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Thread: Improvements for commercial corridors

  1. #1
    Jan 2006
    Imposed Jesery

    Improvements for commercial corridors

    We are looking to improve visual quality of our commercial corridors in the township. Although, we do not have design standards for these areas that specifically recommend site improvement standards etc. For the forthcoming applications for various site plans that replace older strip malls and small individual businesses, suggestions can be made. Any place to start looking for such ideas? Literature with design ilustartions for details. Landscaping ideas are more suited to suggest....

  2. #2
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Apr 2004
    Tri-Cities, Washington
    Blog entries
    One thing to make sure of, make sure that any regulation implemented is a compromise between that of the desires of town and those of small business.

    In my experience, strict regulations on existing corridors drive away the small businesspeople that wish to establish leaving the corridor open vacancy until a big-box or large corporation comes in.

    Of course, do not leave yourselves open to every small lot used car place or check cashing establishment either.

    Just make sure you consider the big picture --
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone

  3. #3
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    May 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Here in Michigan we have a relatively new tool called Corridor Improvement Authorities, which utilize tax increment financing as part of a development plan.

    In general, I think a design-oriented overlay district is a good way to go with commercial corridors. However, in order to not be too onerous on existing/small business owners, I think the municipality should offer incentives such as matching grant funds to entice revitalization.

    Special assessment districts may also be an option.

    You should also check out the National Trust Main Street Program.


    It offers a very well-balanced approach to revitalization. Although the Main Street approach focuses more on traditional downtowns, it's concepts can be translated to commercial corridors as well.

  4. #4
    Jul 2007
    Tullinge Sweden
    why not try a little creative participatory approach, getting significant input from the store owners themselves? Many of them would probably like to see their stretch of road enhanced in a way that raises it's status (and value). Use incentives as well as disincentives.

    I have no direct experience of improving corridor aesthetics, but I do know from other participatory work, that you get a lot of insight and good ideas if you encourage the stakeholders themselves to come up with ideas, and not just present your thoughts (or "threats") for their reaction.

    Just a thought.

  5. #5
    Jan 2008
    Boston, MA

    Zip up the strip

    ULI has also published a guide "Ten Principles for Reinventing America's Strips."

    <a href="http://www.uli.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=56786&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm">

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