Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Richard Lawson

Downtown retail

54 posts in this topic

After some of the discussion on The Mall at Green Hills, I decided to start this new thread to brainstorm on what downtown retail shopping should look like. What's it like in other cities with strong downtown shopping and residential?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Virtually non-existent in Atlanta, at least outside of supporting DT office workers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Virtually non-existent in Atlanta, at least outside of supporting DT office workers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've habitually looked at DT as a victim of Buckhead. And in lot of ways, it remains a thorn in the side of DT... as far as siphoning retail and (yes) residential. Sure, DT is seeing more residential, but it's still a small portion of the total within the Perimeter. We all know that retail follows residential too. I think the point you make about the gulch in Nash, is more like what is being seen in midtown (Atlantic Station) and the inner-ring neighborhoods like Va-High, Piedmont, Little 5 Points, and now even Cabbage Town and Poncy... basically characterized by few large chains and smaller, home-grown, (eclectic, if you will) offerings. As far as DT Atlanta, I wouldn't expect any large retail to move back there for years.

(Re: the Gulch) From what I've gleaned on this board about that area, I would expect it to become a bit of a combination of Midtown/Inner rings (of ATL) and (possibly) Buckhead (not in a wealth sense per-se), but in a destination sense. That of course, will be seen. The gulch will obviously not happen with a mall like Lenox and Phipps. Nevertheless, the "bones" are there for a DT department store like the Nordstrom in Indy (I have not been there). On the (potential) downside of things, the gulch could become just another generic corner of the city like lots of Disneyfied/Cordishized/Rouse-ized parts of other cities if care is not taken to preserve/create a unique character.

I'll think about this a bit more, and get back to you. I do think Atlanta holds many lessons for Nashville both good/bad.

I didn't mention the obvious importance of hotels to Buckhead's development (around the shopping) and what would be critical for the Gulch if it is ever to have a department store.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think about this a lot. Indy has a good mix of retail that I would like to see in Nashville someday. The Gulch would be a great place for retail but it wouldn't be exactly the center of all the downtown population. If the new CC is to be built the old CC lot would be a great place for a vertical mall (if that is the direction that seems best to take). Whatever we eventually get I really think it does need a department store. The store should be true to the downtown models of older days with display windows and such. Again this is destination retail and would have to be planned that way. I do not think we're the only ones suffering from the lack of imagination needed to create the destination retail. I have not yet seen a retailer make the leep of faith it would take to create such a place. Suburban type stores would most likely fail in downtown because they're dull and predictable. I had always hoped that Parisian would come to downtown Nashville but with Belk buying it those chances are all but gone (belk doesn't do downtown even though they could build a pimped store in downtown CLT). I think most retailers are scared of downtown. they gave up on the area years ago and now no one in their ranks knows how to pull it off.

I would like to see a Target downtown too - one like in dt Minneapolis would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I for one love Boston's NewburySt. It's full of chain, small business, and restraurnats. They are all nicely done and they fit into the lower levels of the buildings they occupy... Basically it's a lot of older brownstones that have been converted into an urban outdoor mall with condos and apts on the uppper floors. The street runs all the way from downtown near the Boston Common and runs all the way down to Mass Ave. It's a huge local shopper/tourist magnet since the street starts out around downtown. Beacon St. could be something the Gultch should stive for as the far end is similar in distance from the DTC.

With the Gultch having a possible connection to Church St. I could see this happening although I would like to see more of that type of shopping/retail make it's way into the SoBro area since it's a little closer to our main tourist district. Mall type boutiques could help spur faster growth in downtown living and our constant flow of tourist will help keep the doors open.

Another DT I'm a fan of is Chicago's, Michigan Ave in particular. Lots of big name outdoor retail although they have a good deal of higher end shops that probably wouldnt make it here.

Basically our DT needs to fill the needs of everyday living from A-Z ... Living downtown shouldnt mean you still need to drive fifteen minutes to hit up a mall for that set of slacks, shirt, or to purchase a trashcan for your place....

Newbury St, Boston Pics

http://www.tooheyworld.com/images/uploads/L-Newbury-LG.jpg

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp...ssachusetts.JPG

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/comm..._Newbury_St.JPG

Michigan Ave Pic

http://www.hotelchatter.com/files/admin/michigan_ave.jpg

http://madhava.com/photo/boston2003/newbury_crowds.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A Target or even a K-Mart for sure. I was in Phily and saw a really neat urban K-Mart on 5th or 6th ST., just a couple of blocks from Broad. Only problem with that store is that it was a very large building that had been converted and those buildings that are capable of sustaining a store like that were torn down years ago. I think maybe the only one that is left is the building on the corner of 8th and Church and that is suppose to be torn down for the FED CH, if it ever gets funded.

I know Philadelphia is a lot larger but I would bet Nashville could eventually support a general merchandise store of some type. I think a good mis of upscale and even discout stores would work. I think what ever happens, we will never see another main street that is full of retailers liek the DT of old. The retail would be mixed around the DT which may not be a bad thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to see a Target downtown too - one like in dt Minneapolis would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I've wondered if a downtown Target wouldn't be a huge catalyst for more retail downtown. Don't know where it would go, really, but the Gulch would be great. We shop at Target all the time and have to drive all the way out to White Bridge Road. Surely, something like that is on the horizon downtown?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually end up going to one of the Cosi restaurant locations while in NYC, and I really wish there were one in Nashville's downtown or Gulch. The closest ones are in KY and VA.

http://www.getcosi.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used to have a cosi in Memphis. It was inside Macy's at Oak Court. They opened to bring some panache back to the store and within 6 months they had closed the restaurant (which was way cool) and left it boarded up. It was located in the Cosmetics/Jewelry area. LOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We used to have a cosi in Memphis. It was inside Macy's at Oak Court. They opened to bring some panache back to the store and within 6 months they had closed the restaurant (which was way cool) and left it boarded up. It was located in the Cosmetics/Jewelry area. LOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd be curious to know if any of the posters here are women. The reason is women have a very different view of shopping than men. Hopefully, that come off as sexist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've habitually looked at DT as a victim of Buckhead. And in lot of ways, it remains a thorn in the side of DT... as far as siphoning retail and (yes) residential. Sure, DT is seeing more residential, but it's still a small portion of the total within the Perimeter. We all know that retail follows residential too. I think the point you make about the gulch in Nash, is more like what is being seen in midtown (Atlantic Station) and the inner-ring neighborhoods like Va-High, Piedmont, Little 5 Points, and now even Cabbage Town and Poncy... basically characterized by few large chains and smaller, home-grown, (eclectic, if you will) offerings. As far as DT Atlanta, I wouldn't expect any large retail to move back there for years.

(Re: the Gulch) From what I've gleaned on this board about that area, I would expect it to become a bit of a combination of Midtown/Inner rings (of ATL) and (possibly) Buckhead (not in a wealth sense per-se), but in a destination sense. That of course, will be seen. The gulch will obviously not happen with a mall like Lenox and Phipps. Nevertheless, the "bones" are there for a DT department store like the Nordstrom in Indy (I have not been there). On the (potential) downside of things, the gulch could become just another generic corner of the city like lots of Disneyfied/Cordishized/Rouse-ized parts of other cities if care is not taken to preserve/create a unique character.

I'll think about this a bit more, and get back to you. I do think Atlanta holds many lessons for Nashville both good/bad.

I didn't mention the obvious importance of hotels to Buckhead's development (around the shopping) and what would be critical for the Gulch if it is ever to have a department store.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm guessing you left a crucial "didn't" out of that post somewhere... :)

Here is a 2005 article about the increasing trend of big-box retailers (like Target) moving into downtown and urban areas that I stumbled across while searching for pictures of Target's flagship store in DT Minneapolis (the article does have a rendering of it): http://recenter.tamu.edu/TGrande/vol12-4/1747.html

Could a Target or similar big-box store work in DT Nashville? Possibly, especially as the resident population in the area increases. I think a big electronics/music store could also do well in downtown or midtown, now that Tower's gone -- a Best Buy or (a long shot, I know) a Virgin Megastore could likely succeed, given the growing DT population and the Vanderbilt/Belmont students.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


This probably wouldn't qualify as downtown since my thought is 100 oaks location....... but we need a frys electronics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe a California Pizza Kitchen will be opening sometime this year in Nashville but in the Green Hills area. At least that's what I remember reading. Isn't it one of the restaurants coming to the Hills Center? My partner works at a CPK here and his boss told him they were opening a location in Nashville in August. So that should be just around the corner.

I'm completely shocked there isn't a Crate & Barrel in Nashville.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One will be going to the Hill Center in Green Hills. There's already one near Vandy. I believe I read that one is in Brentwood and one on the way to M'boro too. Can anybody verify?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, California Pizza Kitchen is being built in Hill Center, I believe. And I think I heard that a Cost Plus World Market is going into Nashville West. Those are good suggestions though; one would have to think that with all the corporate HQs and whatnot moving to Nashville, some high-end retail would be on the way by now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One will be going to the Hill Center in Green Hills. There's already one near Vandy. I believe I read that one is in Brentwood and one on the way to M'boro too. Can anybody verify?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The thing about a lot of the stores mentioned above is they're very high end and I don't know that the tourists would go to them, and they would really have to draw from the outlying areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ I agree. H&M(clothing) and Ikea (furniture/housewares) are actually very cheap yet fashionable European chains. They are not really high end in the least. Quite the opposite. They're usually big box stores. Ikeas are especially huge - usually larger than a Super Walmart - and are one of the best examples of destination retail one can build. I put it this way, if whomever buys Bellevue Center is truly serious about injecting that retail area with a heavy shot of adrenaline, they should try very, very hard to lure Ikea. Ikeas are so massive that I'm not sure there is a logical place for one in downtown or Midtown.

H&M has been in the habit of building smaller, mall-sized stores as of late to capitalize on their popularity. They recently opened a store in the mall here in Ann Arbor. For those who have been to one of their big boxes in places like NYC and Chicago, these stores will be a HUGE disappointment because they have a fraction of the offerings of their larger stores and it's usually their most generic clothing. So, hopefully, when they eventually break into the Nashville market they will be smart enough to give the area a true H&M instead of one of their "teaser" stores which do nothing to win over new fans. An H&M would be perfect for somewhere in Midtown or the Gulch, IMO. I believe the Nashville area will see both of these stores soon (within the next 5 years).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.