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Old 01-27-2017, 07:30 PM
 
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Suburban downtowns don't have much reason to be famous.

I haven't been to DC in a long time but suspect it would have the best examples.

LA has some good ones. But it depends on where you draw the line between urban and suburban. City limits are largely irrelevant to these things. I wouldn't call Miami Beach suburban for example.

Bellevue would score well despite some flaws. For 30 years most new buildings have been basically urban, with parking underground, entries and retail off the sidewalk, a mix of uses, and no driveways to lobby entrances. It has some real height with five buildings in its 450' flat top including two about to open. Residential uses are a large component including both highrise and six-story woodframe elements. Offices are a big component. Bus service is halfway decent, and it'll have two or three light rail stations in six years depending on the boundaries you use. It might soon upzone including a 600' area in the middle. The latest boom is giving it a critical mass and filling some key gaps. But the major streets are too wide, legal crossings require a push button and a wait, and there's still way more parking than an urban place would have. It still has remnants of old suburbia.
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Old 01-27-2017, 07:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
White Plains NY is another one that comes to mind. Nearby New Rochelle isn't too bad either.
Street views of both: https://www.google.com/maps/@41.0291...8i6656!6m1!1e1

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.9112...8i6656!6m1!1e1
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
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i like Woodstock and Marietta near Atlanta.
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Old 01-28-2017, 01:55 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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There are a bunch of great old walkable suburbs/towns outside of Boston. Too many to list.
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:31 AM
 
Location: East Bay
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Walnut Creek and Palo Alto, near San Francisco.
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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What do you consider a "Suburban Downtown?" Do satellite cities count, or are we talking strictly suburban towns with walkable Main Streets or Downtown areas?

Bellevue, Washington would 100% fall under the Satellite City category, and not the "Suburban Downtown" category. Miami Beach is a Satellite City, as is Jersey City and Arlington and Santa Monica. If we are considering all urban suburbs outside of the main city, then obviously these areas would count.

So, is there a distinct difference, or are we considering everything?
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Originally Posted by bluecarebear View Post
There are a bunch of great old walkable suburbs/towns outside of Boston. Too many to list.
Ditto for Philadelphia. The same for NYC and DC as well.

Most major cities have walkable Downtown areas outside of the main city. Philadelphia has West Chester and Newark. NYC has Hoboken and White Plains. DC has Arlington and Alexandria. Miami has Miami Beach and Hollywood. Los Angeles has Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Boston has Cambridge and Brookline... etc. etc.
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RightonWalnut View Post
What do you consider a "Suburban Downtown?" Do satellite cities count, or are we talking strictly suburban towns with walkable Main Streets or Downtown areas?

Bellevue, Washington would 100% fall under the Satellite City category, and not the "Suburban Downtown" category. Miami Beach is a Satellite City, as is Jersey City and Arlington and Santa Monica. If we are considering all urban suburbs outside of the main city, then obviously these areas would count.

So, is there a distinct difference, or are we considering everything?
Bellevue is a suburb, not a legacy city. It barely existed in 1960. Very unlike the others.
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:05 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
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Originally Posted by Spade View Post
I've heard Clayton, MO and Bellevue, Washington are two of the most talked about. Especially Bellevue.
I don't think I'd put Clayton in the top 5, but its current status is impressive for a city of just under 16,000. Especially with Centene's $770 million campus expansion about to happen, and the various TOD developments.

Downtown Clayton is really pushing itself as a safe urban environment with quick and easy access, both by car and light rail, to other amenities and jobs in St. Louis proper.
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:58 AM
 
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The 16,000 is irrelevant. Clayton is a secondary downtown to the entire STL area.

I haven't been to it, but from the air it looks like it's been around longer and it better integrated with its surroundings than Bellevue, though it's not on the same scale. Having rail already is a plus. From watching the STL construction boards it seems like almost the 1b center to Downtown's 1a, with a couple 2a centers between them.

The best "suburban" downtowns are the ones that are least suburban. So it's kind of a sliding scale IMO with the answer being different depending on which places are candidates based on geography, age, etc. Size is also a variable that doesn't necessarily mean better. A little town center that's now enveloped by the city but is still cohesive and mixed-use (or a new equivalent of same) will be a better suburban downtown than many highrise zones.
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