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Old 04-11-2010, 05:33 PM
 
7,533 posts, read 8,326,294 times
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Edwardius, what is your suggestion for the path the central city should take? From what I read in your posts, you seem to be of the opinion that we should simply write off downtown Sacramento, either abandoning it or leveling it, or walling it off a la "Escape from New York" or something.

Looking at that map, it seems like maybe there should be a shopping mall in Land Park or the Pocket area...I wouldn't mind that, let's give up on the "downtown mall" concept entirely and go back to what we had before: a primarily residential central city with local/regional retail and entertainment areas.

edit: Although, now that I look at that map, things kind of break down: in 1995, Sacramento's central city was a very different place. It was somewhat cleaned up from the previous decade (the hooker's strolls were gone) and there was some gentrification of Boulevard Park, but the massive influx of dot-bombers from the Bay Area wasn't here yet, rents were about half what they are now, and there were still a lot of drug havens in the central city. Second Saturdays back then were about as lively as regular weekend nights are now. Most of the condos, infill projects and assorted revitalizations weren't even built yet. And there were 2-3 times as many SRO hotels and boarding houses downtown as there are now. I wonder how that map would look corrected to 2010? The central city is still quite economically integrated, which means it averages low (the folks with high incomes are balanced out against the folks with low incomes) but it would make for a very different map. Not that this convinces me a downtown mall is a wonderful idea...but a downtown Target, and a downtown mid-price supermarket and farmer's market, maybe. Downtown resale shops, funky little boutiques and lots of places to see bands and plays and art, absolutely.

Last edited by wburg; 04-11-2010 at 05:53 PM..
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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Downtown Plaza is basically the wrong location to support the amount of retail space it has. In its trading area, it really not successfully competing with the Arden Fair Mall as well as the Country Club Malls all for a lot of same customer base. I think its time to look at using that space for other uses. I personally think downtown plaza would benefit from stop trying to be a mall and just revert the streets back into the grid. Some of it could be turned into office space. Some might have limited street orientated retail and some of it might get some housing/hotels.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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Not that I really agree with the rest of edwardius analysis but I agree DTP needs to be razed and just turned back into gridded streets. Reconnect it with K street mall and just have a long strip of retail. Leave K street (the entire stretch) pedestrian but open up the intersecting streets to traffic.

A few weeks ago there was an article in the Bee saying KJ had a buyer lined up for the mall. We'll see what that turns into.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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I don't have a ungated link to it, but at work, we occasionally get the Claritas demographic market research maps. In terms of demographics so far they really haven't changed much in the grid or that much from the map from 1995. The issue is that most residents of the grid rent and this people hasn't seen much income growth. The people working as busboys aren't seeing much income growth, they are just paying more in rent.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:36 PM
 
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Okay, I can see how that would skew the results--about 85-90% of housing in the central city is rental housing. It certainly doesn't feel like a "low-income neighborhood" from a boots-on-the-ground perspective, and the economic statistics certainly seem to collide with the frequently-heard opinion that Midtown is a gentrified yuppie den.

It sounds like we all basically agree--K Street is a terrible place for a mall. In the 1960s, a lot of cities were sold on the idea that making downtown shopping districts into malls was the way to go, and those ideas almost invariably failed. Now, when this subject has come up before, people tend to point out successful examples, like Westfield's mall on Market in San Francisco, or the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, but almost invariably there are special circumstances--the Westfield mall in SF is merely a small part of the greater Market Street shopping district, not its primary focus, and Third Street Promenade is nowhere near downtown Los Angeles--it is more technically a suburban mall, located near very wealthy suburbs.

The question then becomes, what do we do with K Street? It's a question that gets asked a lot. Obviously the mall idea is long since dead, so maybe it's time to stop looking at failed mall statistics and look at what sort of things can be done with it. If people can find a far better mall experience in Roseville, then maybe the answer is to look at what people CAN'T find in Roseville or Elk Grove or Folsom, and provide that instead. If "that" is something ill-suited to placing in a place called a "mall," all the better!
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
The question then becomes, what do we do with K Street? It's a question that gets asked a lot. Obviously the mall idea is long since dead, so maybe it's time to stop looking at failed mall statistics and look at what sort of things can be done with it. If people can find a far better mall experience in Roseville, then maybe the answer is to look at what people CAN'T find in Roseville or Elk Grove or Folsom, and provide that instead. If "that" is something ill-suited to placing in a place called a "mall," all the better!
Clean it up. Keep loiterers free from it. I just think of 7th / Kst and how disgusting it usually is.

When I travel to downtown I see the typical street person (dirty, looks like they haven't showered in weeks/months, smelly), lots and lots of people just "hanging out" who should be either in school still or at work and make it feel unsafe.

Those are the main problems I have with downtown. I shop at the Down Town Plaza because it is convenient and does have a nice Macy's. The same goes for the Target on Broadway. I don't spend a lot of time in DTP because of it's problems. I just shop and leave. It should not necessarily be like that.

My ideas to help downtown gain more popularity:

Easier parking other than the main parking garages. I hate circling the block ten times to find a spot so I can go eat, shop or whatever around downtown / midtown.

Clean up the large amount of loiterers and street people. I understand there will always be some but at least make an effort. This will take the full effort of the city, police, D.A., county jail, mental health, and other social services which will never happen. People should not feel unreasonably unsafe otherwise why go there?

Like Wburg hit the nail on the head, have things the other malls / shopping areas don't. Downtown needs to have some appeal to get people down there.

What would draw people to a downtown that is more inconvenient than the mall down the street (speaking from a suburbs point of view)? I would say architecture, views, plethora of restaurants and the feeling of "were doing something fun/different." Why else do you go to S.F.? I hope everyone see's my point.

Typically people in the suburbs go to downtown for food / drinks / party. I don't hear of them ever going there to shop. How could that be changed? Give them what they are looking for and make it convenient. The whole glitch is, is that possible? I don't know the answer to that.
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:18 PM
 
Location: 916, CA
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Out of my group of friends, the only time they (we) ever go downtown while living in west placer cnty is for specialty shops, specialty food, and nightclubs. I go to dtp and for the most part there's the same exact stuff as I see in roseville just with more people that might rub you the wrong way if you know what I mean. I agree with the idea of expanding on the types of retail, entertainment you don't find in the suburbs. Imax seems to be a good example here. I know my friends really get a kick out of all the little shops in old sac, moreso than stores in dtp.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Happiness is found inside your smile :)
3,177 posts, read 10,120,604 times
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When I lived in Midtown - I hardly went Downtown. Maybe once in a while for Friday Concerts in the Park - and that was about it.

I'd rather drive to Arden Faire then Downtown Plaza. Then Truxel happened and I hardly ever went to Arden anymore - then Roseville Galleria happened. And I still lived Midtown and preferred to shop Roseville.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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^^ traitor
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
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Funny, but interesting thread.

As a general comment, the observations about downtown malls struggling is generally true, but there are quite a few exceptions. However, the original concept about building those malls was a sound idea. Basically it was a reaction to the development of suburbs, to help downtown areas compete for business during working hours, and trying to retain some of the worker base after hours. They really weren't oriented to be for downtown residents, there were few folks with money living near downtown(s) across the country.

However, most decent sized cities already had large department stores in their downtown shopping districts, and the malls were developed to capitalize on these large structures. Linking up and integrating 75-200 stores in a relatively self contained environment allowed office workers an alternative place to go during their lunch breaks, and to have places to go and meet after work. The concept was sound for that time, but life changes and sometimes these types of things need to evolve too.

There are many successful downtown malls in the USA and Canada, even today. What Sacramento has to do is figure out a way to better integrate DTP into the overall market area. Today, it is too separated from the remainder of downtown, so access needs to be opened up a bit.

But a modified DTP could still work, where currently located. A successful upgrade of K St would go a long way in helping out DTP.
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