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The State of Downtown Retail

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I like King Street...so either way is fine with me! It isn't local, but being the only one in SC and only their 15th store is just awesome.

Edited by p2y2r7o

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Long live capitalism and a free market!

I'm sorry, I just can't let this one go without comment. From what I've been told, the development of downtown Greenville has been a product of PUBLIC-PRIVATE efforts. The so called 'free market' depends on the state and on collective action. Let's be honest about how the world works and not perpetuate ideological drivel about some magical invisible hand that will solve all the world's problems if the pesky, evil government just lets people do what they want.

Edited by SouthernYankee

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Not to be a party pooper, but I'd hate to see this be the first step in the King Streetification of our downtown.

Thank goodness Main Street Greenville is able to attract something like a Dean & Deluca (and Mast, and the few other chains that it has)- much better than it was 25 years ago, with boarded-up wig shops (like so many other smaller-sized Southern cities are these days in their downtowns). Long live capitalism and a free market!

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Could this be going to the Green Monster site?

I was wondering this, too. With rumors of national retailers looking at the site, it would make sense to me... Isn't work supposed to start this fall? :dontknow:

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I'm sorry, I just can't let this one go without comment. From what I've been told, the development of downtown Greenville has been a product of PUBLIC-PRIVATE efforts. The so called 'free market' depends on the state and on collective action. Let's be honest about how the world works and not perpetuate ideological drivel about some magical invisible hand that will solve all the world's problems if the pesky, evil government just lets people do what they want.

That's true. In fact, the cited example of Mast General was a product of direct governmental involvement. The property was sold to Mast by the city at a discounted price.

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I'm sorry, I just can't let this one go without comment. From what I've been told, the development of downtown Greenville has been a product of PUBLIC-PRIVATE efforts. The so called 'free market' depends on the state and on collective action. Let's be honest about how the world works and not perpetuate ideological drivel about some magical invisible hand that will solve all the world's problems if the pesky, evil government just lets people do what they want.

That's true. In fact, the cited example of Mast General was a product of direct governmental involvement. The property was sold to Mast by the city at a discounted price.

Until you show me that the government lured Dean & Deluca downtown, rather than its private owners [EDITED TO ADD: making a decision themselves about where to make their investment], I'm sticking to my comment.

Mast came to its site after the city blocked a Jillian's from occupying the building.

The government has done some things to help downtown- such as helping the Hyatt get built, doing streetscaping along Main, building the first development in the West End and Reedy Falls Park and a few other things but the overwhelming majority of capital invested in downtown is from the private sector.

All of these government projects to help downtown were done after suburban-friendly government policies had nearly killed it. Remember Main Street in, say, 1985, at its low point?

The government has done tons of things to destroy downtown- from building highways leading away from it, subsidizing housing on the suburban fringe, doing road improvements and tax abatements for retailers at the suburban fringe[, EDITED TO ADD:, having zoning policies that basically prohibit urban development except in a small area in the CBD, through minimum parking requirements, required setbacks from the street,] and more.

Difficult to say, but a fully free market, without any government involvement at all (which I know is not possible, and I'm not a libertarian), would likely have resulted in an even bigger and better downtown than we have now; in SC at least, for every 1 urban-friendly government policy or action, there are maybe 5 suburban-friendly ones.

Edited by mallguy

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Difficult to say, but a fully free market, without any government involvement at all (which I know is not possible, and I'm not a libertarian), would likely have resulted in an even bigger and better downtown than we have now; in SC at least, for every 1 urban-friendly government policy or action, there are maybe 5 suburban-friendly ones.

Excellent point. I wish all the so-called free-market capitalists who advocate sprawl as being a product of the "free market" would realize this, but that's another subject.

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How did Dean & Deluca turn a thread into a political thread? :lol:

For what it's worth, Greenville downtown's success seems to be a great example of 50/50 partnership/effort between public and private. Most all cities that visit Greenville, leave knowing downtown's success was due to this partnership.

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All of these government projects to help downtown were done after suburban-friendly government policies had nearly killed it. Remember Main Street in, say, 1985, at its low point?

The government has done tons of things to destroy downtown- from building highways leading away from it, subsidizing housing on the suburban fringe, doing road improvements and tax abatements for retailers at the suburban fringe[, EDITED TO ADD:, having zoning policies that basically prohibit urban development except in a small area in the CBD, through minimum parking requirements, required setbacks from the street,] and more.

Difficult to say, but a fully free market, without any government involvement at all (which I know is not possible, and I'm not a libertarian), would likely have resulted in an even bigger and better downtown than we have now; in SC at least, for every 1 urban-friendly government policy or action, there are maybe 5 suburban-friendly ones.

I know this is getting really off-topic, but with the sexiness of the anti-government mentality, there needs to be a little fact-checking here.

Much of your concerns are federal government issues... but with that being said, it is absolutely false to say that the free market would result in some sort of utopian downtown without suburbanization. There is an inverse relationship between governmental involvement and the strength of downtowns. People like to point to Europe as the paradigm of ideal urban development, but their development patterns are a direct product of governmental involvement. Try getting anything new built in just about any European country. Even here in the US, the best downtowns... New York, Boston, DC... they are all rife with governmental involvement.

The reality is that all downtowns, without exception, are built based upon the preferred method of transportation. The reality is that our society, for better or worse, drives cars. In a free market in the US right now, all development patterns will cater to the vehicle. Woodruff Road, the local poster-child for bad development, is the free market at work. Downtown is most definitely not.

That's not to say private investment hasn't played an important role... and in fact, it is probably one of the things that separates our successes from being duplicated in other markets. But to imply that if government got out of the way, things would be even better is absolutely false.

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Much of your concerns are federal government issues... but with that being said, it is absolutely false to say that the free market would result in some sort of utopian downtown without suburbanization.

That's not to say private investment hasn't played an important role... and in fact, it is probably one of the things that separates our successes from being duplicated in other markets. But to imply that if government got out of the way, things would be even better is absolutely false.

Zoning is key key key in downtown vs. suburban development. That's an exclusively state/local issue. Same with many infrastructure improvements and TIF financing and other targeted tax breaks for suburban developments.

Under Greenville's zoning, except in a small part of the CBD, it is illegal to build anything that is not set back from the street, suburban-style, and illegal to build any commercial development that does not have a minimum number of parking spaces. That alone makes urban expansion difficult, if not impossible. And that's a totally local issue that would not arise but for government.

I was on a local transportation commission (not in Greenville). Once the government got out of the way and changed zoning laws to let the private sector build the types of developments that the private sector wanted, rather than forcing low-density, suburban-style development on everyone almost everywhere, the urban core of the city grew due to new "urban"-style developments that finally could be built in additional areas, and even much suburban development was "urban"- hundreds of millions of dollars' worth. That's what happened when government got out of the way, even just somewhat.

And again, SC is a suburban-friendly state with suburban-friendly government policies, on the balance, and those policies, on the balance, help suburban development more than CBD/urban ones.

Without government involvement, there would NOT be a "some sort of utopian downtown without suburbanization"; I never said such a thing. What would happen is that there would be more urban-style development, both in the CBD and elsewhere, and that the CBD would be larger, with more development there.

Edited by mallguy

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Under Greenville's zoning, except in a small part of the CBD, it is illegal to build anything that is not set back from the street, suburban-style, and illegal to build any commercial development that does not have a minimum number of parking spaces.

I'm not an expert on the City's codes, but I thought this was reversed a few years back.

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Bad news I'm afraid. It would appear that our little Mayor tweeted prematurely...:sigh:. We are not getting a Dean & Deluca store, but instead Postcards from Paris downtown will be carrying their products. It's time to revoke his twitter access. Dean & Deluca Correction

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Bad news I'm afraid. It would appear that our little Mayor tweeted prematurely...:sigh:. We are not getting a Dean & Deluca store, but instead Postcards from Paris downtown will be carrying their products. It's time to revoke his twitter access. Dean & Deluca Correction

Is it really Knox's fault? I think it's our own interpretation...

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Is it really Knox's fault? I think it's our own interpretation...

Speaking for myself personally the only confusion that I had was the "limited version" part of his tweet which was unclear as to whether it referred to Dean & Deluca or if he was referring to Verizon. He tweeted that D&D were coming to greenville, perhaps he should have clarified his tweet. Given that it was picked up by a couple of news channels I would think that it's safe to say that it was unclear to quite a few people.

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Speaking for myself personally the only confusion that I had was the "limited version" part of his tweet which was unclear as to whether it referred to Dean & Deluca or if he was referring to Verizon. He tweeted that D&D were coming to greenville, perhaps he should have clarified his tweet. Given that it was picked up by a couple of news channels I would think that it's safe to say that it was unclear to quite a few people.

Well, yea it was unclear to me, too. But, I'm not going to say he lied to me. Any further assumptions were my own fault.

He also tweeted that some development plans for North Main have gotten bigger. Any thing further that I decide to read into that is my own fault, not his. Am I wrong? :whistling:

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Well, yea it was unclear to me, too. But, I'm not going to say he lied to me. Any further assumptions were my own fault.

He also tweeted that some development plans for North Main have gotten bigger. Any thing further that I decide to read into that is my own fault, not his. Am I wrong? :whistling:

I didn't say that he lied. I said that he should have be more clear with his little tweets. :shades: When coupled with an announcement that included two other store openings, the natural assumption is that D&D was going to be a store opening as well and there was nothing in the tweet to suggest that it wasn't. It's great that he's excited about the announcements, but perhaps he needs to let the communications director handle the tweets from now on. :thumbsup:

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Bad news I'm afraid. It would appear that our little Mayor tweeted prematurely...:sigh:. We are not getting a Dean & Deluca store, but instead Postcards from Paris downtown will be carrying their products. It's time to revoke his twitter access. Dean & Deluca Correction

And once again, we all know why the internet is commonly known as "the mis-information highway". :lol:

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Well then, this is the best bad news I have heard in a long while. A local shop is expanding and adding new high end services on Main Street.

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