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GvilleSC

The State of Downtown Retail

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What would you suggest? Most of McBee has been redone. At least one gap (The Peacock site) is understandably waiting on a finished product for its street improvements, but the sidewalk works just fine. More development is the only thing I really see as being a potential motivator for people on foot.

Actually, the sidewalk does NOT work just fine. The stretch across from the Bookends, where the "temporary" Peacock fence encroaches on the (still-city-property) sidewalk is a nightmare. Handicapped people in scooters get stuck between the fence and lightpost stubs regularly, people walk in the street because the sidewalk isn't wide enough -- it's ridiculous, but I've seen mothers with strollers walking in the middle of traffic because they can't or won't use that thin stretch of sidewalk. Totally insane that the city's let it stay like that for 4+ years.

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A friend and I were discussing the closing of Atlanta Bread company yesterday. It got us both to thinking about something. Is there an authentic bakery in downtown anywhere. Somewhere a person could go each day to get fresh bread and pastry? Maybe something like Great Harvest bread company, or any kind of non-franchised place would be good. The trick would be finding somewhere the rent wouldn't be outrageous. Couldn't you just imagine walking down the street on your way to work and smelling fresh bread baking?

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A friend and I were discussing the closing of Atlanta Bread company yesterday. It got us both to thinking about something. Is there an authentic bakery in downtown anywhere. Somewhere a person could go each day to get fresh bread and pastry? Maybe something like Great Harvest bread company, or any kind of non-franchised place would be good. The trick would be finding somewhere the rent wouldn't be outrageous. Couldn't you just imagine walking down the street on your way to work and smelling fresh bread baking?

Sadly, there's nothing like this. I think Stone Avenue is an excellent place for a bakery. Rents would be somewhat lower than Main Street and you'd be able to service all of the people who live in the N. Main area as well as people who use Stone Avenue for other purposes. Stone Avenue is crying out for a number of neighborhood-serving businesses - a coffee shop, pizza place, ice cream parlor, etc. If the Dover Kohl plan ever gets implemented, these types of businesses would be much more likely to move in and thrive.

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I think the overpass is the real culprit. Not much you can do about that.

Well, that overpass was brought up when the last master plan was done. At least one session with public input brainstormed about the bridge being brought down. I'm not sure if it would be good or bad. Right now, it's a commuting corridor, but perhaps as the entire street is redone, maybe people will view it differently. By having it as an overpass, I think it gives pedestrians an opportunity to traverse further without traffic on TWO downtown streets (Broad and McBee). Personally, I think the space UNDER the bridge could be REALLY dynamic as a fun public space/park.

Edit: really, it would be three streets, as Camperdown goes over Church Street in the current setup.

Edited by GvilleSC

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We have another winner downtown. Dark Corner was packed with tourist this weekend and the place is detailed to the nth degree!

Edited by gsupstate

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Quikees is no more. I'm sure there will be much mourning on these boards. I wonder how much the new CVS had to do with their closing.

What a sad day. That building needs an upgrade.

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Quikees is no more. I'm sure there will be much mourning on these boards. I wonder how much the new CVS had to do with their closing.

Excellent to hear! :alc: :alc: :alc:

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A friend and I were discussing the closing of Atlanta Bread company yesterday. It got us both to thinking about something. Is there an authentic bakery in downtown anywhere. Somewhere a person could go each day to get fresh bread and pastry? Maybe something like Great Harvest bread company, or any kind of non-franchised place would be good. The trick would be finding somewhere the rent wouldn't be outrageous. Couldn't you just imagine walking down the street on your way to work and smelling fresh bread baking?

I was just having this same conversation last night with some friends! An authentic pastry shop would be wonderful downtown!

One thing I've been realizing about Greenville's Main St is that we lack small retail spaces. The smallest space I've seen downtown is probably Qwickee's? In comparison, I just got back from a visit to NY where every block seems to have tons of tiny (5 table) restaurants, bakeries, etc. that are thriving (if they offer quality goods/services). If downtown Greenville had some smaller spaces for rent, it would make starting a new business on or near Main St. a lot more feasible. We would also potentially see more variety and maybe even fewer closed doors since there would be less overhead to recoup.

I'm not sure if many of the buildings would lend themselves to being divided into smaller spaces but I would love to see a building owner give it a go!

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There's a great bakery/coffee/sandwich shop in Charlotte called Amelie's, the one in NoDa in particular. Would love to see something like that downtown. That one is open 24 hours too, which is always a plus.

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Keep in mind that the buildings in NYC with small commercial spaces are usually older, less-expensive apartment buildings with commercial space on the ground floor and are located along the north-south avenues, which are good for retail but undesirable for residential, largely due to traffic and noise (and people usually don't like living above restaurants and bars because of noise, rodents,etc.).

If you look at newer buildings and/or more desirable addresses, they don't have those small spaces- maybe a bank branch or a J Crew or a drugstore or the like, which usually are larger (and don't have a restaurant/bar on the ground floor).

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Was reading the online version of Forbes with an article dated Oct 14th naming Greenville's downtown as one of America's top 10 downtown's. The first pictire is a beautiful shot of downtown with Fluor Field in the froeground. Underneath it read: total city population 686,986. Wow.

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There's a great bakery/coffee/sandwich shop in Charlotte called Amelie's, the one in NoDa in particular. Would love to see something like that downtown. That one is open 24 hours too, which is always a plus.

Mmmm.... Amelie's is wonderful - especially their Salted Caramel Brownies...

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I went to McBee Station on Saturday- so good to finally see a regular barbershop downtown, but unfortunate to see Hampden Clothing and Shaylon Shoes closed (I don't care about women's apparel, but sad to see any store downtown close).

McBee Station needs some more high-volume convenience-retail national tenants in it (because they would attract traffic and would have the financial ability to withstand slow periods). A FedEx/Kinko's store would do well there.

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McBee Station needs some more high-volume convenience-retail national tenants in it (because they would attract traffic and would have the financial ability to withstand slow periods). A FedEx/Kinko's store would do well there.

They have a good population base to pull from right now, but it'd be great to see more new development across McBee Avenue to further make the case for new tenants. Some office and a good bit more residential would go a long way, IMO. Those lots are definitely under-utilized right now.

Edited by GvilleSC

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GvilleSC, I agree with you 100%. That large parking lot across from the running equipment store (I don't recall the name) would be great redeveloped. Maybe a large retailer?

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I doubt Staples would want FedEx/Kinkos competition for copies, etc. I would imagine their lease would preclude it from happening.

The parking lot across from On ON TRi would be perfect for a 4-5 story office and/or /residential project.

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Good point re: Staples/Kinko's.

I know that the demographics of the Midtown development in Charlotte aren't identical, but maybe stores there would consider coming to McBee Station (or across the street), since they've shown willingness to do semi-urban developments?

Edited by mallguy

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Liquid Highway has closed. And so it continues. On the flip side though, it looks like Barefoot Shoe Company has expanded into the old Ult Divan space.

Liquid Highway has closed. And so it continues. On the flip side though, it looks like Barefoot Comfort Company has expanded into the old Ult Divan space.

Edited by citylife

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Liquid Highway has closed. And so it continues. On the flip side though, it looks like Barefoot Comfort Company has expanded into the old Ult Divan space.

Wait, the LH beside Sticky Fingers closed? The Woodruff Rd one closed a couple weeks ago...I think that puts them back at 2 or 3 stores now. It's pretty sad how poorly they went about all of that...when I started at the Hyatt store it was the 6th one to open and within the next two years there were seventeen! When will people learn that if your product is good enough people will come? Don't need a store on every block...

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