story towers with condominiums, plus a yacht club and rowing house on a downtown marina

2) A theme park with fancy restaurants, clubs, performing arts attractions to be built on a former city landfill

3) A mixed use shopping plaza which would help connect downtown to the marina

4)High end condos on the site of the police station which would be knocked down

5) Dorms would be built on Norwich's side of the Norwich Hospital Site (the Utopia Studio site)

6) Some city owned land would be given to the developer for production studios and mixed use development

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I personally do not love the casinos in Connecticut...but would I rather have them in neihboring Rhode Island...No.

There is no doubt that the two largest casinos have spurred lots of development all over southeastern CT. There are skyscrapers in places that used to be the middle of nowhere.

The casinos opened a few miles out of two small CT cities: Norwich and New London. These casinos never really did much for these two cities. They slowly started helping out in Norwich (the closer city to the casinos) by renovating buildings in the city's downtown and becoming the sponsor for numerous city events.

Then a non casino related developer came in with the Utopia Studios plan which makes this plan very convenient to these two casinos.

And just days ago an article was published that this developer had big plans for Norwich

1) Two 37 story towers with condominiums, plus a yacht club and rowing house on a downtown marina

2) A theme park with fancy restaurants, clubs, performing arts attractions to be built on a former city landfill

3) A mixed use shopping plaza which would help connect downtown to the marina

4)High end condos on the site of the police station which would be knocked down

5)

5... profit? :P

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and

5 is dorms will be put on the Norwich side of the Norwich Hospital site which is the Utopia Studio Site

and 6) some city owned land will be turned over to the developer for production studios and mixed use developent

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and

5 is dorms will be put on the Norwich side of the Norwich Hospital site which is the Utopia Studio Site

and 6) some city owned land will be turned over to the developer for production studios and mixed use developent

it was a joke (the underpants gnome bit)... you had posted it before you finished writing and 5 was blank.

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while i enjoy the casinos in CT, for a city, i don't think a full scale casino would be good. considering most cities have their nightlife, shopping, restaurants, and entertainment already, if a casino were to open, i'd say it should be just the gaming and maybe some bars.

This one will be slots (no table games), and probably a restaurant. What else it includes will depend on which develper is chosen. I hope it isn't going to be too much, because I definitely want people to check out the surrounding area too.

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This one will be slots (no table games), and probably a restaurant. What else it includes will depend on which develper is chosen. I hope it isn't going to be too much, because I definitely want people to check out the surrounding area too.

to add to what i said before... i don't think it matters table games or slots or both. the thing about casinos that will detract from the city's already established businesses are nightclubs, music venues, entertainment, conventions, and hotels. a couple bars mixed in with the slots and table games isn't bad because people want to drink while gambling, but the other stuff will hurt the places already established in the city and prevent people from ever leaving the casino because it has everything in one place.

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to add to what i said before... i don't think it matters table games or slots or both. the thing about casinos that will detract from the city's already established businesses are nightclubs, music venues, entertainment, conventions, and hotels. a couple bars mixed in with the slots and table games isn't bad because people want to drink while gambling, but the other stuff will hurt the places already established in the city and prevent people from ever leaving the casino because it has everything in one place.

Finally a thougtful new urabanist took a conscientious swing at this topic. No offence to otjhers that repsonded but many new urbanists on this list appear to be clueless. All under one roof development is destructive to small business and walkability. The economic returns of a casino or any 'big idea' project never justify the many budding small town neighborhoods within our inner city.

Can I please get some new urbanist support here? I need feedback to relay to my community regarding this nasty casino that may come into town.

Brad Spencer

Mexican War Streets Historic District, Pittsburgh PA

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Can I please get some new urbanist support here? I need feedback to relay to my community regarding this nasty casino that may come into town.

Brad Spencer

Mexican War Streets Historic District, Pittsburgh PA

I am with you. I love the city of Hartford but southeastern CT's casinos are starting slowly to hurt Hartford and they are about 1 hour away from the city. The casinos are adding meeting space which means they are now in competition witht the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford (which just opened last summer) and the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.

The casinos are also drawing in big name concerts which before would not even think twice about coming to the Dodge Music Center in Hartford, Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Chevrolet Theater in Wallingford and Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.

Now with huge plans for Norwich, CT ....these plans seem ambitious but wll it all be artifical like the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. The Inner Harbor is beautiful, has all these shops, a convention center, hotels, a science center, an aquarium, visitors center and offices but once you leave the inner harbor the downtown area and the mt vernon area are dead. And there is not much housing in or around the inner harbor...there building a lot of stuff but not that close to the inner harbor. Will Norwich end up like this in 20 years???

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Finally a thougtful new urabanist took a conscientious swing at this topic. No offence to otjhers that repsonded but many new urbanists on this list appear to be clueless. All under one roof development is destructive to small business and walkability. The economic returns of a casino or any 'big idea' project never justify the many budding small town neighborhoods within our inner city.

Can I please get some new urbanist support here? I need feedback to relay to my community regarding this nasty casino that may come into town.

Brad Spencer

Mexican War Streets Historic District, Pittsburgh PA

i'm not a self-proclaimed new urbanist... i don't even know the major tenets of being a new urbanist. i just like city life and i know what would hurt providence would probably hurt other cities on the rebound. we're going through the possibility of a casino being built elsewhere in the state. the stupid state legislature voted to allow a question in the election to amend our state constitution to allow a casino. however, the amendment is so specific, it literally says who can build it (the narragansett indians) and where they can build it (west warwick). it allows for no competition and does not state how much the state would get as a percentage of their profits. i woudln't mind a casino just for gaming in the city as it would bring more people in, but i wouldn't want a full scale one here because it would take away from our civic center, our convention center, our theatres, clubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, etc. keep it close enough to all that and people can walk to it all or take a bus. the casino plan will do the same... take away business from providence. i don't look at it as we're losing tourists to CT for the casinos because i don't consider those people who go to the casino to be tourists. sure, some are, but most are just going to gamble. i have no problem with gambling, i do have a problem with concerts, shows, and events not happening in the city.

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Finally a thougtful new urabanist took a conscientious swing at this topic. No offence to otjhers that repsonded but many new urbanists on this list appear to be clueless. All under one roof development is destructive to small business and walkability. The economic returns of a casino or any 'big idea' project never justify the many budding small town neighborhoods within our inner city.

Can I please get some new urbanist support here? I need feedback to relay to my community regarding this nasty casino that may come into town.

Brad Spencer

Mexican War Streets Historic District, Pittsburgh PA

Check out the book, "The Geography of Nowhere", by James Howard Kunstler.

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Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun (2 largest casinos in the world) did save the region I live in by having been built at a time when the defense industry was cutting back. It provided much needed (albeit much lower paying) jobs. Revitalize Pittsburgh... good luck. The casino patrons typically drive to one of the casinos, gamble, and leave. Gas stations, fast food, and even a few hotels were built to serve casino patrons but for places that attract 40-50k guests per day each the "trickle down" just hasn't been much.

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First of all the southeastern CT casinos have in some ways helped the region but lets not also forget that the many of the jobs these casinos provide are low paying jobs and there is a now a large influx of immigrants in cities like Norwich where there are probably 40 languages spoken in the public school.

Norwich and New London have not seen massive growth due to the casinos....at least not yet. There has been some revitilization in downtown Norwich but thats it. New London is a great city that could be like Portland, Maine ...a funky succesfull seaside city. New London has the Sub Base (which lets not forget was just saved), the US Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut College, Mitchell College, the private Williams School and housed employers like Pfizer and Electric Boat (both of which have made recent jb cuts though). There is potential for downtown New London to have lots of botiques and restaurants and bars. It has some but it could be so much more but I dont see that happening with the casinos there.

Casinos are like malls....they take away from succesfull mixed use pedestrian friendly urban centers. They draw retail tenants to them, have lots of parking and suck the life out of that urban center.

I am opposed to the casino being built in RI. I have visited Providence and loved it and want the best for Providence. I also do not think that in a million years Hartford lovers would have even thought that in years to come their city would be competiting for things that it took for granted.

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If they could build a downtown casino like they built Providence Place Mall then I'd be all about it, and it would fit a little better with urbanist philosophy.

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If they could build a downtown casino like they built Providence Place Mall then I'd be all about it, and it would fit a little better with urbanist philosophy.

The one good thing about Providence Place mall is that it keeps all of the mall rats out of Downcity. It would be nice to have a box to put the Pittsburgh rednecks in.

I moved from Benefit street about eight months ago to the Pittsburgh Mexican War Streets and I am haunted by famously evil downtown development like Providence Place. Personally I would be embarrassed for my adopted community if a massive casino were built in our urban core because it is equivalent to the destructive force of Providence Place. Things like that should not happen in our day of urban enlightenment. We are receiving many promises from the gaming people similar to Providence Place a d I have on numerous occasions told the story of Providence Place.

Providence is now a played out urban lab but it still is my favorite place in the US to live regardless of the Providence Place mall.

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The one good thing about Providence Place mall is that it keeps all of the mall rats out of Downcity. It would be nice to have a box to put the Pittsburgh rednecks in.

I moved from Benefit street about eight months ago to the Pittsburgh Mexican War Streets and I am haunted by famously evil downtown development like Providence Place. Personally I would be embarrassed for my adopted community if a massive casino were built in our urban core because it is equivalent to the destructive force of Providence Place. Things like that should not happen in our day of urban enlightenment. We are receiving many promises from the gaming people similar to Providence Place a d I have on numerous occasions told the story of Providence Place.

Providence is now a played out urban lab but it still is my favorite place in the US to live regardless of the Providence Place mall.

the mall has greatly helped providence. i don't understand what's so bad about it. the parking is all garage, so no surface lots (like much of the rest of downtown) and the mall itself fits almost perfectly with the urban landscape of the area and doesn't overly look like a mall.

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the mall has greatly helped providence. i don't understand what's so bad about it. the parking is all garage, so no surface lots (like much of the rest of downtown) and the mall itself fits almost perfectly with the urban landscape of the area and doesn't overly look like a mall.

The mall cheated its way into Providence. They promised no restaurants and no theatre

Providence place mall slowed if not ruined the potential for downcity business in the following areas restaurants, entertainment and retail. The mall brought people out of the suburbs and back into downtown however they never leave the mall.

What happened was suburban minded developers that have for years created sprawl and placeless strip streets built a suburban development in downtown. Their version of downtown revitalization amounted to the same old tricks.

The scary thing about Providence is that the community already knew the mall developers were no good and understood the impact it would have on downcity but they still failed to keep out the mall.

There are several articles about Providence Place and its effect on downcity. You may want to look up the history of Fort Thunder in order to understand why the Artists moved to Pawtucket or out of the city and also abandoned Down City regardless of the cities plan to subsidize the artists.

Now a days in downcity you will notice an elitest bohemia type who reject the mall and all it stands for. The sad thing is that real bohemia left and was replaced by cowboy boot wearing, rich, chubby conformist RISD girls. As a revitalizing urban lab Providence has been played out and its cards are on the table and it will likely take years for downcity to recover. Federal Hill is still up in the air and well worth the time of a new urbanist and I hope that the people their make it cool.

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The mall cheated its way into Providence. They promised no restaurants and no theatre

Providence place mall slowed if not ruined the potential for downcity business in the following areas restaurants, entertainment and retail. The mall brought people out of the suburbs and back into downtown however they never leave the mall.

What happened was suburban minded developers that have for years created sprawl and palceless strip streets built a suburban development in downtown. Theur version of New Urbanism amounted to the same old tricks.

The scary thing about Providence is that the community already knew the mall developers were no good and understood the impact it would have on downcity but they still failed to keep out the mall.

There are several articles about Providence Place and its effect on downcity. You may want to look up the history of Fort Thunder in order to understand why the Artists moved to Pawtucket or out of the city and also abandoned Down City regardless of the cities plan to subsidize the artists.

Now a days in downcity you will notice an elitest bohemia type who reject the mall and all it stands for. The sad thing is that real bohemia left. As a revitalizing urban lab Providence has been played out and its cards are on the table.

i disagree with most of this, but it doesn't belong in this thread.

the artists were priced out of providence...

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i disagree with most of this, but it doesn't belong in this thread.

the artists were priced out of providence...

The Providence mall is a perfeect case study for what will happen if a downtown casino is placed in Pittsburgh. Feel free to elaborate about what you disagree with.

Personally my mind thinks within a pure new urban prespective. Are you argu9ng against new urbanst thinking or the details about what happened to downcity because of PVD Place?

Cheers

Brad

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The Providence mall is a perfeect case study for what will happen if a downtown casino is placed in Pittsburgh. Feel free to elaborate about what you disagree with.

Personally my mind thinks within a pure new urban prespective. Are you argu9ng against new urbanst thinking or the details about what happened to downcity because of PVD Place?

Cheers

Brad

providence place was a big part of the beginning of the revitalization of downtown. while many people who go to providence go right to the mall, it still brings people into the city, which is a start. downtown has it's own other problems that are being worked out right now (and quite well if you ask me).

i'm not really a new urbanist, nor am i really 100% sure what that means (i think it means different things for different people). but the mall does not require a car and has no surface parking. it was not built to be accessible most easily with a car. while it tends to pull people away from other parts of downtown, the places in the mall aren't the types of places you'd really see elsewhere. how many shops and restaurants downtown closed as an effect of the mall being there? it certainly didn't take over any buildings as i can only see surface lots in the pre-mall pictures. the mall has not had any effect on providence nightlife. the clubs do great business.

as for comparing the mall with a casino, here's what i think. a casino, like a full fledged, foxwoods or mohegan sun type casino, would not be good for a downtown area because it incorporates into one building a lot of what city cores have already (bars, clubs, entertainment, arenas, convention areas, hotels). a casino that is simply gaming and some bars (because you can't gamble without drinking) would not at all take away from that other stuff that downtown areas have. it might hurt them a little at first, but people who go to clubs won't start gambling. people who go see live music won't stop. and the hotels would do better with people going for the casino. because it's 2 very different aspects, and a mall is definitely a very different type of attraction than a casino, i don't understand how you can compare it.

the providence place mall has 3 options for nightlife (other than the street level restaurants, which always have people walking around outside of them on francis st). it's got the movie theatre (there aren't any other mainstream movie theatres in providence, and the other nearby ones aren't as nice), it's got the imax (which is it's own attraction), and it has dave and busters (which can be argued as the only detriment to prov nightlife outside of the mall, but it's not). the chain restaurants in the mall are important in that they are names that people coming in for conventions and other events know. people who wouldn't otherwise really want to try a non-chain place they never heard of. so those aren't really a detriment to the providence restaurant scene (which, if you haven't been here lately, is thriving).

i think you've been away from providence for too long and need to come back and take another look. you didn't give any specific examples of what the mall did to providence that hurt it.

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Im going to jump in here now. I have been to Providence to numerous times and for the sake of argument I will also talk about Baltimore so that I do not just pick on Providence.

I love Providence and yes the mall has done wonders for downtown and maybe in the 21st century with all this sprawl a downtown mall is something that will become accepeted because of the fierce competition with a city's suburbs.

The mall in Providence though mostly brings people in on the highway who park in the garage, look at the city from the big glass mirror and then leave. Malls are filled with chain stores which people can get anywhere. It is nice to be able to go to a city and visit its restaurants, shops and clubs ....many of which are locally owned and operated meaning there not in your hometown.

Retail in downtown Providence I am sure has been hurt because of the mall. Locally owned stores have trouble competiting with national stores. Yes there are stores downtown but are there that many grocery stores and things people living downtown really need. Also except for a few restaurants all of the retail space at Providence Place faces inward and not onto the street which.

There are some very nice parts of Providence including College Hill which to me is where the Back Bay meets Nantucket and Federal Hill which could rival the Little Italy's of Baltimore, New York and Boston. Providence has also preserved a lot of its buildings but it will take a while to fill all the retail space downtown because of the mall that is there.

In Baltimore the Inner Harbor is talked about as a huge stride in urban renewal and it is in some ways. The Inner Harbor is home to shops housed in the trendy Galleria Mall as well as restaurants and more shops housed in two pavillions, there is the Powerplant which is a renovated building that houses stores and restaurants (including an ESPN Zone and Barnes & Noble), there are numerous hotels (Sheraton, Intercontinental, Renaissance, Marriott, Hilton, Comfort Inn, etc), the USS Constellation Museum, a Best Buy, a visitors center, the National Aquarium, a science center and a new convention center. Now in order to walk to the places along the inner harbor you have to walk outdoors although things like the Galleria Mall have no storefronts along the street. There are musuems which are great for cities but the inner harbor lacks a lot of housing for one thing. They are building a lot of housing in the city and some of it is near the Inner Harbor but a lot of it is across the harbor or a a few blocks from the inner harbor. Then when one heads away from the Inner Harbor uptown towards the CBD and the Mt Vernon Cultural District they will be greeted with office buildings that have cleared out for the day because its after 5 and then some vacant storefronts and lots of locally owned and operated restaurants that are struggling for business....they are frequented by locals but not tourists because those people dont venture to far away from the inner harbor. In this wonderful Mt Vernon area are all these quaint streets, row houses, the first Washington Monument, musuems, a historic hotel, historic churchs and a university but the streets are dead a lot.

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Im going to jump in here now. I have been to Providence to numerous times and for the sake of argument I will also talk about Baltimore so that I do not just pick on Providence.

I love Providence and yes the mall has done wonders for downtown and maybe in the 21st century with all this sprawl a downtown mall is something that will become accepeted because of the fierce competition with a city's suburbs.

The mall in Providence though mostly brings people in on the highway who park in the garage, look at the city from the big glass mirror and then leave. Malls are filled with chain stores which people can get anywhere. It is nice to be able to go to a city and visit its restaurants, shops and clubs ....many of which are locally owned and operated meaning there not in your hometown.

Retail in downtown Providence I am sure has been hurt because of the mall. Locally owned stores have trouble competiting with national stores. Yes there are stores downtown but are there that many grocery stores and things people living downtown really need. Also except for a few restaurants all of the retail space at Providence Place faces inward and not onto the street which.

There are some very nice parts of Providence including College Hill which to me is where the Back Bay meets Nantucket and Federal Hill which could rival the Little Italy's of Baltimore, New York and Boston. Providence has also preserved a lot of its buildings but it will take a while to fill all the retail space downtown because of the mall that is there.

In Baltimore the Inner Harbor is talked about as a huge stride in urban renewal and it is in some ways. The Inner Harbor is home to shops housed in the trendy Galleria Mall as well as restaurants and more shops housed in two pavillions, there is the Powerplant which is a renovated building that houses stores and restaurants (including an ESPN Zone and Barnes & Noble), there are numerous hotels (Sheraton, Intercontinental, Renaissance, Marriott, Hilton, Comfort Inn, etc), the USS Constellation Museum, a Best Buy, a visitors center, the National Aquarium, a science center and a new convention center. Now in order to walk to the places along the inner harbor you have to walk outdoors although things like the Galleria Mall have no storefronts along the street. There are musuems which are great for cities but the inner harbor lacks a lot of housing for one thing. They are building a lot of housing in the city and some of it is near the Inner Harbor but a lot of it is across the harbor or a a few blocks from the inner harbor. Then when one heads away from the Inner Harbor uptown towards the CBD and the Mt Vernon Cultural District they will be greeted with office buildings that have cleared out for the day because its after 5 and then some vacant storefronts and lots of locally owned and operated restaurants that are struggling for business....they are frequented by locals but not tourists because those people dont venture to far away from the inner harbor. In this wonderful Mt Vernon area are all these quaint streets, row houses, the first Washington Monument, musuems, a historic hotel, historic churchs and a university but the streets are dead a lot.

i think a lot of you have it very wrong. providence's downtown retail issues are much much bigger than the mall and are affected less by the mall than you are making it seem. right now, providence has a very tiny downtown residential population. those are people who would be wandering around the shops. currently, there's not much reason for people to wander around downtown because of it. it's a chicken and egg issue... which comes first?

as far as tourists are concerned, downtown gets a lot of people at night for the bars, clubs, and restaurants.

there are some retail shops downtown that are doing pretty well. the problem really is that we have people who come into providence to work and then leave (much similar to what you experience in hartford). they don't stay for happy hour, they don't hang around to do shopping after work. they come in in the morning and leave at 5 (as can be seen by the traffic jams). the lack of shopping downtown isn't because of the mall, it's because of the climate of downtown in general. there's also some tax and other issues that are a detriment to opening up a small business in providence as well.

once we see a larger downtown residential community, we'll see more retail as well. and it's currently starting. the people who will be moving into the new condos downtown aren't going to want to go to the mall all the time, because generally people want to live in a city's downtown don't want the standard chain stores you find in every mall.

you'd also be surprised at the number of people who go to the mall and then leave for other stuff. there are currently a few really good restaurants downtown that do really good business, so they aren't hurt by the chains in the mall (most of which are mediocre in my opinion).

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