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michaelskis

Downtown v Enclosed Malls v Lifestyle Centers

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With the discussion about what will make downtown Grand Rapids a successful destination point, I think it is important to look at what makes Life Style Centers and Malls successful destination points.

Additionally, I think that it is important to examine the roll that we expect downtown to play. If you look at malls and lifestyle centers, they tend to be populated until the retail stores close and then they may have one to two bars open, but the majority of the traffic is gone by that point.

Another big difference is the happy-clean-safe perception that the malls and life style centers give which is far easer to address because every part of it including the internal road ways is completely private.

What are the differences that you are aware of between the three and what influences will these differences hinder possible development in downtown Grand Rapids?

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I think the biggest advantages a mall has is the fact it is enclosed and climate controled plus offers security. Then there is free parking to allow shoppers to stay as long as they wish with out the worry of feeding the meter.

Lifestyle centers offer the similar advantages to malls and offer a sudo urban envionment be it a homogenized prepackeged dumb down version of the real thing to appeal to suberbanites that don't want to give up their SUV's and 6 million square ft. McMansions. Thank of the difference between riding a roller coster and skydriving. The roller coaster provides the same thrill as skydiving but without the chances of pulling the rip cord and geting no chute.

Havng been to Chicago's Michigan St. and soaking in the energy of all the hustle and bustle and seeing endless diversity of people from all walks of life I can say lively downtowns have the advantage of offering a real Urban Experience. No Mall or Life Style Center could ever envoke that feeling of being in the center of it all like a big city's DT can or the small down to earth charm and warm character of Small Town, U.S.A.'s Mainstreet. If American Cities lauched an all out effort to fixing the problems of white flight, the 60's urban renewal, struggling innercity schools, Life Style Center and Malls would not stand a chance against a lively downtown.

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Come on tamias. The anti-SUV, McMansion thing is such a pat stereotype that does nothing to further the discussion.

I think the comparisons of malls to downtown are apples and oranges. If all the malls and lifestyle centers are making lemonade, then downtown needs to make a fine delicious mango and orange juice.

I think the success of lifestyle centers are actually due to a "longing" for bygone days. Just a cleaner and more sterile environment is created because as you said, it's all privately owned. Plus, since they now have successful track records across the country, you can show the results to the Anthropologies and the Williams Sonomas of the world that it's a good bet.

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Thank of the difference between riding a roller coster and skydriving. The roller coaster provides the same thrill as skydiving but without the chances of pulling the rip cord and geting no chute.

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One thing a co worker and myself were discussing today is parking plays a HUGE role in people going somewhere. Rivertown/Woodland/Centerpoint have a huge advantage in that parking at their site is free, where almost anywhere downtown requires paying for parking. Ann Arbor is great because after business hours, the majority of parking garages are free. I think this contributes to drawing people and retail to the downtown area

(I realize DT Ann Arbor and DT GR is a huge difference due to the University, but Ann Arbor is great)

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One issue I've found in regards to parking garages is that parking after 7 or so downtown usually isn't worth it. Sometimes after work I wanna head downtown, grab a bite to eat at the dog pit, and maybe stop by Vertigo or something. Streetside parking is difficult to find unless you know where to find good spots, and most of the parking garages are on Event Mode. I'm sorry but when I'm going downtown to grab a quick $2 hot dog and browse a store for 15 minutes, I'm not going to spend $6.50 on parking.

I know there's at least one ramp that doesn't have an Event Fee, but they a little more pricey per hour?

Back when I was still a little unfamiliar with where to park downtown, I would get discouraged and just go home. (Also include the one time some idiot was behind me and wouldn't back up to allow me to get into a streetside parking space, had to drive a giant circle and came back to the space being taken by somebody else.)

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One issue I've found in regards to parking garages is that parking after 7 or so downtown usually isn't worth it. Sometimes after work I wanna head downtown, grab a bite to eat at the dog pit, and maybe stop by Vertigo or something. Streetside parking is difficult to find unless you know where to find good spots, and most of the parking garages are on Event Mode. I'm sorry but when I'm going downtown to grab a quick $2 hot dog and browse a store for 15 minutes, I'm not going to spend $6.50 on parking.

I know there's at least one ramp that doesn't have an Event Fee, but they a little more pricey per hour?

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=o

Well then that's a horse of a completely different colour. It seems to me that this should be advertised somehow that there is an option.

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As for the parking fees. What would happen if there where no fees. Would that be a benefit or would it make the parking problems of a DT area even worse since folks would tend to hog the parking space for long periods of time since they would no have to worry about feeding a meter or paying for an aloted amount of time at a Parking ramp.

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Come on tamias. The anti-SUV, McMansion thing is such a pat stereotype that does nothing to further the discussion.....

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How about just move into or within walking distance of Downtown. My Fianc

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How about just move into or within walking distance of Downtown. My Fianc

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