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Hierarchy of commercial nodes/clusters

My firm is working on a project in a rapidly growing community in Middle,TN. Their long range plan identifies neighborhood commercial nodes which should have a major grocery store as the anchor along with other uses such as dry cleaners, banks etc. These neighborhood commercial nodes should range in size from 10-15 acres. According to the plan these centers should have a market area with a radius of one mile and consumer base of at least 3,000 people and should be located at major intersections aprroximatley two miles apart. On behalf of our client, we are designing a project located at a major intersection but is only on about 6 acres and is roughly 26,000 square feet. There is no anchor per say but we have a small market, a bank, a drugstore, and a pre-school in the plan. We feel that that the Long range plan should accommodate smaller scale commercial opportunities to serve the immediate neighborhood. We feel it reduces driving provides services in walking distance. My qestion is does anyone know of a long range plan that identifies a hierarchy of commercial nodes that provides for smaller scale opportunities such as we are talking about. To me a large grocery store and ancillary services is more of a community rather than smaller neighborhood scale. Any thoughts?

Lee Nellis

The City of Fort Collins, CO did some detailed studies of the topic several years ago. You may want to check there. I think most planners would agree that there is a step below a center that is anchored by a major supermarket. I wrote a set of neighborhood commercial performance standards for the City of Idaho Falls, ID several years ago that included a neighbohood center, but after studying the situation, we limited it to a max of 2 acres (to hold a c-store and a couple of other shops or a coin laundry), leaving the type of situation you are describing in the middle.