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Drive for 'Center City' retail

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On 2/1/2020 at 10:38 PM, LKN704 said:

I hate to change the subject, but what was actually located in CityFair? I did a quick google search and couldn't find anything. Just fast food places?

If I remember correctly, there were fast food places, a Camelot Record Store, Waldenbook and other stores like that.  There was a sit-down restaurant on the corner of College and 5th I believe that.  I remember getting a "Gorilla Radio" t-shirt from one of the local radio stations.  The poor guy was dressed up in an actual gorilla costume and was giving out t-shirts promoting the station.  I wish I could remember which one it was.  This was in 1989 if memory serves correctly.  I have pictures of the final days of Belk uptown before it was taken down to make way for Bank of America Corporate Center from the parking deck that was attached to CityFair.

Good times!

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44 minutes ago, JRNYP2C said:

If I remember correctly, there were fast food places, a Camelot Record Store, Waldenbook and other stores like that.  There was a sit-down restaurant on the corner of College and 5th I believe that.  I remember getting a "Gorilla Radio" t-shirt from one of the local radio stations.  The poor guy was dressed up in an actual gorilla costume and was giving out t-shirts promoting the station.  I wish I could remember which one it was.  This was in 1989 if memory serves correctly.  I have pictures of the final days of Belk uptown before it was taken down to make way for Bank of America Corporate Center from the parking deck that was attached to CityFair.

Good times!

yes major food court and Fat Tuesdays was in there.  Z Gallerie or something just like it was in there non food retail was a light.  It was way before its time and was the first location of UNC Charlotte uptown where I took my MBA classes. I think Waldenbooks was located in the One Independence Center across the corridor  from present day Starbucks there. 

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Yes!!  CityFair!  I remember going to Fat Tuesday when I first moved here in 1994.  Then a few years later when I worked for NationsBank, our offices were actually on the third/top floor of CF.  There were only food court type restaurants and Fat Tuesday on the lower level at that point I believe.  Between that and Mythos, BAR, Have a Nice Day Cafe, and the newly opened Cosmos... that was it downtown.  The Moon Room/Carpe Diem were down on S. Tryon too.  They moved us to the new (and still unfinished) 525 N Tryon and then imploded CityFair which we got to watch.  I remember it being uneventful.  

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2 hours ago, rancenc said:

Well at least we know that Payless Shoes will not be part of any retail presence in the center city or anywhere for that matter!:tw_flushed:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/02/15/payless-shoesource-all-u-s-stores-liquidating-and-closing/2885949002/?fbclid=IwAR3DQhHklTPuEreibyQ8bmDUEObx4-VOiTZgf9apdmsRsDjp69cD1YUjQpg

All their Charlotte area stores are already shut down. They had ~11 stores in the Charlotte market, including at Northlake Mall and Carolina Place, prior to closing.

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I truly hope that the city and developers will attempt to take more steps to transform North Tryon into Charlotte’s “it” street. I was in the city over the weekend, and it made me realize how lively yet misused Tryon is. I feel that if you removed the redundant real estate offices and other dead uses and moved in retailers and more bars and restaurants, many people would utilize and benefit from it. 

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24 minutes ago, Cadi40 said:

I truly hope that the city and developers will attempt to take more steps to transform North Tryon into Charlotte’s “it” street. I was in the city over the weekend, and it made me realize how lively yet misused Tryon is. I feel that if you removed the redundant real estate offices and other dead uses and moved in retailers and more bars and restaurants, many people would utilize and benefit from it. 

Is the city allowed to restrict retail down to the individual store? So if a building has ground floor retail, can they tell a property owner they can't lease to certain retail uses? I.E. "No you can't lease to the FedEx store, but if you find a clothing store that's fine."  What if the FedEx store can pay more in rent than the clothing store? Does the city have to subsidize it?

Edited by CLT2014
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13 hours ago, rancenc said:

Pier 1 has typically been more of a suburban retailer. The 8 locations closing in the Charlotte area will impact suburban strip malls in areas like Ballantyne, Steele Creek, Matthews, Concord,  et... Birkdale Village in Huntersville will have a large vacancy when Pier 1 vacates as well.

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39 minutes ago, Hushpuppy321 said:

I know there’s a drive for Center City Retail but after reading this thread it seems like Retail all over (In Center Cities & Suburbs) are struggling.  WTH is going on?

You can buy almost anything online, a shift in spending away from clothing (from 5% of discretionary income in 1987 to just 2% today), inventory issues (especially clothing), rising commercial rent, debt problems (i.e. Neiman), and many companies have just failed to adjust with the times and re-invent themselves as consumer preferences change (JCPenney, GAP, Sears, Toys R Us, Pay Less Shoes, et....). Many retailers are struggling to absorb the cost of maintaining multiple channels now. You can't just be a good brick and mortar retailer. You have to be a great brick and mortar retailer and a stellar online store that can get a product to a customer in 3 days... and throw in free shipping if the customer spends $50... and pay for returns... and offer a coupon code... and accept that "online" exclusive as a return at the retail store and then ship it back to the warehouse or sell it on clearance at the retail store since it isn't part of an in-store collection, et.

Edited by CLT2014
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With Covid, malls seem like places that will be hit especially hard (and were already on the decline).  All retail will likely continue to struggle for a bit but I could see open air shopping districts being far more appealing than a closed in mall environment.  Counter-intuitively, in the long run, this could help expand retail in center city.  

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It seems like every bankruptcy announced has been for companies with a huge amount of complex debt, and even in a good economy were barely keeping up with bills. 

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1 hour ago, CLT2014 said:

You can buy almost anything online, a shift in spending away from clothing (from 5% of discretionary income in 1987 to just 2% today), inventory issues (especially clothing), rising commercial rent, debt problems (i.e. Neiman), and many companies have just failed to adjust with the times and re-invent themselves as consumer preferences change (JCPenney, GAP, Sears, Toys R Us, Pay Less Shoes, et....). Many retailers are struggling to absorb the cost of maintaining multiple channels now. You can't just be a good brick and mortar retailer. You have to be a great brick and mortar retailer and a stellar online store that can get a product to a customer in 3 days... and throw in free shipping if the customer spends $50... and pay for returns... and offer a coupon code... and accept that "online" exclusive as a return at the retail store and then ship it back to the warehouse or sell it on clearance at the retail store since it isn't part of an in-store collection, et.

Dang...

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And we can't build nice buildings, eat outside, close streets, or anything else either. Not aimed at any specific person. Despite kjh (Mr booster) this is a really depressing place to hang out you want urbanism.

Edited by elrodvt

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