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grock

Blue Back Square: a mistake?

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I've always felt that while Blue Back Square was good for the region, it wasn't good for West Hartford. THe idea was good, but it is too big for the center. THe character will be ruined forever.

1. Why does Blue Back need a movie theater, when the town let the historic and architecturally significant Elm Theater become a Walgreen's?

2. Chain stores. This is the center, not Westfarms. Barnes and Noble? Bye Bye Bookworm, a great little book store that will not be able to compete.

3. Traffic. The argument was, traffic to BBS would come in from 84. What about visitors from Granby, Canton, Simsbury? They will clog North Main and Farmington. As it is the exhaust fills that street and makes outdoor dining unpleasant.

4. $1500 a month affordable? Where? Manhattan?

http://www.ctnow.com/custom/nmm/hartfordad...0,5516368.story

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Well, one good thing about this is when somebody is staying in downtown Hartford, they can take a short bus ride to the shops and movies instead of having to be sent all the way to the malls or something. But this project should've happened in the center of Hartford, not West Hartford.

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I don't read the garbage that is the Advocate, but I will say this: As a proponent of BBS, I am very uneasy about how this may turn out. I'm still in favor of the project, but I am worried about the possible change in character of WHC. I have no problem with a Crate and Barrel or Cheesecake Factory on the site, but I do worry that boutique shops won't be able to make it at BBS because of the high rents (which are 20-40% higher than the extremely high existing rents at the current WHC)

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Dont Worry-The smaller spaces on lasalle and off farmington will never be gap or bannana ready as they are too small to support the rents.

The center is changing and for the better as we maintain the position of premier walkable outdoor shopping, Dinning and playing area(Livelly)

Talk to me in three years. When was the last time you went for a walk around newington center they have plenty of Mom & Pops.-(BOOORING)

Let the nimbys worry, have faith enjoy!!

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Dont Worry-The smaller spaces on lasalle and off farmington will never be gap or bannana ready as they are too small to support the rents.

The center is changing and for the better as we maintain the position of premier walkable outdoor shopping, Dinning and playing area(Livelly)

Talk to me in three years. When was the last time you went for a walk around newington center they have plenty of Mom & Pops.-(BOOORING)

Let the nimbys worry, have faith enjoy!!

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I heard Osaka just closed because the landlord wanted 15,000 a month for the space. Not that Osaka is that great of a restaurant, but 15K a month is going to price a lot of retailers out of the market. If that represents average rate in West Hartford Center, and BBS is going to be 20%+ higher, then only the most well financed chains can afford a space.

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The center is changing and for the better as we maintain the position of premier walkable outdoor shopping, Dinning and playing area(Livelly)

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I was a fan of BBS also,, for the region, not West Hartford. Chains don't belong in the middle of a quaint center that was already successful.

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I was a fan of BBS also,, for the region, not West Hartford. Chains don't belong in the middle of a quaint center that was already successful.

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I was a fan of BBS also,, for the region, not West Hartford. Chains don't belong in the middle of a quaint center that was already successful.

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To be fair, none of the development is going to be situated in the middle of what we know as WHC. In fact, given BBS' location east of Main street, I think that begs the question as to whether BBS and the existing WHC can be tied together; there is the real possibility that these two areas are going to operate completely independent of each other.

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I really don't see them being isolated from one another happening at all. People who will be living there will not want to simply stay in the BBS development, they will explore. I think most people will explore, and there will be plenty like myself who did not frequent the center before, who probably will after BBS.

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In the end you may be right, I just wish I could be so confident! To tell you the truth, deep down I agree with you that BBS will be a smashing success that will draw even more people to WHC, but I do have my doubts about a number of things.

The reason I say they might operate independently is because if West Hartford residents reject BBS in its completed form, it will become a tourist destination for residents of other towns, while the townspeople will stick to the old WHC. West Hartford is a funny town. While they vote progressive, many of the residents hate the idea of change.

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My wife and I are considering a move to the Hartford area from Boston and were in West Hartford Center last Sunday. After all of the discussion, like that above, of this being a premier shopping area I was less than impressed. The one or two stores that looked interesting were closed, and this was about 1:00 pm after lunch, sorry but premier shopping areas are open on Sundays, you can bet the stores in BBS will be.

Should we move to greater hartford, I would be in West Hartford for two reason only, 1) Whole Foods (or Wild Oats or TJ's) 2) Much less often would be visits to retailers like Crate & Barrel which will be in BBS assuming I don't find them elsewhere.

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My wife and I are considering a move to the Hartford area from Boston and were in West Hartford Center last Sunday. After all of the discussion, like that above, of this being a premier shopping area I was less than impressed. The one or two stores that looked interesting were closed, and this was about 1:00 pm after lunch, sorry but premier shopping areas are open on Sundays, you can bet the stores in BBS will be.

Should we move to greater hartford, I would be in West Hartford for two reason only, 1) Whole Foods (or Wild Oats or TJ's) 2) Much less often would be visits to retailers like Crate & Barrel which will be in BBS assuming I don't find them elsewhere.

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sorry but premier shopping areas are open on Sundays, you can bet the stores in BBS will be.

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Umm stores in Paris, France, and Milan, Italy, are closed on Sundays. Does that disclude those places from being premier shopping areas? Get real!

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Again, we are not competing with those places for residents. We compete with Boston, Providence, New York, and New Jersey, Philly, and the BoWash area. These areas all have premier shopping centers all over, except maybe PVD, that would be open on Sundays with convenient hours and plenty of big name national players. That's what we are up against. How about you get real!

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You're against small business. In none of those places will you find most small shops open on Sunday. Do you know why? Because the people that work there need a day off. It's amazing the ignorance in this forum.

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There is a place for small business in this Country. Having said that, in order for the Greater Hartford area to compete for residents with other major metros, there have to be businesses that are open at times when people are not in work (meaning beyond 9-5 M-F). If small businesses can handle that, then great. If not, then make room for those that can.

As more residents move to downtown Hartford and West Hartford, there will be a greater and greater need for businesses that are open on weekends and evenings. It is simply consumer demand, and there is nothing wrong with that. You cannot compare the culture and ideologies of european cities to those of American metros. To compare places that are separated by an ocean and huge cultural differences is ignorant to say the least.

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I'm glad my "ignorance" amazes you. I feel the same way. I happen to own a small business in Bloomfield, and no we don't open on Sundays either. So I know all about that. It doesn't mean I'm against chains. I would love for some more to come into Bloomfield Center to bring some new energy and maybe customers along with them.

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My wife and I are considering a move to the Hartford area from Boston and were in West Hartford Center last Sunday. After all of the discussion, like that above, of this being a premier shopping area I was less than impressed. The one or two stores that looked interesting were closed, and this was about 1:00 pm after lunch, sorry but premier shopping areas are open on Sundays, you can bet the stores in BBS will be.

Should we move to greater hartford, I would be in West Hartford for two reason only, 1) Whole Foods (or Wild Oats or TJ's) 2) Much less often would be visits to retailers like Crate & Barrel which will be in BBS assuming I don't find them elsewhere.

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Just want to clarify...I said premier walkable (pedestrain friendly) dining and shopping area. There are plenty of places (Shoppes @ Farmington Valley, Avon Marketplace, Simsbury Commons, Corbins Corner, Evergreen Walk, etc) that have lots more shopping and dining options, but they aren't made up of small botuique type shops nor are they truly walkable...unless you consider "lifestyle centers" as such.

For example, the Avon Marketplace on route 44 in Avon has the Gap, Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret, Starbucks Coffee, Yankee Candle Co., Orvis, CVS, Stonewall Kitchen, Bath & Body Works, Bertucci's, Express, Lenscrafters, Michael's Jewlers, and the Sharper Image. While I do like the area, it doesn't have the same feel as WHC does, nor does it have any truly unique stores. You can find just about all the stores I just listed in any suburban mall in the country.

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But here's the thing. People no longer want to have to go to a regional mall to visit the above mentioned stores and many others. That's why lifestyle centers and new urbanist type mixed use is all the rage right now and Hartford is behind the curve on this, period.

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