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What is the future of the traditional shopping mall?

Cardinal

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This story was included in Retail Traffic Online. It seems to have some profound implications for shopping malls. What do you think, are they dinosaurs? Are we going to be redeveloping all of our malls into mixed-use centers? Maybe converting them into free-standing pads? Or are the malls going to reinvent themselves to once again draw in the customers? What interesting mall projects are you seeing in your neck of the woods?


Story:

Department Stores Down And Out
You've heard it before, but now there's startling new data on the rise of the off-the-mall discounter. According to a study conducted by retail consultant Custom Growth Partners, mall tenants, especially department stores, saw their market share drop to 19 percent for 2002, compared with 38 percent in 1995.

And things are only getting worse for the department stores. Wal-Mart was the top pick for women's clothing with more than 20 percent of consumers polled for BIGResearch's monthly retail ratings report. Power center-prone Kohl's came in second with 7.3 percent. And department stores trailed, with 6.3 choosing JCPenney, 3.7 percent choosing Macy's and only 2.9 percent choosing Dillard's.
 

JNL

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My city is currently reviewing it's retail strategy and considering these sorts of issues. I think (and hope) we will see more outward-facing shopping centres instead of the closed-in, inward-facing kinds of shopping malls we have built in the last couple of decades.

Botany Town Centre, in Auckland, is an interesting example of a new direction, and it won one of eight awards this year in the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) awards for innovative design and construction.

“Botany Town Centre is the first Greenfields development for a regional shopping centre in the Auckland market for 20 years. It is a destination in its own right and offers an unrivalled shopping and leisure experience for the people of East Auckland.

“The 40 acre Botany Town Centre is the first centre in New Zealand and Australia to use a ‘High Street Community’ design with an indoor and outdoor setting – and it is this microcosm that has encouraged a number of retailers to open their most innovative stores to date,” said Churchill.

Check out some pics here
 

H

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I have been seeing many “high dollar” mall renovations and image changing from traditional malls in the South East.

Also, and this is climate restrictive, but outdoor style malls have hit hard in the SE as well, like The Avenue in Atlanta’s East Cobb or The Germantown shopping area in Memphis.
 

Mud Princess

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I don't think it's the end of the mall. The latest trend is the power center: clusters of Big Boxes, spread out over many acres, requiring the customer to drive from store to store.

The department stores have been losing market share for some time. So many of the department stores that were around when I was young are gone: Jordan Marsh, Korvette's, Gimbel's. I hear that Lord & Taylor is closing a bunch of stores too. Is it because Wal-Mart is taking over the universe? Declining apparel sales? I wonder how much demographics are influencing the change.
 

donk

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One of our malls is in the process of changing itself into an office complex. When teh lease came up for a low end department store (cheaper then walmart) it was not renewed, instead a call centre went in. As other leases come up the tenants are being booted to open up more space for offices.

As for the other retail based mall it is about 25 years old and in need of a serious update. It is still dark brown and cave like on the interior.

With our pending power centre an upgrade may happen as it is adjacent to teh area where teh power centre is going and may get a face lift to spruce up its image, but when zellers and the bargain giant are you anchor stores there is not much you can do.
 

Seabishop

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The dynamics changed here a few years ago with the opening of the giant Providence Place Mall downtown. For decades the center of retail activity in the state was two towns south where 2 large suburban malls sat side by side. Although Providence Place isn't true Mom & Pop downtown retail its brought the shopping public back downtown. Its pros vs cons will be debated forever.



One of the two suburban malls has had tons of vacancies for the past 10 years and seems to be limping along. The part of me that resents the suburban malls' negative effect on downtown wants to see it die, although I don't want to see people get laid off.
 

Repo Man

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I think it depends on the demographics and location of the mall. In Milwaukee the malls near the more affluent areas of the metropolitan Milwaukee ares are thriving. I think the key to success is to adapt to the changing demands of the customer. Going beyond the traditional mall stores is key. There needs to be a better mix of stores, restaurants and services. We are currently working on a major mall redevelopment which will transform a traditional mall into a "city center" type area with clusters of buildings instead of one huge box. There will be a mix of restaurants, stores, entertainment and housing. There will be some public spaces too.

I think that people are looking for more of an upscale, downtown kind of feel when they shop. Typical mall retaurants like McDonalds and Chik-Fil-A don't cut it anymore. People want to have a nice place to eat. Look at the success of the Cheesecake Factory. particularly when they are in or near malls.
 

H

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Repo Man said:
....Typical mall retaurants like McDonalds and Chik-Fil-A don't cut it anymore... .
HEY. Do not knock the Chik-Fil-A :)
 

PlannerGirl

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The Marketplace here is very upscale, rather trixie and chadish I would say, 2 starbucks on the same block :-(

but there are always folks out sitting, walking their animals (or mate) and talking. they do free outdoor movies in the summer etc

they have made it a local place to be not just to shop.
 

kms

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The oldest mall here is being demolished to make way for a WalMart supercenter. The mall died a slow death after JC Penney moved six miles away to a newer, larger mall. It's sad to see the piles of rubble; at least someone is going to use the property.

I don't know very much about Kohl's. SInce one opened in our community, I don't shop at the mall as much. The nearest malls are about 30 min. from here, so I use Kohl's.
 

Cardinal

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Kohls is outstanding. It has much better merchandise than the discounters, and still has great prices. JCPenneys seems to be paying attention and modeling itself after Kohls. On the other hand, you have to wonder what is up at Sears and how long it will be before they go under.

Stores like Montgomery Wards, Sears and Penneys were the typical anchors of malls for half a century. Now they are gone, struggling, or reformatting. The more upsacle stores like Boston Store or Hudsons are all merging into a smaller number of chains. The old mall format is just not going to survive with these trends.

I'll echo what some others have noticed. New malls tend to be entertainment venues or "lifestyle centers" offering not just shopping but a whole range of experiences which might have been founf in a traditional neighborhood commercial district. Often, they are even constructed as new town centers, with blocks of buildings, separate store entrances, and with a pedestrian orientation. These take an upscale market to build, though, and so I don't see many of them. What is more common is a "mall" made up of numerous freestanding or in-line big boxes.

Redeveloping malls are very interesting as well. Many are converting to the types I mentioned above. With redeveloped malls, I think it is more common to see residential thrown into the mix. Donk's example fo conversion to an office park was one I have not seen before, but makes sense. Older malls are close to population centers, like inner-ring suburbs, are served by public transit, and may be more acessible to lower-income households. That addresses the "jobs-housing" location issues that often come up with new development on the fringes.
 

Bear Up North

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Toledo joined the mall express in the 1970's, much like other half-million metro pop cities. Woodville Mall, Franklin Park Mall, Southwyck Mall and North Towne Square Mall served the community well and prospered.....until the 1990's.

Woodville now limps along, surviving only because it is the only major shopping area on the eastern side of our Maumee River.
Southwyck has one (1) anchor left.....Dillards. (You read in a previous post about Dillard's value shrinking.) More on Southwyck in a moment.

North Towne is dead....being converted to small business offices and (I think) "light manufacturing".

Only Franklin Park, recently purchased by a huge Australian mall company, is solid. It is in the center of town, is ringed by every big box and chain restaurant you can think of, and is in the process of adding parking garages and many more stores.

Can Toledo support a 2nd major.....similar in size to Franklin Park?

Local developers for about five (5) years have been grabbing land in the fast-growing southwest metro, announcing and putting on hold and then re-announcing and putting back on hold a major mall with about five (5) anchors. Included in all of this spraw-mall fighting was a huge debate over the location.

Seems that the Battle Of Fallen Timbers, a battle that many historians consider to be the "third most important battle ever on American soil", took place EXACTLY where this new megamall was going to be placed.

And this location is just a few miles from the above-mentioned Southwyck. So that same Australian mall giant announces that they will buy Southwyck and "supersize" it. But the date they announced is long past and no word.

And this Bear.....what does he do? I stay away from malls.

Bear
 

Cardinal

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Bear Up North said:
Seems that the Battle Of Fallen Timbers, a battle that many historians consider to be the "third most important battle ever on American soil", took place EXACTLY where this new megamall was going to be placed.
I thought I knew American history pretty well, but I'm drawing a blank here.
 

LouisvilleSlugger

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I wonder if places like KC's Country Club Plaza will see a new beginning. that place was the first shopping mall from what I have read. but the irony is that the vision of the mall turned out ot be dramatically different than its creators vision. I have been reading a lot aobut Country Club Plaza as it looks quite impressive. I might be able to see it firsthand in Jan. someone on here posted pics not too long ago, as well.
 

SkeLeton

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Here in Chile, malls are begining to boom...although many have already failed, and those that ended abandoned were left to die under the unmerciful hand of punks and vandals that made a mess...I think the ones that failed (miserably) ended with a date with the demolition crew ;)

Sadly in my region, Malls aren't very big and aren't very good, some are barely living, and there's only 3. The 2 that are older, are small and barely living (1 in Osorno, 1 in Puerto Montt). The newest one barely has a few months old (it's in Puerto Montt, Valdivia doesn't have any malls yet) and at least it has a cinema. In Santiago, there's at least 5 big ones, the total must be around 10-12.

I'm quite worried about the mall that's comming here to Valdivia, because, the downtown commerce is very bad, and the mall is being built near downtown (not in the outskirts). Another thing to worry about is that they're planning on doing a second mall, in Downtown, with a hotel, conference center and quite posibly a casino. It's a project for the Bicentenial of the Independance (2010) and I just can't see how the hell can the regular downtown commerce plus two malls can coexist without one of them dying...

The current population of Valdivia is at around 130,000 Inhabitants (in a very large area I must add) and the total population that the city can atract (population from farms, towns, and small cities) would barely reach 175,000 people.
 

LouisvilleSlugger

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JNL said:
“The 40 acre Botany Town Centre is the first centre in New Zealand and Australia to use a ‘High Street Community’ design with an indoor and outdoor setting – and it is this microcosm that has encouraged a number of retailers to open their most innovative stores to date,” said Churchill.

Check out some pics here
WOW!!! that's pretty impressive. reminds me of Country Club Plaza in Kansas City in some ways. that was the first shopping center in America. however, malls have been the dominant style of shopping centers in America. and so many malls look alike.
 

LouisvilleSlugger

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Seabishop said:
The dynamics changed here a few years ago with the opening of the giant Providence Place Mall downtown. For decades the center of retail activity in the state was two towns south where 2 large suburban malls sat side by side. Although Providence Place isn't true Mom & Pop downtown retail its brought the shopping public back downtown. Its pros vs cons will be debated forever.
I never got a chance to see that project in person despite being an hour away up in Boston, however I do remember a lot of the fan fare about it, and the loads of Boston people goind down there to shop and do other things. I visited Providence a bunch of times prior to the malls inception, and thought the Downtown area needed a draw. a lot of people I knew at Bryant College really wished there was more to do in Providence, and namely Downtown. its nice to see Downtown Providence doing something positive. and getting good results. I too resent malls for their negative impact on the downtown mom and pop operations. I think this is why I also loath Wal Mart, too. however there is a quandry, because they do offer low prices, however they often shun the local planning process and attempt to be fierce about driving out any competition. In economics class I learned competition is good - if Wal Mart is successful, there will be little of it, and likely higher prices.
 

Seabishop

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LouisvilleSlugger said:
I never got a chance to see that project in person despite being an hour away up in Boston, however I do remember a lot of the fan fare about it, and the loads of Boston people goind down there to shop and do other things. I visited Providence a bunch of times prior to the malls inception, and thought the Downtown area needed a draw. a lot of people I knew at Bryant College really wished there was more to do in Providence, and namely Downtown. its nice to see Downtown Providence doing something positive. and getting good results. I too resent malls for their negative impact on the downtown mom and pop operations. I think this is why I also loath Wal Mart, too. however there is a quandry, because they do offer low prices, however they often shun the local planning process and attempt to be fierce about driving out any competition. In economics class I learned competition is good - if Wal Mart is successful, there will be little of it, and likely higher prices.
There's more to do all the time: Fleet Skating Center, Waterfire, more restaurants and clubs. The mall has added a degree of life to the area, and I don't think its hurting small businesses downtown (just my opinion). Downtown living hasn't really taken off yet although a number of projects are in the works.

Oh, and happy birthday.
 

pete-rock

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Michael Stumpf said:
I'll echo what some others have noticed. New malls tend to be entertainment venues or "lifestyle centers" offering not just shopping but a whole range of experiences which might have been founf in a traditional neighborhood commercial district. Often, they are even constructed as new town centers, with blocks of buildings, separate store entrances, and with a pedestrian orientation. These take an upscale market to build, though, and so I don't see many of them. What is more common is a "mall" made up of numerous freestanding or in-line big boxes.
Geneva Commons in Geneva, IL opened within the last year, and is emblematic of lifestyle centers nationwide. You are correct, Mike, in saying that they need an upscale market to build.

To me, they're little more than the power centers of the '80s and '90s with a few more restaurant and entertainment uses thrown in.

Getting off-topic: Also, I believe the Battle of Fallen Timbers was the battle fought between the Michigan Territory and the State of Ohio over who would control the Maumee River Valley (what would eventually become Toledo). Michigan was trounced, Ohio took over the valley, Michigan took Ohio to the U.S. Supreme Court, and was awarded a portion of the Wisconsin Territory as compensation. That portion is the U.P.

There's a real reason for the Michigan/Ohio State rivalry. ;)
 

Bear Up North

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Michael Stumpf and pete-rock.....

The Battle of Fallen Timbers took place in the late 1700's. Armies of the United States, led by General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, fought a confederation of different Indian tribes and soundly defeated them. This victory led to the Treaty of Greeneville (OH), effectively opening the Great Lakes states for American expansion.

Some historians argue that if it were not for that victory, the British would have assumed control of most of the Great Lakes.
I would be writing this message from suburban Toledo,
Ontario, Canada. Mr. Stumpf, depending on his exact location in the "dairy state" would also be speaking with the "aye".

The "Toledo War" was the defining moment in the rivalry between Ohio and Michigan. That took place much later (aprox 1830). Even though there was no real fighting pete-rock is correct.....Ohio got Toledo (and the Maumee River valley) and Michigan got the upper peninsula.

As for Ohio State versus Michigan.....my son has tickets to "the game" and has asked me to go, if I'm feeling better. Go Blue.

Bear
 

LouisvilleSlugger

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Seabishop said:
There's more to do all the time: Fleet Skating Center, Waterfire, more restaurants and clubs. The mall has added a degree of life to the area, and I don't think its hurting small businesses downtown (just my opinion). Downtown living hasn't really taken off yet although a number of projects are in the works.

Oh, and happy birthday.
thanks!!! I appreciate it. interesting indeed. I think if the city can get the housing component off and running that could be a dynamic part that has been mising.
 

Michele Zone

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I have been meaning to reply to this thread for several days, but haven't had the time.

When I lived in Manhattan, KS, the mall there was called 'Manahattan Town Center'. It didn't have the word 'mall' anywhere in its title (if I recall right). Every wednesday night, the food court had free entertainment, usually aimed at the kids, which was a godsend sometimes when my husband was in Saudi Arabia for 6 months and I was just dog-tired from doing the single-mom routine.

They donated space to a charity, I think it called itself a 'children's museum'. They asked for donations but didn't require you to pay anything. They had hands-on stuff for the kids to do. It was fun and educational. It was only open for a few hours at a time, 4 days per week, but they would book group events during other times, for pay. People from as far away as Topeka -- an hour or so away and the state capital, one of the bigger cities in Kansas -- would book events there. It was awesome.

About once a month, they would have an event over the weekend where a group of folks with a 'theme' would set up exhibit tables. Once, they had model trains. Another time, they had local craftspeople who did woodworking and stuff like that.

That mall was wonderful. I think they also donated space to the 'art gallery' that sold the works of local artists.

I couldn't buy clothes there because I was in my twenties and a military wife. So, I wasn't old enough or conservative enough for Dillard's and the like, but I was too old for the many stores that catered to the large college population there (11,000 students and 5000 facutly staff in a town of 48,000 -- a third of the town). So I bought most of my clothes in Georgia, while visiting relatives, when I lived in Kansas.

I went to Washington state from there and they had a larger mall, but it sucked. I went more to the outlet mall in Pasco than to the 'regular' mall in Kennewick.

The only innovative thing I can think of here in Fairfield is 'City Hall at the Mall', where you can conveniently pick up job applications during mall hours, if you cannot make it downtown during 'workday' hours. Not that it has resulted in employment, but, hey, I have given up on being hired anyway. I am just going to start my own company (or three).
 

Zoning Goddess

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I'm just scared that if all the malls disappear, I will never be able to buy clothing again. Sorry, Wal-mart, you need to consider all American women are not 5.6".
 

Cardinal

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Zoning Goddess said:
I'm just scared that if all the malls disappear, I will never be able to buy clothing again. Sorry, Wal-mart, you need to consider all American women are not 5.6".
Even worse - what about transvestites - won't somebody think of the transvestites?

The thing I find surprising about Wal-Mart, or any of the similar discounters, is that people will shop there for clothing. I don't say that out of snobbery, but because the clothes they sell are mostly junk (men's at least, I haven't shopped for women's clothing). The fabric is thin, the stitching is poor, they don't fit well, and they wear out not long after you buy them. I'll stick to the mall for clothing, if little else.
 

Wulf9

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Malls had about a 20-year life span before the replacement paradigm was beginning. Malls started in about 1960. Big boxes and power centers started early 1980's. There were lots of malls built between 1960 and 1980. Not many were built after 1980.

If you figure there is a 20-year cycle before the next retail paradigm, you will be prescient if you can predict what will replace the big boxes.

Consider that the big boxes have taken the good markets, the secondary markets, the tertiary markets, and are probably now on the quatenary markets - the market areas passed over in the first three passes.

So, what's next?
 
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Mud Princess

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Wulf9 said:
So, what's next?
Well, I have seen or read about a handful of communities with thriving downtowns. These are mostly small towns with affluent residents and/or affluent urban visitors (e.g., Greenwich, CT). There seems to be a nostalgia for the days when you could shop in a small community, interact with people, and get great service.

I'd like to think that this will be the next big retail trend... but it's probably just wishful thinking. Also, the stores in these places are small and not of Wal-Mart caliber.
 

Wulf9

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I'm with you. I would like to see the "thriving downtown" as the next retail model. I am working on creating one as we speak. With a little luck, all will work well (in a non-rich, non-tourist place).
 

tsc

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Wulf9 said:
I'm with you. I would like to see the "thriving downtown" as the next retail model. I am working on creating one as we speak. With a little luck, all will work well (in a non-rich, non-tourist place).
City of White Plains,,, 3rd mall/city center on the way... albeit high income city. I hate driving to the mall.. but don't really mind strolling around them on my lunch hour.
 

Mud Princess

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ts corbitt said:
City of White Plains,,, 3rd mall/city center on the way... albeit high income city. I hate driving to the mall.. but don't really mind strolling around them on my lunch hour.
OOH, I remember the Galleria was right downtown!! (Went to college nearby)

I bet White Plains has changed a lot since the mid-1980s.
 

LouisvilleSlugger

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Wulf9 said:
Consider that the big boxes have taken the good markets, the secondary markets, the tertiary markets, and are probably now on the quatenary markets - the market areas passed over in the first three passes.

So, what's next? [/B]
hmmm. that's pretty interesting to say the least. I do follow your timeline. I too wonder whats next....
 

LouisvilleSlugger

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Mud Princess said:
OOH, I remember the Galleria was right downtown!! (Went to college nearby)

I bet White Plains has changed a lot since the mid-1980s.
Where did you go to school at Mud Princess? Purchase, Pace..?
 

simulcra

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Wulf9 said:
Malls had about a 20-year life span before the replacement paradigm was beginning. Malls started in about 1960. Big boxes and power centers started early 1980's. There were lots of malls built between 1960 and 1980. Not many were built after 1980.

If you figure there is a 20-year cycle before the next retail paradigm, you will be prescient if you can predict what will replace the big boxes.

Consider that the big boxes have taken the good markets, the secondary markets, the tertiary markets, and are probably now on the quatenary markets - the market areas passed over in the first three passes.

So, what's next?
I think someone's been reading Project on the City 2... :)

in my city, malls are the only thing to do, so the mall mindset is very much alive. after all, frisco (just north of my suburb)'s economy seems almost wholly dependent on the very successful stonebriar commercial center, which is nothing but miles of concrete parking and clustered strip malls surrounding a dumbbell-designed mall. yet all new construction seems avid around there, office complexes and apartment farms just springing up along with the newest retail cluster.

although, on the flip side, willow bend shopping is kinda flopping (the misfortune of appealing to a high wealth culture that is only apparent on the surface level in our suburb... not a reality), but in general, north dallas suburbs are really stubbon about their malls (save for one exception), so it's not seeing any of this decline or necessity of redevelopment.

so actually, until i browsed around the internet looking for urban development information (about half a year back) did i actually learn that the traditional shopping mall was in decline...
 

tsc

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Mud Princess said:
OOH, I remember the Galleria was right downtown!! (Went to college nearby)

I bet White Plains has changed a lot since the mid-1980s.

yeah,, the galleria is okay, they are planning to put another level on it. I have a wonderful view of the roof of Macy's. The Galleria Mall is across the street from the County Building.

... now there is the Westchester... an upscale mall with Nordstroms, crate and barrel, Restoration Hardware, Williams Sonoma, Neiman Marcus, etc... etc...

A new mall is coming with Target, Circuit City,, more movies,, etc. They have also redone Mamaroneck Ave.. with better outdoor cafes. White Plains is really odd... because they have good restaurants,, crowded sidewalks, crowded outdoor cafes..lots of flowers.. but the building facades are butt ugly....still adorned with their false facades from decades gone by.

They are also building 36 story high end housing coops and apartments.... I think 4 such monsters are in process.
 
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