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Thread: Big-box in suburban downtowns?

  1. #26
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cathy_VT
    Burlington, VT has a one-story Old Navy, two-story Border's Books, and a three-level Pier One in its Church Street Marketplace and I think they all work very well intertwined with the smaller stores and the locally owned shoppes. In the late 90's, Burlington received the "Great American Main Street Award." This is most likely due to the success of Church Street.
    That's awesome!!! Now that's what I'm talkin' about.
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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman
    This is where I saw the Chili's! I've been racking my brain trying to remember where in California I had seen these! The Chili's in Marble Falls, TX is in their central business district, but it still looks significantly like their standard building with modifications because it is lake front. Not sure if Walnut Creek is where I saw the hotel though... I've heard rumors of a boutique hotel going into the Southlake Town Square northeast of Fort Worth. I think the Denny's or IHOP I saw might have been on my trip to North Carolina some time back, but I'm not entirely sure.
    Here in Edmonton, we also have a Chili's in the heart of our main shopping district (Whyte Avenue, while not "downtown", is our major pedestrian-friendly commerical strip). However, in this case, the Chili's is "urbanized" (sorry, I'm not a design student, so my terminology might be somewhat colloquial! ), in that it resides in a 3-story building right on the street (actually, just off Whyte on 104th st). In a similar fashion, Chapters (a Canadian version of Barnes & Noble) has a location on Whyte that is far different from its usual box store design.

    Many people, including myself, were initially concerned on how these large chains would effect the numerous independent stores on the strip. Many of the small coffee shops we had in the 90's have dissapeared, with only Starbucks, Second Cup, and Cafe Mosaic (the only one remaining from that time) left. However, the bookstores and resturaunts on the strip have still continued to thrive.

  3. #28
    Cyburbian chukky's avatar
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    In downtown Brisbane the Target lives underground, accessed off the Myer Centre foodcourt I think. We also have a three storey Borders. That's been pretty successful at getting people into Elizabeth Street. Because Brisbane is centred around the Queen Street pedestrian mall (which covers Queen Street and the cross street, Albert), Elizabeth Street (one block to the east) has had to take on almost a 'service alley' role. It's where the parking deck entrances are, and the loading docks, and its the main drag in from the Expressway, which doesn't help.

    The Myer Centre, for instance, (biggest shopping centre in the innercity) has wide entrances and shops on the Queen Street side, but a blank wall and a ramp to the carpark on Elizabeth.

    The big Borders on the corner of Albert and Eliabeth is a prime reason to actually head down that street.

  4. #29
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    I am aware of Buffalo Wild Wings outlets in downtown Madison, WI (State St) and downtown Valparaiso, IN.

    Mike

  5. #30

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    Downtown Walnut Creek, CA is anchored by big boxes like Barnes and Nobles, Chilis, etc. As well as a few local shops and restaurants and an outdoor mall with all th usual suspects.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cathy_VT
    Burlington, VT has a one-story Old Navy, two-story Border's Books, and a three-level Pier One in its Church Street Marketplace and I think they all work very well intertwined with the smaller stores and the locally owned shoppes. In the late 90's, Burlington received the "Great American Main Street Award." This is most likely due to the success of Church Street.
    I love Church Street in Burlington! You're right, it does have a good mix of chains and locally owned stores, but can this model work everywhere without the balance tipping in the wrong direction?

    Saratoga Springs, NY now has The Gap, Eddie Bauer, a two-story Border's Books, and Starbucks in its downtown. People see this as a sign of success... unfortunately, rents have been going up and several longstanding local shops and restaurants have been forced to close.

  7. #32
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Pier 1? Chili's? Borders? Starbucks? These are "big boxes?" At best, some are "mid-boxes." There is a huge difference between a big box, and a store that is merely a chain.
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  8. #33
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    Pier 1? Chili's? Borders? Starbucks?
    Depending on how large the downtown is, that brings up another question and that is would the community want to entertain having a chain restaurant locate in the downtown? I'm sure there are communities that prefer to have the "Ma & Pa's" in the downtown (to give the downtown its uniqueness?) and leave the chains in other areas of the community, near malls or along larger collector streets/arterials so that the downtown doesn't look like "Anytown, USA." What is a community's draw to its downtown that isn't found in every other community?

    Then again, some could argue that a chain restaurant was a downtown's salvation.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  9. #34
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I dunno about the rest of the world, but in Michigan there are some pretty big Border's and Barnes and Noble stores.

    The flagship Border's in Ann Arbor Michigan is in an old Multi-floor Department Store.

  10. #35
    Member CosmicMojo's avatar
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    urban rahad: untapped DIY market

    Areas with hot rehab markets can support a few extra Lowes or Home Depots downtown. We always had to drive out to the 'burbs for that, but the national chains finally there was a growing urban market with money to spend on renovations and we'd had 2 new Lowes in recent years.

    type: title should read "rehab"

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