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Thread: Tradeoffs at box stores

  1. #1
         
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    Tradeoffs at box stores

    Recently the suburbs of Evergreen Park, and Oak Lawn, IL just outside of my part of Chicago granted leases to a Wal-Mart (95th and Western if you're familiar with the neighborhood) and a Target (95th and Keeler). Now 95th street is the main thorough fair for these as well as several other surburbs and a good chunk of Chicago, so it gets an absurd amount of traffic. Now of course I'm opposed to the Box stores as for what they are, and Wal-Mart for being, you know, Satan incarnate on earth. But these two stores have changed their pattern a little and I'm wonsdering if this makes them a little redeemed, or if it's not a worthy trade off.

    the street these stores are on for the most part is smaller shops which run right up to the sidewalk, and except for the Home Depot next to the Target and a few Car Dealerships there are no Large Parking Lots (even the home Depot has the benefit of a Drivethrough Restaurant in their lot). What these stores have done is move their stores right up to the sidewalk....on the side and back. Wal-Mart's side is right on the sidewalk with some landscaping, it's parking lot in it's front and doesn't occupy much curbfront, even sharing curbcuts with the Adjacent Sams Club.

    The Target, while less soul-less, made a bigger uh oh. It's back faces the busy street. You must enter then drive all the way around to get to the door. This store isn't finished but it appears to be planning to put something on the street side.

    So what do you think, is maintaining line of sight and pedestrian friendlyness on the street (less curbcuts) worth the disapearing entryway and a store that seems to turn away from customers?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    A couple of years ago I took 95th street across to Manheim (what can I say I am a sucker for abuse?). I wanted to get a good cross section of the South Side; boy did this give it to me from the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    I stopped off at several places along the way to walk around. I noticed a couple of malls on the south side of the street. One was nearly a "Dead Mall" and another was on its way. Could the Walmart be part of one of these old parcels? I seem to remember one had a wing that contained a Target.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
         
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    A couple of years ago I took 95th street across to Manheim (what can I say I am a sucker for abuse?). I wanted to get a good cross section of the South Side; boy did this give it to me from the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    I stopped off at several places along the way to walk around. I noticed a couple of malls on the south side of the street. One was nearly a "Dead Mall" and another was on its way. Could the Walmart be part of one of these old parcels? I seem to remember one had a wing that contained a Target.
    No, both these stores are new to the area completely and both are on the North Side of the street. However you're right about the dead malls, though they have staged a little comeback. The problem with the mall closest to the City, Evergreen Plaza, is that because the poorer blacks from farther into the city come there to shop because there are no stores near them, so there's both the aspect of the local, much more afluent whites don't want to be around blacks (sad but true) and that by rationale of supply and demand, most the stores cater to the black population. So appart from the Circuit City and Carson's, almost no whites go there. The other mall i think you're referring to is fighting a losing battle by adding new large stores such as Bed Bath and Beyond and Michaels Crafts, which opperate like department stores with only doors to the mall, but inside the mall there is a demographic change already in progress as more immigrants, particularly hispanic and arabian come into the area and the mall is starting to have problems with gangs.

    Malls are an unsightley thing in the area but I don't think people will really realize this for at least another decade

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by burnham follower
    ...So what do you think, is maintaining line of sight and pedestrian friendlyness on the street (less curbcuts) worth the disapearing entryway and a store that seems to turn away from customers?
    I guess I would argue that the street is just as unfriendly to pedestrians with the back or side of a building to it. Placing a building forward on a lot is only half of what is needed. There also must be direct pedestrian acces, and not just one doorway every 500 feet, either.
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