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[Huntington] History of Pullman Square

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I added the history of Pullman Square last night --

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_Square

It is an interesting case study, a rare example of local, state and federal governments working together to get the project completed. It's interesting to note that it started as an intermodal center - the federal government is not in the job of building solely parking structures - but it was a key component of the downtown project.

--

As a side note, I also updated Cityscape of Huntington, West Virginia --

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cityscape_of_...C_West_Virginia

The section "Urban renewal" was updated with more recent information, and "New vision" is a new section entirely.

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...The section "Urban renewal" was updated with more recent information, and "New vision" is a new section entirely.

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Today's Herald-Dispatch had an article about retail downtown. Merchants are beginning to see at the register what has certainly been appearing to happen on the streets -- more people downtown shopping and spending money.

Retailers seeing higher sales

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http://www.heralddispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dl...385/1005/NEWS10

Two downtown restaurants unexpectedly close

Friday, January, 12, 2007

Moe's Southwest Grill at Pullman Square and Feast of the Dragon both closed Thursday for "remodeling." Two other restaurants are set for opening in 2007: The Garage Chophouse and Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries.

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http://www.heralddispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dl...352/1001/NEWS10

Moe's may be moving

Saturday, January, 13, 2007

By JEAN TARBETT HARDIMAN

The Herald-Dispatch

Moe's Southwest Grill may be moving down to a new location on 3rd Avenue. Read on for a messy story...

Why in the hell is it inserting my new posts in this post?

http://www.heralddispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dl...348/1001/NEWS10

'Best cheesesteak on earth' coming to Pullman Square

Saturday, January, 13, 2007

By JEAN TARBETT HARDIMAN

The Herald-Dispatch

A new eatery is coming to Pullman Square. Since construction is beginning soon and it isn't mentioning moving into Moe's, it will probably be across from it on the corner of 9th St. and 3rd Ave.

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You-all in Huntington are gonna LOVE Five Guys, I've been to the one in DC and Richmond a few times, should prove to be a popular place with the Marshall students.

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Hotel Frederick

I understand that the owner of the Hotel Frederick has been renovating the building as a mixed-use project. This is great news. I hope the project will be a success.

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Culinary Institute opens Tuesday

The Culinary Institute is across from Pullman Square, on 3rd Avenue and is next to the Le Cook store.

Article information: "Culinary Institute opens Tuesday, By JEAN TARBETT HARDIMAN, The Herald-Dispatch, February 4, 2007"

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Bistro closes doors

This place has had a checkered past -- it's owned by Jack Whittaker, who has proven many times over that wealth does not bring a better quality of life, or smarts.

The Bistro was once a Pizzera Uno who had failed to pay their bills. When Jack Whittaker bought it for the Bistro, he kept everything relating to the Pizerra Uno, down to the tables, tableclothes, silverware, plates, etc. This came to a big mess.

Article information:: "Bistro closes doors at Pullman Square, By Jean Tarbett Hardiman, The Herald-Dispatch, Thursday, February, 22, 2007"

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New store opens at Pullman

Runway Couture opens next to Inspired. It features West Coast-inspired fashions.

Article information: "New store opens at Pullman, By JEAN TARBETT HARDIMAN, The Herald-Dispatch, Saturday, March, 17, 2007"

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Malls have to change with the times...

Mall changes with time

Article information: "Mall changes with time, By Jean Tarbett Hardiman, The Herald-Dispatch, Monday, March, 26, 2007"

While malls struggle to find their identity, Huntington Mall still dominates local market

Article information: "While malls struggle to find their identity, Huntington Mall still dominates local market, By Jean Tarbett Hardiman, The Herald-Dispatch, Monday, March, 26, 2007"

a. Closings in 2006 -- KarmelKorn (noooooo!!), Dairy Queen, Dawahares, Casual Corner and Petite Sophisticate. The carousel was also gone. Gap and another store closed in 2007.

b. A few stores remodeled and a few, like Hollister, is moving in.

c. Panera Bread opened in the mall's parking lot and has proven popular.

d. I wouldn't say the Huntington Mall "dominates" the market. It is the largest mall in West Virginia and draws in visitors from a three-state region, but malls like the Ashland Town Center and the Charleston Town Center are both very popular and local.

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TTA to unveil new trolleys

These new 'trolleys' will serve the Pullman Square bus route and several in Cabell County. They are painted green in honor of Marshall University, and will have cushioned seating and air conditioning. Each bus cost $326,884. The $27 million that was appropriated from Congress to develop Pullman Square's public portion (it is a intermodal transit center after all) has now been fully spent with the purchase of the buses.

Article information: "TTA to unveil new trolleys, Herald-Dispatch, Saturday, April, 7, 2007"

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Pullman heats up downtown :thumbsup:

With many photographs!

Key --

1. Pullman Square has succeeded in drawing people back to the downtown. From teenagers to kids and their parents, its become a magnet for people to hang out, grab some coffee, eat dinner, watch a movie, see a comedy performance, listen to live music, or read a nice book -- all within the city center, not at the mall. From the article -- "It was 9 o'-clock and there were 200 people around."

2. The $60 million entertainment complex opened in 2004 as a public-private partnership. According to a recent online poll at the Herald Dispatch, 10% said they visit Pullman Square weekly; 16% monthly (this seems to be very low).

3. Pullman Square is reminiscent of the town square of 'medieval times' -- or of the 1950s. It was designed to draw the community together as they 'ventured out to market', 'find entertainment', or 'hear the news of the town'.

4. Pullman Square currently has (as of April 9, 2007) -- Empire Books and News, Marquee Cinemas, Starbucks, Merle Norman, Inspired, Runway Couture, EB Games, Max & Erma's, Cold Stone Creamery, Edible Arrangements and Funny Bone Comedy Club.

4a. Benny's Cheesesteak and Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries will open soon.

4b. Moe's Southwest Grill closed and is moving to 9th Street -- next to Pullman Square, and the West Virginia Bistro closed (fiasco with Jack Whittaker, lottery winner).

4c. Deneene Chafin owns two business -- opening Inspired, which sells handbags and accessories, and Runway Couture (Mar 17, 2007), a women's clothing and shoe store. She wants to open a store for just shoes.

5. The summer concert series, Hot Dog Festival, Chili Festival, Oktoberfest are held at Pullman Square ... along with pep rallies for Marshall teams and other events

Article information: "Pullman heats up downtown, By Jean Tarbett Hardiman, The Herald-Dispatch, Sunday, April, 8, 2007"

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More good news :thumbsup:

Feds approve bank branch at Pullman

Notes --

1. Community Trust Bank of Pikeville, Kentucky has received federal approval to build a bank branch at Pullman Square. It would be located at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 10th Street behind the "black wall", and face 3rd Avenue with an entrance from the corner of 10th street. The building would have space for other retail tenants.

2. The lease agreement with Metropolitian Partners have been completed and construction could begin in August.

3. In other news, Benny's Cheesesteak will open in June, and Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries will open in July. Garage Chophouse pulled out, unfortunately.

Article information: "Feds approve bank branch at Pullman, JEAN TARBETT HARDIMAN, Herald-Dispatch, May 8, 2007"

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Pullman additions planned

Pullman additions planned, By JEAN TARBETT HARDIMAN, Herald-Dispatch, June 16, 2007

Pullman Square will be gaining new restaurants and retail over the next month. Benny's Cheesesteak will open next week near the former site of the Uno and West Virginia Bistro. It is the second location for the Columbus-based restaurant that sells Philadelphia-style hoagies, wings, wraps, beer, etc. Uno Chicago Grill is also making a return, coming back to its former location at Pullman. It will be under the franchise of Rick Rose, who owns some Bennigan's restaurants in Ohio, and under Mike Bartrum, a retired NFL player. The restaurant sells Chicago-style pizza and could open by July 30.

Uno originally opened in 2005, but the original owners were used just a few months layer for not paying the builders, suppliers, and utilities. The owners changed the name to the West Virginia Bistro in 2006 and was headed by Jack Whitter (the powerball winner) -- however, another lawsuit was filed after the company complained that the Bistro owed thousands for rent and other closed. It closed in February 2007.

Empire Books and News has changed owners and is now managed by Bill Dargusch and Metropolitian Partners, the private arm of Pullman Square. John Gaylord, the previous owner, has started up other stores and has been making changes. Empire Books will undergo a slight remodeling, shifting the layout to something more user-friendly, putting an emphasis on bargin books and expanding the children's section. It will also put a stronger focus on local authors and schedule more book-signings. A coffee bar could be reintroduced soon as well.

Along with that, Heels will be making its debut in July. It is owned by Deneene Chafin, who owns the adjacent Inspired and Runway Couture. It will carry brands not known in the area and will compliment the existing stores.

Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries could open in August, and construction on the Community Trust Bank could begin 'anytime'.

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Some updates...

Moe's Southwest Grill is returning to its old location supposedly. Same for Uno's Chicago Grill (long story). And a new retail store just opened the other day.

Bank being built at Pullman

By Jean Tarbett Hardiman, Herald-Dispatch [Huntington], July 26, 2007

The infamous black wall at Pullman was torn down Wednesday (July 25) to make way for temporary fencing. The corner lot, at Third Avenue and Tenth Street, will be the first Huntington branch of Community Trust Branch and the 80th for the bank, which is based in Pikeville, Kentucky. It could be open as early as mid-November and will sport a train-station motif in keeping with Pullman Square's overall theme. The bank will face the 3rd Avenue and 10th Street corner, and will have space for two retail tenants.

Bill Dargusch of Metropolitan Partners, the private-developer of Pullman Square, was asked if he was happy to see the black wall come down. "Are you kidding me?"

Construction will begin next week on the foundation and will have six to eight employees.

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Hamburger restaurant to open Friday in Pullman Square

By Jean Tarbett Hardiman, Herald-Dispatch [Huntington], September 11, 2007

Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries will open Friday at Pullman Square. The restaurant will serve fresh burgers and fries, hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, veggie sandwiches and drinks. Five Guys does not have a freezer as all of the food is fresh. It employees 30 to 40 and opens at 11 AM Friday.

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New retailer picks Pullman

By Jean Tarbett Hardiman, The Herald-Dispatch, September 19, 2007

Pullman Square is gaining a new retail tenant. Pullman Square developer Bill Dargusch announced Tuesday that Chico's, a women's retailer, will move into the downtown enterainment complex. It has not yet signed a lease, but it will occupy a space below Max and Erma's, and is the first major women's retail chain to take a chance in the development. The announcement was made at a working women's luncheon at the Funny Bone Comedy Club.

The women were there to discuss women and retail, organized by Women 2 Women, a subcommittee of the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce. Those that attended included the general manager and CEO of the Transit Authority, and Deneene Chafin, the owner of three independent women shops at Pullman - Inspired, Runway Coulture and Heels.

Some of the questions raised at the luncheon included what Metropolitian Partners was doing to draw in retailers, if they would draw in shops geared towards men, why there are no public restrooms, and if there are plans to expand towards the Ohio River and towards 4th Avenue. Research so far has indicated that a healthy downtown mix includes a third of enterainment, including movies, theatrical and other productions and comedy clubs, a third on restaurants, and a third on retail. Restaurants generate the most visitor count and dollar spent on a typical development.

For most retailers, they won't gamble on a chance for a development like Pullman -- which is still in an experimental phase. Many have been burned in development projects that date to the 1980s, but Chico's is one that is likely to break the barrier. Chico's is a speciality retailer of "private branded, sophisticated, casual-to-dressy clothing, intimates, complementary accessories, and other non-clothing gift items." It operates 958 stores under the name of Chico's, White House/Black Market and Soma Intimates.

Chafin encouraged members of the audience to start their own businesses. Small businesses can react more quickly to change than the larger chains, she pointed out. And she recommended targeting the younger crowd. Give them what they want, and they'll stay in Huntington after they graduate from college, Chafin said

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