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Thread: Two cents on development

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Two cents on development

    The more I study cities the more I realize we've priced out small developers. In all new commercial developments we've required so much land and so many minimums (water detention, parking, setbacks, etc) that no one can go and build a singles-site store anymore. Look around your suburbs - everything is a power center or multi-tenant bland building. I took a trip down a street developed in the 1930s in my town and not only were all the buildings pretty (which to me shows pride - something the newer developments don't have) but everything was laid out in such a way that if a business got successful they could buy out their neighbor and expand. Utilities were along alleys to beautify the public space and also reduce land required for a project. I've asked by we have such large lot minimums before (and never got a good answer) but it seems every day I see something which reinforces my opinion that there was a happy medium between old urban areas and modern suburban ones and we ignore it.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I saw that a lot in the suburb I worked, but in this smallish town I don't see it as much. We don't have the big commercial developers so it's either a stand alone Walmart without tenant buildings or Someone will have enough land that we get Target with some restaurants up front, but the pads are still separate from the Target parking. We still get a lot of small developers here who like to redo old buildings because building new is too expensive. What I always pushed for in the suburbs was a suburban design standard. Downtowns, even small ones, need to look and act like that. Suburbs are not downtown, they have a different standard, but the one we use is a giant parking lot with buildings. I think we can do better.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    In most places a single site store does not make economic sense. The only group I have seen develop single site stores are the Dollar Store/General etc.

    In the suburb I work for we see a handful of single tenant developments but they are gas stations, Circle K and the alike. The smaller parcels that are too small for a shopping center or the center across the street is struggling are being rezone for residential.
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    True, commercial feeds off commercial and makes things better. I just advocate for a better design that works for suburbs.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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