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Whaler0718

High End Urban Malls

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My attention has been drawn to the numerous "high end" malls in edge cities like Troy, MI (Detroit) and Tysons Corner, VA (Washington, D.C.) as well as North Park Center, in suburban north Dallas.

http://www.northparkcenter.com/

http://www.tysonsgalleria.com/html/index17.asp

http://www.thesomersetcollection.com/directory/directory.asp

I recognize that these are not "urban" malls in the sense that they aren't downtown, they do provide high-end retail for their respective urban markets. (I think Dallas is having a bit of a retail renaissance, so this might not hold as true there). It has been said on this forum before, but Front Street may be the opportunity to provide what the suburbs so far have not, which is true high end retail--Pink, Barney's NY, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Gucci--as well as less exclusive but still high end Club Monaco, Lacoste, Saks, Zara, Kate Spade, and Kenneth Cole. There are tons of stores that don't yet service the Greater Hartford market. Crate & Barrel, for instance, doesn't have a Conn. store ... yet ....

The fact that they are making the move to Blue Back demonstrates less that Blue Back has done better than Front Street and more that the market is ready for these retailers. My question is this: how do we incorporate the strategic planning of a mall into the urban environment without creating a traditional "mall." I think the best example of the success of such an effort may be West Palm Beach, Florida: http://www.cityplace.com/index.asp.

That said, I don't believe CityPlace has incorporated residential. Moreover, I don't know how the entire facility--including its roads etc., is run. Is the plan for Front Street to turn over the "public" elements of its design to Hartford for maintenance/legal purposes, or effectively to operate a "lifestyle" center, in some sense, similar to Evergreen Walk (but with residential).

Finally, of course, this begs the question as to whether the market is there--or rather, here. Are we too close to Boston and New York?

As an afterthought, I began to wonder if Pope Commons could achieve this, but I sincerely doubt it. Front Street is equally if not more accessible and it is close to the CBD, which provides office workers. Pope Commons is too isolated to grow up on its own, as much as I support something other than what's there now.

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My attention has been drawn to the numerous "high end" malls in edge cities like Troy, MI (Detroit) and Tysons Corner, VA (Washington, D.C.) as well as North Park Center, in suburban north Dallas.

http://www.northparkcenter.com/

http://www.tysonsgalleria.com/html/index17.asp

http://www.thesomersetcollection.com/directory/directory.asp

I recognize that these are not "urban" malls in the sense that they aren't downtown, they do provide high-end retail for their respective urban markets. (I think Dallas is having a bit of a retail renaissance, so this might not hold as true there). It has been said on this forum before, but Front Street may be the opportunity to provide what the suburbs so far have not, which is true high end retail--Pink, Barney's NY, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Gucci--as well as less exclusive but still high end Club Monaco, Lacoste, Saks, Zara, Kate Spade, and Kenneth Cole. There are tons of stores that don't yet service the Greater Hartford market. Crate & Barrel, for instance, doesn't have a Conn. store ... yet ....

The fact that they are making the move to Blue Back demonstrates less that Blue Back has done better than Front Street and more that the market is ready for these retailers. My question is this: how do we incorporate the strategic planning of a mall into the urban environment without creating a traditional "mall." I think the best example of the success of such an effort may be West Palm Beach, Florida: http://www.cityplace.com/index.asp.

That said, I don't believe CityPlace has incorporated residential. Moreover, I don't know how the entire facility--including its roads etc., is run. Is the plan for Front Street to turn over the "public" elements of its design to Hartford for maintenance/legal purposes, or effectively to operate a "lifestyle" center, in some sense, similar to Evergreen Walk (but with residential).

Finally, of course, this begs the question as to whether the market is there--or rather, here. Are we too close to Boston and New York?

As an afterthought, I began to wonder if Pope Commons could achieve this, but I sincerely doubt it. Front Street is equally if not more accessible and it is close to the CBD, which provides office workers. Pope Commons is too isolated to grow up on its own, as much as I support something other than what's there now.

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The biggest stumbling block is that nobody can get their head out of their as.. out of the sand long enough to really do what's best for the city instead of doing what's best for themselves.

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I feel the high-end retail should be at Hartford 21 and Pratt Street, complimenting Stackpole, and the Goodwin nicely. Front Street I see more of as an entertainment district kinda like near Fenway, with large bars/clubs, restaurants, ESPN experience.. Pope Commons would be good as more of a specialty district, like furniture, design and art.

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Gucci or Louie V will go to Blueback. It's a safer gamble.

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I think the market for some of these high-end retail stores is growing in greater Hartford (especially west of Hartford). However, I think that if the market was fully mature, you'd see some of these retail establishments already operating in the region or broadcasting firm plans to open stores. These types of chains don't open stores when they're begged by local governments. They open stores when they believe there is a customer base present to generate profits over the long-term.

If any high-end retail comes to Hartford, I doubt we'll see it in the city. I'm not being a nay-sayer here; I'm being a realist. Hartford simply does not have the resident population base that caters to these chains and downtown does not have a daily workforce or resident population base sufficient enough to sustain them. Maybe this will change in the future, but right now the city cannot even offer a friendly business environment for a store like Barnes and Noble to operate in.

Now, there is growing demand for high-end retail in the region. And if the demand eventually reaches a critical mass for a store like Tiffany's, then I think we'll see Tiffany's open in Canton, Avon, or West Hartford -- not in Hartford proper.

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Gucci or Louie V will go to Blueback. It's a safer gamble.

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Front Street would be ideal for high end retail because of the central location to the eastern and western suburbs. Glastonbury, Tolland, and Portland are becoming increasingly affluent, and for people there to travel to Canton would be kind of tough. The big crash on 44 in Avon has soured many people on driving that road. West of Canton there just aren't enough people to support a Tiffany or LVuitton.

Tiffany in Hartford would be ideal. The Convention Center brings in big spenders and it is amazing how many well paid people work in the downtown high rises. There are hundreds of lawyers and insurance execs downtown who could pick up Vuitton bags for themselves or their wives.

BBS may be pursuing those stores, but some of the older shops in the center won't be happy about it. The Bookworm can't be happy about Barnes and Noble and I think many other stores will take a big hit when BBS opens.

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Front Street would be ideal for high end retail because of the central location to the eastern and western suburbs. Glastonbury, Tolland, and Portland are becoming increasingly affluent, and for people there to travel to Canton would be kind of tough. The big crash on 44 in Avon has soured many people on driving that road. West of Canton there just aren't enough people to support a Tiffany or LVuitton.

Tiffany in Hartford would be ideal. The Convention Center brings in big spenders and it is amazing how many well paid people work in the downtown high rises. There are hundreds of lawyers and insurance execs downtown who could pick up Vuitton bags for themselves or their wives.

BBS may be pursuing those stores, but some of the older shops in the center won't be happy about it. The Bookworm can't be happy about Barnes and Noble and I think many other stores will take a big hit when BBS opens.

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Bookworm is a great store, but I can't see how it will compete with a Barnes and Noble a block away. Moving downtown might keep it in business.

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Grock:

I'd love to see the bookworm open a store on either Front Street or at H21. Bookworm is a great store.

JimS

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As a business person, I don't blame Taubman for suing. Town funds helped the BBS developer. Is Taubman getting any help?

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As a business person, I don't blame Taubman for suing. Town funds helped the BBS developer. Is Taubman getting any help?

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When Westfarms or Bishops Corner add residential, then they can beotch that they got no money, until then, feel free to turn out your lights at 10PM and pipe down....

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Well I thoroughly support that! That whole area should be demolished and turned into a large park, and all of the various retail can make its way to BBS, Front Street, H21, etc. Nice column in the Courant today urging W.Htfd to sue Taubman for vexatious litigation.

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