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Old 05-25-2009, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 18,084,474 times
Reputation: 18806

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OK, all you wannabe urban planners and strip mall haters--here's a fun project to amuse you. Show us what you've got! What would you do if you could redesign Great Falls Plaza?

Great Falls Plaza (http://www.allenandrocks.com/commercial/greatfalls.html - broken link) (this link has a list of stores and some basic info)
map great falls plaza - Google Maps (satellite image so you can see the layout of stores and parking and what's within walking distance.)

Misc. Notes about the site: The site includes a tunnel under Algonkian Parkway connecting the plaza to the church across the street (and the neighborhoods). One section of the parking lot is reserved for mass transit parking (about 30 spaces). Satellite stores include a gas station, Rite Aid, and a preschool.The center has a lot of walk-in traffic from the nearby neighborhood. There needs to be extra space around the gas station because they do inspections and the line gets long. Velocity Five needs an area for outdoor eating and this is a noisy, jumping spot at night (so don't put it too close to residences). Karate School creates a traffic jam when classes end--it would be great if your design helped that situation.

This plaza also services Trump National Golf Course, so feel free to incoporate golf-oriented businesses. Or maybe a putting green--something for the kids to do while the parents shop?

Fantasy Challenge #1:

How would you redesign this strip mall to better serve the neighborhood? Feel free to add a second story to the building--but zoning will not allow more than 2 stories. The tower is a cell phone tower, so if you remove it be sure to put something else in that would fulfill that purpose.

Fantasy Challenge #2:

There is a 1100 sf vacant store between a florist and a nail salon. Without redesigning the plaza, and taking into consideration the list of stores that already exist (see link above), what sort of business would you add to this plaza?

BTW, this is somewhat of a serious question. I'm intrigued by this vacant store and wish I could encourage my grandson to start a business there--it's a fantastic site, IMO. But I'm stumped when it comes to a good business to suggest. The store that was there sold office supplies and computer parts, it went out of business because people mostly buy things like that online nowadays.

It seems to me the neighborhood could use something fun for the older kids to do, maybe that could inspire some store ideas. I was thinking an indoor skateboarding park might be an idea, but 1100 sf is tight for something like that. So far that's the only idea that's occurred to me--I'd love to hear some of your suggestions.

Last edited by normie; 05-25-2009 at 12:55 PM..
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:43 PM
 
5,210 posts, read 5,167,274 times
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A gourmet hot chocolate bar could be kind of fun. Bring in some live entertainment during the weekdays for the kiddies. Maybe karaoke at night for the grown ups. Offer sugar, sugar free and iced versions of the drink.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 18,084,474 times
Reputation: 18806
With chocolate fondue dipping stations! That sounds like fun. It would be the cool place to hold birthday parties, that's for sure (for kids and grown ups.)
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:13 PM
 
5,210 posts, read 5,167,274 times
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Little girl "tea" parties by day. Chocolate "shooters" at night for the grown ups.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 18,084,474 times
Reputation: 18806
Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
Little girl "tea" parties by day. Chocolate "shooters" at night for the grown ups.
You know, that really isn't a half bad idea. Have you ever seen a business like that?
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:21 PM
 
5,210 posts, read 5,167,274 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
You know, that really isn't a half bad idea. Have you ever seen a business like that?
I haven't. There are gourmet chocolate places but I don't know that they are quite like this...

I think it would be fun, though. A great place for dates, too.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:05 PM
 
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 2,242,364 times
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There are Chocolate Bars in various U.S. cities.

http://www.thechocbar.com/ (for the one I've been to, in Reno, NV - ignore the tacky graphics.. heh)
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:25 AM
 
5,210 posts, read 5,167,274 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alicia Bradley View Post
There are Chocolate Bars in various U.S. cities.

The Chocolate Bar Reno, NV - Night Scene, Club, Lounge, Restaurant, Cafe (for the one I've been to, in Reno, NV - ignore the tacky graphics.. heh)
It looks as though there is a Chocolate Bar in Reno, NYC and Houston. I'll have to check one out some time. From what I can tell, those stores are mainly for grown ups?

It would be fun to have one of those in this area. What would also be fun is something more aimed at all age groups. Kind of a mix between Jammin' Java/Caribou/Chocolate Bar/Cold Stone Creamery. With a party room for Mom's groups, book clubs, scouts, baby showers....
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 18,084,474 times
Reputation: 18806
Quote:
Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
It looks as though there is a Chocolate Bar in Reno, NYC and Houston. I'll have to check one out some time. From what I can tell, those stores are mainly for grown ups?

It would be fun to have one of those in this area. What would also be fun is something more aimed at all age groups. Kind of a mix between Jammin' Java/Caribou/Chocolate Bar/Cold Stone Creamery. With a party room for Mom's groups, book clubs, scouts, baby showers....
What I like about the idea is it's different. The curiousity factor will draw people from quite a distance. Also, I think it works well with the commuters. This particular plaza is a pick-up zone for metro (and has parking for metro users). People get there early to get a parking space, then have to wait for the bus. I think they'd be very intrigued--a store like this would be quite the conversation piece when these commuters get to work.

Also, the idea of having a community room would go over very well. This neighborhood has so many clubs and community groups. You have to book the meeting rooms at the library two months in advance. I'd personally love to go to a book club meeting at a chocolate bar... even if I hadn't had time to read the book!
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Old 05-17-2011, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
3,257 posts, read 2,307,941 times
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Could another similar project be done for Fair City Mall/Picket Shopping Center/Turnpike Shopping Center, Springfield Plaza/Tower Shopping Center/Concord Shopping Center, Cardinal Plaza/Old Keene Mill Shopping Center/and the other shopping center behind Old Keene Mill Shopping Center?
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