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Old 05-10-2010, 06:47 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 6,223,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davey123 View Post
I stated that I did not buy this argument. Now, I will admit that there may be some peculiar dynamics about Columbia that I am unaware, which could possibly make the columnist’s argument more salable. However, taking her argument at face-value, I do not believe that she describes dynamics that are endemic to Columbia. They may be notable when compared to Greenville and Charleston. But, make no mistake about it, many cities experience such dynamics. In some ways, I liken these dynamics to cities that are surrounded by several municipalities/ towns. That is, you have a city with several surrounding towns (e.g., Columbia being the big city and the surrounding towns being Irmo, Forest Acres, etc.). To an outsider, the entire area may be considered Columbia, yet locals are aware of the distinctions. These towns may often define themselves by creating their own shopping areas. It could be the case that these “outer” shopping areas compete with one another. However, it is more plausible that, as these shopping areas grow, they compete with the larger city’s downtown area. This is especially the case when these “outer” shopping areas “house” many of the high-end retailers. This, of course, is not an earth-shattering point that I am making. Nevertheless, it is relevant one.

I have lived in many cities that have the dynamics that I just described. All of these cities, with the exception of Columbia, have Whole Foods Markets. Let me correct that. The Whole Foods Markets are located in one of the municipalities/ towns of the larger city. Thus, to get to the Whole Foods Market, anyone who does not live in that particular municipality/ town has to drive a good distance (i.e., 25 minutes or so). This is not a novel concept. Many people drive 30 minutes or so to shop. (This is particularly the case for wealthy customers who have more resources.) It happens in many cities. As I mentioned before, there could be some peculiar dynamics about Columbia that make this less true. Yet, I doubt it.
I'm sure you know this, but it's not a matter of just plunking down a retailer in any one of the surrounding towns, but the demographics have to be "right" in order for that to happen (i.e., critical mass at certain locations).

Quote:
I think that there are a few reasons why Columbia does not have some of the high-end retailers that Greenville and Charleston has, and it has nothing to do with the argument that the columnist posits. I alluded to one of them earlier. 1) If there is a Costco at Harbison Boulevard and a Whole Foods Market at the Village of Sandhills, then that could possibly have a negative effect on Columbia’s downtown. This would especially be true if those areas got even more high-end retailers. Now, I am a big supporter of the growth of downtown areas. So, I think it would be nice for all of these high-end retailers to aim for Columbia’s downtown area. However, this idea would not sit well with some Columbia loyalist. This leads to my second reason why there are fewer high-end retailers in Columbia. 2) Some Columbia loyalists hate the notion of these types of retailers coming to Columbia (or its surrounding areas). This is because such retailers detract from Columbia’s charm and uniqueness. 3) Keeping with this point, the final reason has to do with Columbia’s intransigence. As you all know, South Carolina takes pride in its ability to be unyielding, even to its own peril. You can see a mini-version of this with this “high-end” retailer issue. The unyielding, in this case, is tied up in this “intra-state” rivalry with Charleston and Greenville. I suspect that some are resistant to high-end retailers coming to Columbia because they do not want Columbia to have the appearance of “doing things” like Charleston and Greenville. After all, Columbia is distinct – damn it!
The first reason sounds much more plausible for a downtown like Charleston's that already has high-end retailers. I don't think that Columbia's leaders are so clueless as to believe that these retailers are coming downtown when cities much larger with much more vibrant downtowns can't chains like that downtown. Look at Charlotte as one example: Belk is headquartered here, yet we can't get one downtown. The second point doesn't sound plausible to me either. Several cities known for their charm and uniqueness have these chains in their 'burbs, because charm and uniqueness is mostly found in the urban core of a city. Everywhere you go, 'burbs are pretty much the same. Thirdly, I don't see this particular issue an example of stubbornness. None of these reasons seem plausible to me at all. After all, if one of these retailers/restaurants were to express interest in coming to Columbia, I seriously, seriously doubt the powers-that-be are going to say no for any of these reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenville View Post
No, I honestly don't know anything about that. I don't dislike Columbia enough to act like I am from there only to bash it. I have more important things to do.
I know. But it's a different story for others.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
7,108 posts, read 5,452,436 times
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Everywhere in Columbia there are very pretty banners on every other street lantern that say "Shop Proud, Shop Columbia." I read that this local retail advertising campaign has been quite successful. At its beginning they got the word out that more tax money goes to local governments when shoppers patronize Columbia-based businesses. They added that if a shopper must patronize a national chain, they should patronize it in Columbia so the tax dollars, although not at as high a percentage as with home-based establishments, also go to Columbia area governments and not Charlotte's or Atlanta's, or Charleston's or Greenville's, or Kalamazoo's (sp). So, who knows - maybe some national chains that are here now will leave. If they're in the burbs I'll never know they've left. And maybe no more big-box, sprawl-dependent stores will locate here. Now that's quality of life!
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:50 PM
 
1,941 posts, read 2,617,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbiadata View Post
So, who knows - maybe some national chains that are here now will leave. If they're in the burbs I'll never know they've left. And maybe no more big-box, sprawl-dependent stores will locate here. Now that's quality of life!
That's your definition of quality of life, but I don't think most people would agree. Suburbs are not a four-letter word to most people, nor are big box retailers a bad thing. Most cities consider them a vital component of the health of their metro, along with the specialty local retailers that add a bit of charm. The most progressive cities are managing to offer their residents both national and local retailers, ideally while incorporating efficient use of land.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:48 PM
 
7,993 posts, read 6,789,565 times
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On the Columbia or Greenville topic.....one more thing to consider....Greenville just landed a new airline. Cost of flying from Greenville is about to get much more reasonable.

Link to article:
News Releases
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
7,108 posts, read 5,452,436 times
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Actually, given the small geography of this state, if SW doesn't fly to the same places out of both airports, Columbia could be at an advantage or at least equal.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:20 PM
 
1,232 posts, read 1,223,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbiadata View Post
Actually, given the small geography of this state, if SW doesn't fly to the same places out of both airports, Columbia could be at an advantage or at least equal.
Columbia travelers, yes. Columbia jobs and its airport, no so much.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
7,108 posts, read 5,452,436 times
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I guess we'll see.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:51 PM
 
7,993 posts, read 6,789,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Columbiadata View Post
Actually, given the small geography of this state, if SW doesn't fly to the same places out of both airports, Columbia could be at an advantage or at least equal.
Like the advantage Columbia has had for years, being only 1 hour from USAirways largest hub in Charlotte with non-stops to hundreds of cities?
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
7,108 posts, read 5,452,436 times
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The more options within a reasonable drive the better. But Greenville wins the race. Anyone with any sense would choose Greenville over Columbia, period, no matter what. Hands down, Greenville wins. It's over. It's been over for a long time. Charleston, here I come next year. Or else back to D.C. Actually I'd move to Charleston now, but I would have to take a pay cut in a lower position in my agency until I retire next year, and that would drag down my retirement income.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
7,108 posts, read 5,452,436 times
Reputation: 1310
I wouldn't be surprised if Fort Jackson closes in the next BRAC round with the sorry air service CAE will have by then.
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