For the better part of the past decade, developers and architects have been arguing about the best way to approach in-vogue concept back in the pre-recession days, but many of those projects ended up being duds. Some architects attribute the failure to the fact that developers were often trying to bring mixed-use into suburban environments where people are not used to living, working and playing in the same place.projects. Mixed-use was the
On the other hand, an article from this week's New York Times looks at a mixed-use environment that has thrived over the past several years--New York's Union Square. The area, which today serves as home to retailers as disparate as Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, Nordstrom Rack and Filene's Basement, is successful precisely because it was always a mixed-use place, combining office buildings, stores and restaurants with a transportation hub and a public park. It's also always had a reliable anchor: a four days a week Greenmarket. In other words, all the mixed-use elements were already there. All the city had to do was invest in better infrastructure and a beautification program. That's something developers should keep in mind when they think about recreating the feel of an urban downtown on a suburban parking lot.
Here's a slide show that traces Union Square's evolution over the past 25 years.
For other stories about retail and retail real estate, follow the links below:
- Blockbuster Files for Bankruptcy (The New York Times)
- Blockbuster Expected to Shutter Hundreds More Stores (Reuters)
- Walmart CEO Provides the Starkest Visual of the Modern Bread Line Yet (Zero Hedge)
- JP Morgan Takes the Lead to Revive CMBS Operations (SmartBrief)
- AIA: Architecture Billings Index Shows Contraction in August (Calculated Risk)
- Sears Seeks Trendier 'Vibe' with Forever 21 (The Wall Street Journal)
- Ruby Tuesday to Open Up to 200 Mexican Eateries (Knoxvillebiz.com)
- Dollar Tree's Social Strategy is Worth a Buck (The Big Fat Marketing Blog)
- Price Chopper in Twitter Tussle (Supermarket )
- What to Expect in the Congressional Fall Session (ICSC)