I was wondering if anyone knew of an example of a city courting foreign retail to help anchor a downtown revitalization effort.
In the July/August edition of the British mag Monocle, they had an article that was a fantasy of what their perfect urban village would look like. They picked shops and eateries from many different cities all over the world. http://www.monocle.com/sections/busi...t-High-Street/
The layout of the urban village reminded me somewhat of Buffalo's Main Street, except that Buffalo's Main Street has tons of empty storefronts and is , for the most part, a ghost town after the workday.
I hear stories of Main Street once being a bustling urban destination--the main retail corridor of the Buffalo-Niagara region--but now retail has moved out to the suburbs in the form of malls and strip malls.
American retail, by and large, wouldn't be able to survive even in a revitalized Main Street, but what if foreign retailers were the main tenants? People would travel to the city center to experience something they can't get elsewhere.
With the weakness of the American dollar, it might be economically viable for European and Australasian chain stores to locate in America. With some aggressive incentives and lobbying, a city might be able to bring foreign retail into the equation.
Any thoughts on this? Has this been done anywhere?