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Snowguy716

New lifestyle center coming to my town

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This outlet mall would have around 50-60 shops and 5-7 restaurants along with a hotel/waterpark and room for big box development on the edge of town. I know this is the wrong kind of growth, and I'm generally against the project.. except that similar projects in Bemidji have only brought more people to the community increasing business in other commercial areas. And tourists are the main driver in downtown business anyway, and at Christmas those stores always do the best for gifts, etc.

here's the website: http://www.pinnacleoutlets.com/pinnacle_home.htm

and some renderings:

http://www.pinnacleoutlets.com/pdf_files/5...enderings_5.pdf

The ground is currently being cleared with construction to begin this fall and grand opening in the summer/fall of 2007 with the first phase.

I put this in here and not in the Minnesota forum because I want a general reaction from all of you and how it affects all towns and not just mine. Thanks.

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It's a strip mall where 1/2 of the development is nothing but parking spaces. What more can be said about it?

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It's a strip mall where 1/2 of the development is nothing but parking spaces. What more can be said about it?

You can put water features, infrared heated canopies, heated waiting stalls, and make it state of the art. But it's still just a "gussied-up" strip mall.

Like I used to hear, you can put lipstick on a pig and you still have a pig! :D

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It will do nothing positive for this city other than bringing in more retail jobs and the money and traffic that go along with it.

The project was almost killed because the land they are building on is township land. The township board voted down the proposal for the project and asked the developer for a smaller, scaled down project on a piece of land closer to the city that would fit in better...

The city of Bemidji went out of their way to annex the land and then push his proposal through. Then, this past winter, he released a list of tenants that were coming... Only one of the 20 named tenants would confirm that they had sought tenancy. Then there was a lot of tension between the city and the developer because he didn't have a permit to do more than clearing on the land and he had begun digging and filling... the city ordered all work stopped and then all the tenants pulled out...

When the city finally got things rolling again, the developer went back again trying to lure the tenants in. We're now at the point of no return. This project is coming whether we like it or not.

I just feel like the future motto of this city will be "Bemidji: Retail King"...

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While it is nothing more than an auto-oriented strip mall, atleast it is somewhat aesthetically pleasing with that lake.

Ironically I just posted about an outlet mall in Massachusetts that I mistakenly attempted to go to this past Sunday. Those places are absolute nightmares and I will never go back. Hope you like tons of crippling traffic and no pedestrian accommodations, cause that's what you're in for.

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A strip mall with a puddle in front of it. How nice (in the "I just vomited a bit in my mouth" kind of way). This isn't the way to bring tourists to your town. If you have a nice, older, traditional downtown worth saving, the investment should be there.

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Birmingham's "The Summit" which is the (said) spark that ignited the flame that are lifestyle centers is a major tourist attraction in Greater Birmingham. It has great stores, and just driving through it is amazing. It just looks amazing, you dont' feel like you're in between to urban cores.

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Birmingham's "The Summit" which is the (said) spark that ignited the flame that are lifestyle centers is a major tourist attraction in Greater Birmingham. It has great stores, and just driving through it is amazing. It just looks amazing, you dont' feel like you're in between to urban cores.

Poag McEwen designed The Shoppes at Saddle Creek in Memphis a full decade before Bayer's The Summit Birmingham.

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Poag McEwen designed The Shoppes at Saddle Creek in Memphis a full decade before Bayer's The Summit Birmingham.

That doesn't mean that it was the one that started everything, "The Summit" may just have been the last one to be built right before people to notice of them and they started popping up everywhere. A "first" doesn't warrent a huge boom in something.

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Pffffft, here in Richmond, Short Pump Town Center is at the moment a centerpiece of their "downtown." Short Pump is a crossroads that, because of other strips, this lifestyle center, and a new development which has towers included and a neighborhood that's being billed as "like the Fan (one of Richmond's historic neighborhoods), but better," is taking over the area around it as if it is its own city. The local media also treats it as if it is its own city, giving it its own billing among other cities around Virginia instead of being in the local neighborhood forecasts. That really steams me. Ever since they first planned it in the late 90s, I've viewed it and all the money thrown at it as the final nail in downtown Richmond's coffin because back then they were saying they were building a new downtown. Well, it continues, and Richmond can't compete with it. It's just too popular. I hope you don't have something like that coming. If it was just sprawl that's treated as sprawl or an ordinary strip, you'll be fine. These people down here have gone ga-ga over this thing.

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Pffffft, here in Richmond, Short Pump Town Center is at the moment a centerpiece of their "downtown." Short Pump is a crossroads that, because of other strips, this lifestyle center, and a new development which has towers included and a neighborhood that's being billed as "like the Fan (one of Richmond's historic neighborhoods), but better," is taking over the area around it as if it is its own city. The local media also treats it as if it is its own city, giving it its own billing among other cities around Virginia instead of being in the local neighborhood forecasts. That really steams me. Ever since they first planned it in the late 90s, I've viewed it and all the money thrown at it as the final nail in downtown Richmond's coffin because back then they were saying they were building a new downtown. Well, it continues, and Richmond can't compete with it. It's just too popular. I hope you don't have something like that coming. If it was just sprawl that's treated as sprawl or an ordinary strip, you'll be fine. These people down here have gone ga-ga over this thing.

Yea, well, at least "The Summit" is built within Jefferson County, so, they don't have to worry too much about sprawl. Downtown's coming back still, so, I don't know if there's anything bad happening in downtwon Birmingham because of The Summit, but, downtown keeps looking better.

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..... and just driving through it is amazing. ......

There you go. Doesn't is seem a bit odd to you that a place that is amazing is designed to be experienced from the seat of an automobile. This would be a much more exciting if it were in a town on a transit line.

If you want to see one of these things in real life then look no further than here. This one is outside Charlotte NC, and is about 7 years old now.

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There you go. Doesn't is seem a bit odd to you that a place that is amazing is designed to be experienced from the seat of an automobile. This would be a much more exciting if it were in a town on a transit line.

If you want to see one of these things in real life then look no further than here. This one is outside Charlotte NC, and is about 7 years old now.

You should see the renderings for Bridge Street in Huntsville, being built on the edge of Cummings Research Park.

Here's the link: Huntsville's Bridge Street Town Centre

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You should see the renderings for Bridge Street in Huntsville,

Why? It is a marketing site. Maybe you didn't look at my post in that link above. It was not meant to be an endorsement of these places.

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Why? It is a marketing site. Maybe you didn't look at my post in that link above. It was not meant to be an endorsement of these places.

I sure did. I do know that you don't like sprawl. And I was not endorsing the place. Though I do support it. See, it seems that all of Alabama's "LifeStyleCenters" (That I know of) seem to be located not too far from the cities core. Bridge Street is in such a location that it would attract infill, not sprawl, since the area surrounding it is already built up for about 20 miles in all directions. It on the edge of Cummings Research Park, Research Park Boulevard, and I-565. Maybe YOU didn't look at MY link. :~)

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I sure did. I do know that you don't like sprawl. And I was not endorsing the place. Though I do support it. See, it seems that all of Alabama's "LifeStyleCenters" (That I know of) seem to be located not too far from the cities core. Bridge Street is in such a location that it would attract infill, not sprawl, since the area surrounding it is already built up for about 20 miles in all directions. It on the edge of Cummings Research Park, Research Park Boulevard, and I-565. Maybe YOU didn't look at MY link. :~)

It's absolutely no better than any of the other 3290834929390293902394923 of these things that have been popping up all over the country. It's an exurban strip mall with a pond in the middle. Even the list of tenants is the same usual suspects.

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It's absolutely no better than any of the other 3290834929390293902394923 of these things that have been popping up all over the country. It's an exurban strip mall with a pond in the middle. Even the list of tenants is the same usual suspects.

Uhhh, it's not exurban. I thought I'd made that kinda clear. It's right on the interstate. Across the the interstate is the arsenal (which prevents any more sprawl), across Research Park Boulevard is a huge subdivision that borders downtown, so, there's no room for sprawl there, across the street it a huge research park, the 2nd largest in the country, so, there's no room there for sprawl. Bridge Street is only about 2 or 3 miles from the city center. Plus, the Huntsville city limits extend about 20 miles past the center.

I really don't understand how you can judge whether or not it's "exurban" since you don't even live with nearly 700 miles of this place. I live about 15 miles from it, so, I'd say I'd be a better judge of whether it'll encourage or inhibit sprawl.

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I mean that in its design it has the characteristics of a strip mall you'd find in an exurban area, not necessarily that the area itself is exurban, because of course I have no idea where within the vast 20 mile expanse of Huntsville's urbanity this thing falls. Although now that you mention it, looking at the aerial image, it's definitely not the most urban looking area.

Location aside, my previous comment speaks to the fact that this thing has the same design elements (cluster of retail/restaurants surrounded by giant fields of surface parking, an almost sickeningly "cute" "main street" and a water feature) and cast of characters that are featured in town centers all over the country. They're successfully marketed as something entirely NEW and exciting, revolutionary, sprawl-ending, will-change-your-lifestyle, etc. but IMO they're just dressed-up exurban-style strip malls.

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I mean that in its design it has the characteristics of a strip mall you'd find in an exurban area, not necessarily that the area itself is exurban, because of course I have no idea where within the vast 20 mile expanse of Huntsville's urbanity this thing falls. Although now that you mention it, looking at the aerial image, it's definitely not the most urban looking area.

Location aside, my previous comment speaks to the fact that this thing has the same design elements (cluster of retail/restaurants surrounded by giant fields of surface parking, an almost sickeningly "cute" "main street" and a water feature) and cast of characters that are featured in town centers all over the country. They're successfully marketed as something entirely NEW and exciting, revolutionary, sprawl-ending, will-change-your-lifestyle, etc. but IMO they're just dressed-up exurban-style strip malls.

I understand your point. They are all valid, just not in this case. Yes, I agree that this is just one of the normal strip malls with a central water feature. But what I'm trying to say is that though it may not look like it's in an urban area, it's wedged between two already developed area. There would be no sprawl, because, if there was any, the people that lived out in the sprawl would have to drive a good 45 min. just to get to the place, that cause the sprawl? That doesn't make sense.

I agree, most, or nearly all of these "lifestyle centers" do created and encourage needless sprawl. But, this specific one would encourage infill. It is on the very edge of downtown and 20 miles if not further from the edge of suburban Huntsville-Decatur-Madison. It would simply be senseless to move out 20 miles outside of the CBD just because there's this great new strip mall that you'd have to drive 45 min just to get to, when there are perfectly good lots, and lofts in downtown and across the street from the mall that you'd only have to drive 5-10 min to get to the strip mall.

I pray I explained it well enough.

But, just so you know, I don't know how it is where you live, houses next to a downtwon area down mean that it's suddenly residential and no more comercial. Those houses are pretty much surrounded by businesses.

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It's right on the interstate. Across the the interstate is the arsenal (which prevents any more sprawl), across Research Park Boulevard is a huge subdivision that borders downtown, so, there's no room for sprawl there, across the street it a huge research park, the 2nd largest in the country, so, there's no room there for sprawl.

It's right on an interstate and, according to the above, is surrounded by subdivisions and a research park. It therefore seems like additional sprawl to an already sprawling area.

http://www.bridgestreethuntsville.com/aerial.htm

^ If that's not sprawl then I need to go back to planning school. Look at all that parking! Sure it's technically infill, but its bad infill.

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The center in Bemidji is meant to encourage walking, and I suspect most people will.. at least with decent weather.

I just don't see the benefit of going out to your car, and driving across the parking lot to a new place. So yes.. while you have to drive to the place, the way it is built will encourage walking. Also, with a baggage claim style system in place to collect your bags while you shop, there's no reason to make a trip out to the car.

A glorified strip mall.. yes... but I've seen much worse (Try St. Cloud, Minnesota... every Urban planner's worst nightmare).

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It's right on an interstate and, according to the above, is surrounded by subdivisions and a research park. It therefore seems like additional sprawl to an already sprawling area.

http://www.bridgestreethuntsville.com/aerial.htm

^ If that's not sprawl then I need to go back to planning school. Look at all that parking! Sure it's technically infill, but its bad infill.

Haha, if you could look at an ariel map, you could probably understand what I mean better. But oh well. Final verdict, it's possible it could create sprawl, but, it's rather unlikely. As you can't see anything past what the picture provides, it's hard for anyone who doesn't reside in the area to gather what kind of area this thing is in.

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I think what Recchia may be trying to say (he can correct me if I'm wrong) is that the development itself is sprawling. It's predominantly single use, with huge fields of surface parking. But alas, let's get off this as we seem to be...

BeatDeadHorse.gif

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I think what Recchia may be trying to say (he can correct me if I'm wrong) is that the development itself is sprawling. It's predominantly single use, with huge fields of surface parking. But alas, let's get off this as we seem to be...

BeatDeadHorse.gif

Haha, well, if that is what he meant, than, this must be the mother of all sprawls. Haha, I love that beatin the dead horse pic.

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I think what Recchia may be trying to say (he can correct me if I'm wrong) is that the development itself is sprawling. It's predominantly single use, with huge fields of surface parking.

Yes, exactly what I meant.

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