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Old 08-17-2017, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dixiedean1878 View Post
Detroit.
Seriously? Detroit has a kick ass downtown, I love going there. My husband's family is from the suburbs, and while they don't go into the city neighborhoods to hang out - they go into downtown Detroit all the time.

Greektown, the cool architecture, they have the metro's football and baseball stadiums, the basketball and hockey stadium is opening in a few weeks bringing all the sports in the metro back to the core. Casino's restaurants, cool little parks.

I love downtown Detroit, it serves a huge function for the metro area. Especially now with billions in development pouring in from all sides, there's more change going on there now than there has been in two generations.

If I had to say a place with a non-functional downtown it would probably be Phoenix.
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Old 08-17-2017, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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Jacksonville comes to mind, but as with most things, it is a level of degree that we must discuss.

-So many vacant lots/surface parking that the urban environment is completely broken up(the downtown area losing an urban feel/doesn't feel like a downtown.)

Very true in Downtown Jax. This is slowly getting better, as small infill has occurred at a glacial pace, but it's still incredibly glaring how many buildings were torn down in the name of urban renewal.

-Lack of employment base(A sizable majority of employers or offices are located outside of the Downtown area)

This isnt so bad for Jax. There is still quite a sizable employment base, however it's not majority anymore as there are equally large employment centers elsewhere in the region. Not great, but not bad. Downtown still seems ok vibrant during office hours.

-Lots of vacancy/abandonment

Vacancy in office space is a bit higher than average but it's not terrible. The issue is more along lease rates, as downtown office space (and residential/retail to some degree) cannot command the premiums that they normally do. While office space occupancy is ok, the landlords often must get extremely creative in enticing companies and also like I said their rates are pretty low for downtowns, especially class A. That said, along with the vacant lot/surface parking issue, there are lots of abandoned buildings in downtown and this is really an eyesore. Not more of an eyesore than the vacant lots, but just as much of an issue regarding vibrancy.

-Downtown is too small to really serve their metro area size(Examples: Killeen, TX and Lawton, OK are two cities with very small downtowns compared to their populations)

No, I suppose Jax's downtown from a physical standpoint is a good size. Just not vibrant and needs a much higher population.
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Old 08-17-2017, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Nashville TN, Cincinnati, OH
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Downtown Detroit is the best part of Detroit how could anybody say that Downtown Detroit is not functional.

Last edited by Vanderbiltgrad; 08-17-2017 at 03:18 PM..
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:17 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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Downtown Albuquerque once was a proper downtown, but after the automobile boom, the city dispersed and sprawled and the downtown area, despite some attempts at high density development is a shadow of its former self.
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Old 08-17-2017, 05:26 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtinmemphis View Post
I know I am going to get blasted for this by the St. Louis crowd but I will say DT St. Louis. The Downtown workforce has been shrinking for the past 10 years and is down to 90k (I've heard the employment base is growing again as of this summer). The downward trend has to do with inter regional competitiveness and lack of class A office space. DT Clayton I think is at 30k, the Central West End is at 30k and Cortex is at 8k. Not to mention competition from suburban office parks in Chesterfield Valley and other areas.

Due to St. Louis being a much larger city earlier on leaving so much vacant space gives the city a non vibrant image. There doesn't seem to be a lot going on when there is. The excessive amount of parking garages takes a lot of the traffic off the side walks during the winter. That leaves a empty feel in DT St. Louis during the winter months.

The DT residential population is actually growing and we are at almost 20k. We have many neighborhood amenities that people would look for in a major urban neighborhood such as several bodega type shops, grocery store, a food hall opening in a few months (@ metropolitan sq) a nice selection of apartments and too many restaurants to name. We are missing a major chain department store like Nordstrom Rack or Marshalls. (hopefully an announcement of something will be made when the Railway exchange building near completion). I think DT will continue to improve its position as the largest employment hub in the region and over take KC as the largest employment hub in the state again.
I wouldn't label downtown STL as being nonfunctional, but it certainly lags behind its peer cities. I'd also say that its pedestrian activity feels like it lags its peers during all months, not just in the winter. Still, downtown St. Louis remains the face of the region thanks to the Cardinals, the Arch, the Old Courthouse, etc, but so much of the action is simply in the neighborhoods that it takes away from downtown. A lot cities have their grand museums downtown, for example, but not St. Louis.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:30 PM
_OT
 
Location: Miami
2,144 posts, read 1,521,827 times
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Downtown Tampa
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Northern United States
187 posts, read 158,077 times
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Cape Coral/Fort Myers are good examples of a metro area having a distinctional downtown area. Though both those cities have downtowns, they are both very small compared to their populations.

Gary, IN and Port Arthur, TX(which is a little below 50,000 people) are two satellite cities that lack functional downtown areas due to severe urban decay and abandonment.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
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Albuquerque and especially Phoenix feel a bit small for downtowns, considering the metro population.

But I'm going to throw out a weird one, since I grew up there. Clearwater, FL should have much more going on in its central business district. As one of the principal cities of the Tampa Bay Metro, and situated on one of the few places on Florida's West Coast with a bluff (and view of the Inter-coastal Waterway and Clearwater Beach, Downtown Clearwater should be a booming place. But when many buildings went vacant in the 1970's, Scientologists bought up all the land and made it the World Spiritual Headquarters. So, these days the area is filled with zombie-like people walking between creepy COS buildings, and is a major point of contention to locals.

Unfortunately, it looks like the downtown- as much as the city wants to do something about it- will likely always be a ghost town for locals and tourists, who will go on instead to the beaches or to the quaint, funky downtown of Dunedin or surprisingly hip and urban waterfront of St. Petersburg, which is actually far more vibrant and appealing (IMHO) than Tampa and most other cities in FL.
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:50 PM
 
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Vegas perhaps?
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartonizer View Post

Unfortunately, it looks like the downtown- as much as the city wants to do something about it- will likely always be a ghost town for locals and tourists, who will go on instead to the beaches or to the quaint, funky downtown of Dunedin or surprisingly hip and urban waterfront of St. Petersburg, which is actually far more vibrant and appealing (IMHO) than Tampa and most other cities in FL.
Have to give props to this. St. Petersburg IS surprisingly urban and vibrant, a step above downtown Tampa which feels more like a Suburban office park that has height.
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