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Will we ever get a bookstore uptown?


gamecocksfan

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I am so tired of the look on business colleague's faces that are visiting CC and asking where is a bookstore. I always send them to Founders Hall. The problem is that store is too small, has no selection and is only open until 6pm. Do you think that a large chain bookstore would be interested in the Mint Museum location when it moves or maybe the existing bookstore may move street level when the Founders Hall renovation is complete? Even though the economy is hard, it seems like Books A Million or Barnes & Nobles would love to have a location in CC.
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This post is killing me :( I want a bookstore in Uptown so badly. And not some airport express version. I think it would do well. There are enough people living there now to support a full service store with normal city hours. Not the Uptown version of closing at 6 weekdays and shut all weekend. Surely if bowling alleys and movies can do well we can have a bookstore. Not to mention they serve as great hubs for hanging out. I have been to several urban, vertical,multi-level bookstores in London, New York, and smaller regional cities like Charlotte. We should have one too!

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I think it is going to be tough to convince a mass merchandiser big box store like Barne and Noble to put a store downtown. Their business model depends on high volumes which means for the most part their stores are located near other similar businesses. Outside of business hours I just don't think there is the market. It doesn't help there is one at SouthPark. If there is a campaign for something like this, it might be better to go after their smaller store, B. Dalton or something similar. They tend to be much smaller stores.

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^The bowling alley and movie theater will thrive because they are still entertainment. Downtown Charlotte is still in a phase where most of the businesses that succeed are service oriented or restaurant/bar/entertainment. I think we still have a ways to go before there are adequate people on the sidewalks to support major retail. Still, if there were ANY buildings with cheap enough rent maybe a used bookstore could make it if they built up a cult following. With most of our old buildings demolished the only spaces available are in newer buildings with sky high rents.

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Bookstores and rental stores (i.e. Blockbuster) are having a tough time competing against their online counterparts like Amazon and Netflix. As much as I would like to see a large bookstore downtown with a place to sip coffee and read, I doubt it is high on the realistically doable list. These companies are having a hard enough time out in the suburbs.

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Bookstores and rental stores (i.e. Blockbuster) are having a tough time competing against their online counterparts like Amazon and Netflix. As much as I would like to see a large bookstore downtown with a place to sip coffee and read, I doubt it is high on the realistically doable list. These companies are having a hard enough time out in the suburbs.
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It's definitely a stretch. Between the two giants though B&N would be more likely. Borders is really hurting and I constantly read about rumors of it's demise.

An independent would be awesome but it's just not affordable. I have always loved that green kind of art deco building on Trade across and just past The Trademark. It has had vacant storefronts for eons. I think it just screams little bookstore. In a perfect world I would make an instant copy of Malaprops in Ashevillle and plop it right into Uptown. Sigh.

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The answer is an obvious no, not in the next 5-7 years at a minimum. They didn't come uptown during the retailers' rapid expansion, and they're certainly not now with the credit markets completely frozen and consumers' wallets sewn shut. Nevermind that there is no suitable space for one uptown now that the biggest spots at EpiCentre are filled and none of the current projects under construction are suited for one. One of the biggest reasons real retail hasn't popped up downtown is that there is absolutely no good space for it. That certainly isn't going to change anytime soon with no new projects getting financing and no retailers expanding.

The bookstores and the uptown boosters missed their chance...they'll have to wait for the next cycle to take another crack at it.

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Although not technically uptown, I was thinking this afternoon about what type of store would work well in the soon to be vacated Home Depot Design Center at the Metropolitan. And bingo, I was thinking a large bookstore chain would be a good fit. Any thoughts on that location?

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  • 3 weeks later...
Although not technically uptown, I was thinking this afternoon about what type of store would work well in the soon to be vacated Home Depot Design Center at the Metropolitan. And bingo, I was thinking a large bookstore chain would be a good fit. Any thoughts on that location?
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i heard from a civil engineer that word is that spot will be a costco or sam's club.

A Costco doesn't make much sense as there is one at I-77/Tyvola. I'm certainly in favor of another Costco in the area though as the current two are packed at all hours. I would imagine that Costco would look to the Huntersville or University/Concord area before placing one so close to an existing location.

I could buy the Sam's Club rumor though, but would it be large enough for their needs?

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I think an independent bookstore could flourish somewhere around Uptown. My favorite bookstore in the world is The Tattered Cover in Denver. The owner now has three very distinct stores, my favorite of which is in the LoDo area of downtown Denver, all the way at the end of the 16th St. mall. It is three stories inside of a 19th century warehouse with original wood floors, a massive winding staircase, and thousands upon thousands of books.

You can check out some photos on their MySpace page. If you have a few moments read about their humble beginnings on the MySpace page and tour the site. Definitely worth while and something I think could be replicated on some level here in Charlotte.

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