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Old 04-14-2012, 10:15 PM
 
Location: NW Penna.
1,578 posts, read 1,490,743 times
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J. C. Penney was the SE corner of Summers and Washington. It was remodeled into offices and some WV state government office was in there when I left, I think.

The Montgomery Ward's store (from the '30s) was 700 Washington St. E. and became Geary Plaza.

Those bars along Kanawha Blvd just east of Capitol used to be cool white-collar hangouts, too. But looks like they are gone now. They changed names a lot: Fitzgerald's, Charleston Athletic Club, Spanky's, The Levee, and I can't remember what else. Good memories of prosperous times in Charleston, though. :-)

It was neat to see the old un-improved Levee, too. Back when it was just a place to park cars and dock the P. A. Denny.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:18 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,129 posts, read 21,695,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
In Pittsburgh, one of the more controversial development proposals by former mayor Tom Murphy was "Market Place at Fifth and Forbes," which would have turned the middle of downtown Pittsburgh into a "lifestyle center" on steroids, with a giant movie theater, a Nordstrom, and lots of national chains that hadn't yet moved into Pittsburgh (or never did), like Johnny Rocket's, Virgin Records, FAO Schwarz, etc. Looking back on it, it was a good thing that that development never happened because downtown Pittsburgh is developing more organically now; Nordstrom is a better fit in Ross Park Mall anyway, and many of the chains that were proposed are either out of business or have run their course in popularity. This plan was proposed back in 2000. What a difference a decade makes. Pittsburgh didn't need any of that stuff to rebound.

That's exactly what happened in Atlanta - but they did NOT stop developments like this.

When I left Charleston and moved to Atlanta, the one thing that just blew my mind was the rate of growth. They were literally building the equivalent of an entire downtown Charleston every year here, from about 1984 through just past around 2007. Imagine an area that spans from Charleston to Huntington and up to Parkersburg... draw a box around it, and that's basically metro Atlanta. Then, visit an area one day, and not go back for 3-4 months. Go back in 4 months, and you would find half a dozen high rise buildings, and no less than 12-15 shopping centers, all stucco, all with the exact same chain stores that are a few miles away in another section of town that have the same shopping centers and basically the same stuff. Downtown was pretty much left to waste except for the new park for the Olympics, and later, the Aquarium, and some other attractions... but you're NEVER out of site of a Starbucks, Wal-mart, or any number of other mall type stores.

Then the bust hit, half of these chains went under, and poof - empty storefronts literally everywhere in the huge metro area, and a downtown in a huge city that actually probably has less shopping in it than downtown Charleston.

It will be interesting to see where the trends take us. The 70s and 80s were the age of malls. A few years ago, "open air malls" (basically, just very fancy shopping centers) started to become the trend in Atlanta - then the bust. Now, we'll see. Maybe cities large and small will start to get back to basics and mom-and-pop stores will actually become trendy again and be able to thrive. Smaller cities like Charleston have a better chance of it succeeding than larger cities I think.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Athens, GA (via Pittsburgh, PA)
9,739 posts, read 8,757,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
That's exactly what happened in Atlanta - but they did NOT stop developments like this.

When I left Charleston and moved to Atlanta, the one thing that just blew my mind was the rate of growth. They were literally building the equivalent of an entire downtown Charleston every year here, from about 1984 through just past around 2007. Imagine an area that spans from Charleston to Huntington and up to Parkersburg... draw a box around it, and that's basically metro Atlanta. Then, visit an area one day, and not go back for 3-4 months. Go back in 4 months, and you would find half a dozen high rise buildings, and no less than 12-15 shopping centers, all stucco, all with the exact same chain stores that are a few miles away in another section of town that have the same shopping centers and basically the same stuff. Downtown was pretty much left to waste except for the new park for the Olympics, and later, the Aquarium, and some other attractions... but you're NEVER out of site of a Starbucks, Wal-mart, or any number of other mall type stores.

Then the bust hit, half of these chains went under, and poof - empty storefronts literally everywhere in the huge metro area, and a downtown in a huge city that actually probably has less shopping in it than downtown Charleston.

It will be interesting to see where the trends take us. The 70s and 80s were the age of malls. A few years ago, "open air malls" (basically, just very fancy shopping centers) started to become the trend in Atlanta - then the bust. Now, we'll see. Maybe cities large and small will start to get back to basics and mom-and-pop stores will actually become trendy again and be able to thrive. Smaller cities like Charleston have a better chance of it succeeding than larger cities I think.
Atlanta has the most overbuilt commercial real estate market in the United States, at least from what I read somewhere a year or two ago. I can believe it too, because I've seen so many brand-new-but-half-empty shopping plazas around the exurban fringe of Atlanta. There's a shopping plaza near Winder off GA 316 and GA 81 that was built about five years ago, and has never had more than four or five businesses, even though at least a dozen could go there. Across GA 316 from it is a brand-new movie theater that gets good business, but sticks out like a sore thumb because there's nothing immediately around it. Atlanta dabbled in the speculative housing mess a bit, but its biggest sin is commercial real estate.

By the way, the state of Georgia needs to make GA 316 a limited-access highway. I'm glad they're finally building some new interchanges in Gwinnett County, but they also need to build interchanges with GA 81, GA 11 and GA 53 near Winder too. (They can fill in the gaps afterward, I guess.) And in the meantime, they need to stop ****ing around with the traffic signal timing. I'm tired of driving back from Q-Zar at 1AM or 2AM, and having to slam on my brakes when there's a car waiting on the side road and I jog the weight sensors, or when they time the damn things so that they cycle through every 30 seconds, or worse yet, treat the side roads like the main road with the steady green so I have to wait for a westbound car to come along so I can go.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:21 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 4,226,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnutella View Post
Atlanta has the most overbuilt commercial real estate market in the United States, at least from what I read somewhere a year or two ago. I can believe it too, because I've seen so many brand-new-but-half-empty shopping plazas around the exurban fringe of Atlanta. There's a shopping plaza near Winder off GA 316 and GA 81 that was built about five years ago, and has never had more than four or five businesses, even though at least a dozen could go there. Across GA 316 from it is a brand-new movie theater that gets good business, but sticks out like a sore thumb because there's nothing immediately around it. Atlanta dabbled in the speculative housing mess a bit, but its biggest sin is commercial real estate.

By the way, the state of Georgia needs to make GA 316 a limited-access highway. I'm glad they're finally building some new interchanges in Gwinnett County, but they also need to build interchanges with GA 81, GA 11 and GA 53 near Winder too. (They can fill in the gaps afterward, I guess.) And in the meantime, they need to stop ****ing around with the traffic signal timing. I'm tired of driving back from Q-Zar at 1AM or 2AM, and having to slam on my brakes when there's a car waiting on the side road and I jog the weight sensors, or when they time the damn things so that they cycle through every 30 seconds, or worse yet, treat the side roads like the main road with the steady green so I have to wait for a westbound car to come along so I can go.
Housing bubble.

A lot of the economic activity in this country, especially in the sunbelt was just the housing boom. It was, "come to the south, we have a great climate, and get a cheap McHouse. You can afford it and everything will be good." There was no substance behind it. There were jobs created selling things for these houses, like tvs, furniture, directions, etc, but it was all based off credit. So yeah Atlanta boomed, but the jobs and development were only there as long as people could keep their line of credit going. The problem is there was no economic activity that could pay off the credit.

The party is over.

In the past our economy was based off manufacturing and producing things of value. Now the focus is on moving money around and trying to get rich quickly doing so.

WV was not hit that hard, since there was no real housing boom here. Now, in some parts of the state, there is actual real economic activity in shale.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:47 AM
 
53 posts, read 55,870 times
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I saw one of my old friend gals........ sashaying down Capitol st as usual.

Then I think... she's probably using a walker now.

SorryImovedback, do you remember the female bouncer at the Levy?

Allen
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:37 PM
 
Location: NW Penna.
1,578 posts, read 1,490,743 times
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No, I don't. The older people in the happy hour group from work went to The Levy and we younger ones were only in there a few times since we were more likely to be at Cheers or Casablanca or dancing at the Marriot or at that place on the corner of Va St that became Diamond Jim's at some point but it had some other name in the mid-'80s.

I behaved myself and never met the bouncers, lol. But one time, I think it was at The Roaring Twenties (wasn't it on the 2nd floor?) some friends and I opened the door to start up the stairs and had to jump out of a the way of somebody who was being thrown the stairs by bouncers. I guess that's why I never actually was *in the Roaring 20s, lol.

The Capitol St. video was interesting. There were stores there that I don't even remember seeing on Capitol St, but I shopped at them after the Town Centre mall opened. I'm sure there's lots of stuff that I've forgotten, too. I should have kept a dairy. >;-)
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:12 AM
 
53 posts, read 55,870 times
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Originally Posted by SorryIMovedBack View Post
No, I don't. The older people in the happy hour group from work went to The Levy and we younger ones were only in there a few times since we were more likely to be at Cheers or Casablanca or dancing at the Marriot or at that place on the corner of Va St that became Diamond Jim's at some point but it had some other name in the mid-'80s.

I behaved myself and never met the bouncers, lol. But one time, I think it was at The Roaring Twenties (wasn't it on the 2nd floor?) some friends and I opened the door to start up the stairs and had to jump out of a the way of somebody who was being thrown the stairs by bouncers. I guess that's why I never actually was *in the Roaring 20s, lol.

The Capitol St. video was interesting. There were stores there that I don't even remember seeing on Capitol St, but I shopped at them after the Town Centre mall opened. I'm sure there's lots of stuff that I've forgotten, too. I should have kept a dairy. >;-)

Wow, it's been a month since I checked in.



You didn't miss much at the 20's, cept maybe a good lookin pool shark who used to stop by once in a while and beat everybody, it was fun watching the expressions on the guys faces after she ran the table on em.

A fairly good sized ol local boy was the doorman at the 20's for a while, (don't want to mention any names on here) he had a annoying habit of greeting someone who had rang the buzzer one too many times with a full can of beer to the face! Didn't have to do anything but irritate him by ringing to get in while he was busy chasing a waitress.
I used to hang at the Strand, and it wasn't unusual to see someone stagger to their feet, and walk away after they bounced down that stairwell. A few went right back up a couple of times. Drunks have an amazing ability to soak up punishment.
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