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Thread: San Luis Obispo downtown center...

  1. #1
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    San Luis Obispo downtown center...

    What would you call this retail complex? It has about 90,000 sq. ft.
    www.thomaelec.com/casestudy_slodowntown.html

    The tenets are:

    Downtown Cinema 7
    Barnes N Nobles Bookseller
    Gap
    Express
    Sunglass Hut
    California Pizza Kitchen
    Chino's Resturaunt
    Pizzo Mio
    Jamba Juice
    Starbucks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Ummm..

    An outdoor shopping center

    (durr)
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    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    It looks like the latest fad in retail cneters. Smaller malls with typical stores to attract people to walk around. We have a few here in the Phoenix area. The little retail core is nice, but then it's surrounded by big box stores and parking lots.
    I think this idea has potential if it can be placed in a downtown setting like the title of the place suggests. Then there would be more to walk to than just that retail setting.

    If this gets enough good bars, it could be a great place for a fest.

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    It looks like the latest fad in retail cneters. Smaller malls with typical stores to attract people to walk around. We have a few here in the Phoenix area. The little retail core is nice, but then it's surrounded by big box stores and parking lots.
    I think this idea has potential if it can be placed in a downtown setting like the title of the place suggests. Then there would be more to walk to than just that retail setting.

    If this gets enough good bars, it could be a great place for a fest.
    Too bad the latest "FAD" was built over 13 years ago. It is in a downtown setting (hence the name downtown center). There are great bars down the street and it has been replicated as well in the same area, but with larger retail names. Hence why i called it an outdoor shopping center. It is not quite a lifestyle center (with no major anchors) but it is not a bunch shops with individual owners as found throughout downtown. It was developed as a shopping center.
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    I agree it's too small to be a lifestyle center. And it could be a theme/festival center.

    I see resemblance with that shopping center and the Centenial Plaza in downtown Oxnard.

    Only problem with it being considered a theme/festival center is that there is no theme.

    I been calling it a entertainment complex like the Metreon in San Francisco.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    I agree it's too small to be a lifestyle center. And it could be a theme/festival center.

    I see resemblance with that shopping center and the Centenial Plaza in downtown Oxnard.

    Only problem with it being considered a theme/festival center is that there is no theme.

    I been calling it a entertainment complex like the Metreon in San Francisco.
    LOL. a movie theater and some resturants and a book store doesn't make it an entertainment complex. it is just an outdoor shopping center. that's it. that place is definently not in the metreon's league
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    LOL. a movie theater and some resturants and a book store doesn't make it an entertainment complex. it is just an outdoor shopping center. that's it. that place is definently not in the metreon's league
    it has to have a name. like regional mall, super regional mall, community center, neighborhood center, power center, mix-used center, outlet center, conveniance center, theme/festival center, fashion/speciality center, street retail, airport retail...

  8. #8
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    Looking at the ULI way of classifying properties, I think it would be considered a "Lifestyle/Entertainment/Speciality Center," even though it is smaller than most of the case studies that ULI has on their web site. Size-wise, it is much closer to a "Neighborhood/Community Center," though its design and the fact that it has a subterranian movie theater push it to another level, IMHO.

    You can compare it to ULI case studies and make your own decision at:

    http://casestudies.uli.org/

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    Even when I was at Cal Poly SLO in the 1970's, Downtown SLO was the place to be for entertainment and mixing. Part of it is that there is no other place to hang out in SLO and the other is that Downtown was and still is a really nice place to hang out.

    I've been to the commercial center you are talking about. It is very nice and appealing.

    I believe what makes it work even with its relatively small size is the fact that SLO is a great college town. If you look at the list of businesses they are those that appeal to the college crowd from Cal Poly. My guess is that you will find similar centers in other "college towns".

    I guess you could call it a "College Town Center".

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    Quote Originally posted by smccutchan1 View post
    Even when I was at Cal Poly SLO in the 1970's, Downtown SLO was the place to be for entertainment and mixing. Part of it is that there is no other place to hang out in SLO and the other is that Downtown was and still is a really nice place to hang out.

    I've been to the commercial center you are talking about. It is very nice and appealing.

    I believe what makes it work even with its relatively small size is the fact that SLO is a great college town. If you look at the list of businesses they are those that appeal to the college crowd from Cal Poly. My guess is that you will find similar centers in other "college towns".

    I guess you could call it a "College Town Center".
    Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Davis, Merced, and Berkley don't have centers like the downtown center.
    Last edited by urban19; 02 Jul 2009 at 2:30 PM.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    it has to have a name.
    Downtown commercial.
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    Quote Originally posted by JimPlans View post
    Looking at the ULI way of classifying properties, I think it would be considered a "Lifestyle/Entertainment/Speciality Center," even though it is smaller than most of the case studies that ULI has on their web site. Size-wise, it is much closer to a "Neighborhood/Community Center," though its design and the fact that it has a subterranian movie theater push it to another level, IMHO.

    You can compare it to ULI case studies and make your own decision at:

    http://casestudies.uli.org/
    well, it would go under the category of a theme/festival center. since its above 80,000 sq. ft. i think entertainment center and theme/festival center are the same thing.

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    Cyburbian
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    Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Davis, Merced, and Berkley don't have centers like the downtown center.

    None of those cities are college towns like SLO. Each of those cities would be just fine without their college and their local economies aren't wholly dependent upon the college. Without Cal Poly, SLO would be a town like Templeton, one of several nice small towns along Highway 101 somewhere between LA and the Bay Area.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    well, it would go under the category of a theme/festival center. since its above 80,000 sq. ft. i think entertainment center and theme/festival center are the same thing.
    These are very general assumptions here buddy. Look, the stores don't mean much, look at the function of the center: It carters to shoppers and restaurants hence it is a retail center. It has no theme per say other than it blends in with the surrounding architecture. It it by no means the entertainment center of the town. A lot of foot traffic comes through because it is situated in the heart of downtown. The theater gives it an additional bump, but really because of it's great location (especially across the street from the largest parking garage in the main downtown corridor) it just attracts a good number of walkers. It functions well as just a pedestrian oriented downtown center. Sometimes we can't fit centers into categories. And please, can you broaden your horizon from outside of san luis. The world doesn't revolve around that place.
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  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Why the hurry to classify it as something that fits in a cute little check box?
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

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    I would call it an outdoor mall, and I don't believe the concept is that new, but it is awful trendy. The aesthetics are beautiful, and in comparison to an enclosed mall type, I personaly prefer these. See links.

    Peoria, ILhttp://www.theshoppesatgrandprairie.com/

    Guatemala City, CA http://www.plazafontabella.com/

    Tampa Bay, FL http://www.groveshopping.com/

    Leesburg, VA http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=14

    Now, a more adequate example in IMHO that lives up to the name of town center is Reston, VA. See link.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reston_Town_Center

    This has mixed uses, not just commercial.

    Who am I kidding, I spent most of the best years of my youth hanging out and loitering in an enclosed mall in the North East (e.g. Oxford Valley Mall, Franklin Mills Mall, Willow Grove Mall). How can I turn my back on that. Mall Rats style. Those were defining moments in my youth. And I would never trade that in for an outdoor mall.
    Last edited by Gedunker; 03 Jul 2009 at 12:08 PM. Reason: seq. posts

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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    These are very general assumptions here buddy. Look, the stores don't mean much, look at the function of the center: It carters to shoppers and restaurants hence it is a retail center. It has no theme per say other than it blends in with the surrounding architecture. It it by no means the entertainment center of the town. A lot of foot traffic comes through because it is situated in the heart of downtown. The theater gives it an additional bump, but really because of it's great location (especially across the street from the largest parking garage in the main downtown corridor) it just attracts a good number of walkers. It functions well as just a pedestrian oriented downtown center. Sometimes we can't fit centers into categories. And please, can you broaden your horizon from outside of san luis. The world doesn't revolve around that place.
    i was going to guess it had a subterranean/mediteranian architecture theme. So, it's more of a town square? And just a plain retail center? So you don't think it's a theme/festival center?

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    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Davis, Merced, and Berkley don't have centers like the downtown center.
    Because Berkeley has Shattuck and University avenues and Santa Cruz has Pacific Avenue, there is no need for these silly "centers." But remember, UCSC is the city on the hill, far from downtown Santa Cruz. If only they could clear the street urchins from these areas....
    I think that one of the great signs of security is the ability to just walk away.

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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Because Berkeley has Shattuck and University avenues and Santa Cruz has Pacific Avenue, there is no need for these silly "centers." But remember, UCSC is the city on the hill, far from downtown Santa Cruz. If only they could clear the street urchins from these areas....
    San Luis Obispo has Hiquera and Marsh street. Not to mention they have chorro and monterey street. They also built a mix-used center called Court Street Center. It's along hiquera street, so i consider it a mix-used development in street retail.

    San Luis Obispo has a better downtown than Berkley and Santa Cruz if you ask me. They didn't build those centers because they were low on money. They built those centers because they were low on land. SLO built up to add more more clothing and resturaunt franchises. They were smart on how they designed their downtown. You don't see many businesses in downtown closing down. Downtown SLO's street retail from Hiquera, Marsh, Monterey, Chorro, and Mill Street generate alot money. There is a gold's gym, sport's authority, shops for rich retirees, shops for college and high school students, and then grocery places for families and locals in the area.
    Last edited by urban19; 02 Jul 2009 at 11:30 PM.

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    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Davis, Merced, and Berkley don't have centers like the downtown center.
    I think that Davis has a pretty comparable center, though it's maybe a little smaller. The shopping center right by the railroad track underpass heading out of downtown has a Borders, Gap, several other stores, several restaurants and dessert places, and a boatload of parking and green space. No movie theater, but pretty similar otherwise. This center borders downtown and university housing.

    Merced is not a college town. Maybe in 50 years, but not now.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    I think that Davis has a pretty comparable center, though it's maybe a little smaller. The shopping center right by the railroad track underpass heading out of downtown has a Borders, Gap, several other stores, several restaurants and dessert places, and a boatload of parking and green space. No movie theater, but pretty similar otherwise. This center borders downtown and university housing.

    Merced is not a college town. Maybe in 50 years, but not now.
    what about the pacific garden mall in downtown santa cruz? it seems to have two levels. but i dont know what the tenets are.i heard it has starbucks.

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    what's the point of this thread?
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    so is the downtown center, pacific garden mall, and where the borders is at in davis all similar? they are all college shopping town centers? located in street retail?

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    okay, instead of making another thread i am going to try to keep all related questions in this thread.

    Are their any other downtowns in California like San Luis Obispo's downtown?

    I was doing research and it looked like Palo Alto and Bay Street in Emeryville seemed to have downtowns with a town square and mix-used center like SLOs.
    Am i correct?

    Do Pasadena and Walnut Creek's downtown have town squares and a mix-used center like SLOs downtown?

  25. #25
    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    so is the downtown center, pacific garden mall, and where the borders is at in davis all similar? they are all college shopping town centers? located in street retail?
    Downtown Santa Cruz is a tourist area for people from San Jose. I'd hardly call it a college oriented shopping district.

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