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Thread: Strategies to retain businesses downtown

  1. #1
    Cyburbian pandersen's avatar
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    Strategies to retain businesses downtown

    Hi All:
    Thought it was time again to reach out to the "collective brain" again to see if anybody out there could give me some information, planning and/or zoning strategies that articulate the benefits of keeping a large retail anchor in a downtown business district (as opposed to relocating to a highway commercial zone.

    Thanks in advance for any information and assistance that can be provided.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    In the U.S.A., Contact the National Main Street Center at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

    Their web site (link above) should have some free info available on your topic.

    Quote Originally posted by pandersen View post
    Hi All:
    Thought it was time again to reach out to the "collective brain" again to see if anybody out there could give me some information, planning and/or zoning strategies that articulate the benefits of keeping a large retail anchor in a downtown business district (as opposed to relocating to a highway commercial zone.

    Thanks in advance for any information and assistance that can be provided.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Anchors bring traffic to a district. I it leaves, other businesses in the area may suffer, or seek to relocate themselves. This can set off a chain of disinvestment that is harmful to the community. I can't offer any specific solutions except to suggest that you sit down with the store operators to determine why they want to move. "Push" factors, those things that make it difficult for the store to stay, can often be more easily addressed. Examples might include parking, room to expand, crime, etc. "Pull" factors may be harder to address, like higher traffic, proximity to other anchors, and better customer demographics.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Cardinal nailed it! Talk to the anchor and see what they need. Every place is different. Because every downtown business is in the same boat it behoves all to work together to maintain that critical mass that seems to be necessary to keep a retail area vibrant.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    The truth is that a business will go where it can make the most money - that's the purpose of business. If it can make more money near a highway exit it will move there and nothing you do (short of rezoning land so nothing can get built out there) will make it not move.

    ...It's like when you move to get a better position somewhere else. Could your boss talk you into staying at your current job for the same wage when the adjacent city is paying more for the same job? Probably not.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian lycosidae's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by paiste13 View post
    The truth is that a business will go where it can make the most money - that's the purpose of business. If it can make more money near a highway exit it will move there and nothing you do (short of rezoning land so nothing can get built out there) will make it not move.

    ...It's like when you move to get a better position somewhere else. Could your boss talk you into staying at your current job for the same wage when the adjacent city is paying more for the same job? Probably not.
    Well, that is a half-truth. Local governments can have a limited impact on capital flight. Yes, where there are lower wages, less regulation, better customers, and more subsidies the corporations shall flee. However, there are things the federal government can do to make things better. For example, protecting manufacturing from foreign competition, taxing imports, taxing capital flows. These things can make moving business much more expensive and less appealing. However, the individual planner can do little to make this happen. This is national public policy and citizens must elect leaders who have these ideas on their agenda. Unfortunately, neither political party is much interested in protecting U.S. manufacturing or taxing capital flows.
    Last edited by lycosidae; 12 Aug 2008 at 4:00 PM. Reason: corrected a sentence

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