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krazeeboi

Downtown retail strategy

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Mayor Coble is calling for an overall downtown retail development plan for areas such as the Vista, USC

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fantastic news! I hope it also addresses new ways to attrac retail and incorporate better designs into new downtown buildings. I hope the City has learned its lesson from First Citizens.

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Main Street needs to be fixed up- downtown Columbia and surrounding areas have a lot more non-retail activity and people studying, living, doing business, etc. than Greenville does, so downtown Columbia should be a lot more vibrant than downtown Greenville is. The difference I can see in the two is that Greenville has just made downtown very aesthetically attractive, and so people come downtown because it's a nice way to spend time, so downtown has plenty of retail and restaurants that have come as well. Parts of Main Street in Columbia just look run down and dead; they should be fixed up and that would definitely help. Nice trees, fresh paint, etc. would definitely help.

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Downtown Columbia consists of much more than just Main Street. Parts of downtown are indeed aesthetically pleasing, which includes parts of Main, and parts need work.

All the city needs to do is take what has been done right and what is being done right in the Vista (particularly along Gervais) and in Five Points and apply it to Main. The second half of the streetscaping, set to begin in July, will help tremendously. Hopefully we'll also see some improvements to a lot of the facades of the shops fronting Main.

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Downtown Columbia consists of much more than just Main Street. Parts of downtown are indeed aesthetically pleasing, which includes parts of Main, and parts need work.

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Retail in Columbia is truly starting to redefine the meaning of downtown. A heretofore nondescript area of the City Center is showing signs of life and helping expand the boundaries of the commercial footprint. On Taylor Street between Gregg Street and the railroad tracks, a business called Camp Bow Wow has just occupied a building and put a new facade and eye-catching signage on it. The signage includes a happy little dog. Talk about a sign of big things to come - when a pet store/boarding kennel/etc-type of store opens in an area, it's on the way up.

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That's good news. Even better, it's away from the Vista. Hopefully the streetscaping along Main will jumpstart retail development on Main itself, as well as on that side of downtown.

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Amy Stone, a 25-year consultant and fundraiser for nonprofits, has been tapped by the City Center Partnership to help recruit new merchants and shops to Columbia

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The State features an article today about the results of the downtown retail strategy study (which was accomplished fairly quickly, it seems). The most significant conclusion of the study was that Assembly is the linchpin between connecting Main and Lady streets. The city could have kept the $200K they dished out for this study and asked us, and we could have provided the same answers!

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Interesting. That means that the City needs to develop an enhanced crosswalk in that area so that people will feel safe crossing Assemble Street. It is possible to do, but while addressing that, they may as well address Gervais St too. Thats a major intersection on all accounts.

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Gervais St could use a little updating between Huger and Assembly, but that's not a top priority right now.

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Yeah I think downtown has some other streetscaping priorities right now.

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The detailed reports by the consulting firm (all PDF files) are available in today's edition of The State (which actually extended beyond downtown; North Main, Farrow, and Two Notch are also included). Good stuff; I'm glad that the city appears to be serious about this--although, once again, I say that many of the recommendations are just too obvious and could be easily remedied by the city if it only took the initiative to do so.

Retail Study {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} Downtown Strategy

Retail Study {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} Five Points

Retail Study {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} Farrow Road

Retail Study {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} North Main

Retail Study {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} Two Notch Road

Some of my very own pictures were even used in the Downtown and Five Points reports (the very first shot in both reports, and the Gervais Street shot in the Downtown report). :)

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The study also mentioned something that I've brought up--a lot of storefronts along Main are simply not visually appealing. This particularly applies to many north of Hampton. The tinted, shaded windows, faux facades, and signage are just not inviting to pedestrians. I hope the city provides facade grants to storeowners in connection with the second phase of the streetscaping, because if improvements don't take place when it comes to those things, it won't be successful.

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So i hope this means the "Shoppes at Lady Street" are soon coming! :wub:

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So i hope this means the "Shoppes at Lady Street" are soon coming! :wub:

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