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Old 12-17-2009, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Florida
1,557 posts, read 1,282,743 times
Reputation: 1385
Default Bookstore needed downtown, particularly Armory Square...

The passing of Joel Kidder and hopes for a downtown bookstore | Post-Standard Columnist Sean Kirst's Blog -

I could not agree more with the article and do not have too much to add. I can imagine a tourist; office workers; suburbanites and university hill students/residents or a resident of downtown visting the soon to be open Urban Outfitters or other retailer. Once they are completed with their shopping, they stop by a Barnes and Noble; Borders or some other book retailer to; sip coffee or tea; relax with a book they are contemplating buying. Or maybe they want to take in a movie at a new downtown cinema; then on to dinner at Pastabilities.

The reality is, malls are just shopping centers with a roof and no character. Downtowns have character and can compete with such destinations. I read an article that said Urban Outfitters took the time to research and recognize that there were 20,000 students on the uninversity hill, plus LeMoyne College.

Well, that is all well and good, but what is the City doing to market itself to retailers and entice them to locate a store downtown, particularly Armory Square. How about Columbus Circle, get the ball rolling there!

My point being, if you want a thriving downtown with all the amenities; super market; bookstore; and movie cinema; don't always wait for retailers to come to you, market yourselves to them...Open their eyes and sell yourself!!!
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:51 PM
Status: "Game recognized game from the start" (set 24 days ago)
 
30,361 posts, read 35,099,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanplanner View Post
The passing of Joel Kidder and hopes for a downtown bookstore | Post-Standard Columnist Sean Kirst's Blog -

I could not agree more with the article and do not have too much to add. I can imagine a tourist; office workers; suburbanites and university hill students/residents or a resident of downtown visting the soon to be open Urban Outfitters or other retailer. Once they are completed with their shopping, they stop by a Barnes and Noble; Borders or some other book retailer to; sip coffee or tea; relax with a book they are contemplating buying. Or maybe they want to take in a movie at a new downtown cinema; then on to dinner at Pastabilities.

The reality is, malls are just shopping centers with a roof and no character. Downtowns have character and can compete with such destinations. I read an article that said Urban Outfitters took the time to research and recognize that there were 20,000 students on the uninversity hill, plus LeMoyne College.

Well, that is all well and good, but what is the City doing to market itself to retailers and entice them to locate a store downtown, particularly Armory Square. How about Columbus Circle, get the ball rolling there!

My point being, if you want a thriving downtown with all the amenities; super market; bookstore; and movie cinema; don't always wait for retailers to come to you, market yourselves to them...Open their eyes and sell yourself!!!
There are some very good locations for a nice bookstore too.

As for a supermarket, I've always felt that Erie Boulevard west by the old DMV has some older buildings that could be put to use for one. Specifically, I think the building across from the Empower Federal Credit Union would be perfect.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:38 AM
 
2,358 posts, read 2,910,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
There are some very good locations for a nice bookstore too.

As for a supermarket, I've always felt that Erie Boulevard west by the old DMV has some older buildings that could be put to use for one. Specifically, I think the building across from the Empower Federal Credit Union would be perfect.
It really would be! Close enough to downtown to be walkable for the urban villages nearby and SU's downtown corridor... just across the 690 off/on ramp's overpass, with wide sidewalks on both sides. That would definitely be a lion's share in the contribution for gentrifying the west side.

I'm starting to hate the word "gentrification" though. We can make neighborhoods pretty all we want but the poor and/or high crime areas are going to shift *somewhere.* :/ How impossible does it seem to enact some REAL change? I've tried to help a friend who was on the very cusp of living a normal, productive, happy life, who just wasn't able to see how cleaning up (in SO many ways, figuratively and literally) would transform both her life and those of everyone around her. It's sad and was absolutely devastating to let her go but I had to, for the safety of my family. :*( I can't imagine the monumental, time-dragging task it would be to help the vast majority of even one side of Syracuse, much less all four. How does one *teach* a good kind of pride in self and home and family?

My criticism... the local government gives too many fish and not enough fishing lessons, seemingly thinking that no one can change their life. All the while, those who most need it have no genuine, compassionate example to strive toward. (Clearly, this is an AFLAC issue for me.) I just don't know how to even begin the process of this sort of change.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Washington, D.C.
580 posts, read 591,304 times
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A bit off-topic, but what jumps out at me regarding the sad Joel Kidder situation is that so many "neighborhoods" are pedestrian-hostile, and that it's likely that the driver who killed him was at fault. No one should be driving fast enough to kill in an area that has a pedestrian presence.

DeWitt and most other suburbs continue to let their taxpayers down by refusing to accomodate those who choose not to drive. The Syracuse region is badly behind the curve in multi-modal transportation, and it's actually killing people, not to mention killing quality of life.

And, yeah, regarding Proulxfamily's last point about unproductive members of society needing an "example" of sorts, there was a terrific piece in the June 1986 issue of The Atlantic entitled "The Origins of the Underclass" on this very topic (essentially, Southern migration coupled with middle-class flight from Chicago led to a permanent lower class almost unwilling to assimilate with the rest of society, in part due to lack of good role models in the community). Google it; it's a wonderful read.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Washington, D.C.
580 posts, read 591,304 times
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One more point about the supermarket problem: while an 18-24 -hour grocery operation is needed in establishing downtown as a solid residential market, it will be nearly impossible to bring in a major chain who is willing to either forego parking or build a parking facility below grade or on the roof (something most urban groceries do). They'd claim that this is an unreasonable expense and seek to build a surface lot; in the past, the city has been quick to cave when it comes to retailers' alleged concerns about parking.

Unfortunately, this would be a block-killer. Everything about surface parking is the antithesis of what we're looking for in terms of urban design. Until someone can reconcile this, a large grocery will be a difficult get for downtown.

Perhaps a handfull of small-scale groceries (like the current C.L. Evers, or Grace's or Zabar's in New York) would be a better fit. Of course, they'd need to find a way to stay profitable with longer hours. (A bit of a chicken-and-egg situation, since people will cite limited grocery hours as a reason not to settle downtown.)
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:24 AM
Status: "Game recognized game from the start" (set 24 days ago)
 
30,361 posts, read 35,099,529 times
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Maybe the West Side needs some investment. I think that Erie Boulevard West area close to Downtown could be a good location that coincides with Downtown, as well as giving the West Side a boost. Maybe a Magic Johnson like type of investment would work, where he has put movie theaters in areas that didn't see development and in turn, other stores started to follow after he got the ball rolling. This also brought jobs to these neighborhoods as well. He's done this in Harlem, for example. http://www.magicjohnson.com/index.php?
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Outer University - Syracuse
686 posts, read 806,591 times
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I've seen countless people crossing that stretch of Erie Blvd just in front of B&N. I think it *looks* to them as though they have time to cross before a car reaches them but folks who don't drive and/or are accustomed to crossing streets in city centers where cars move more slowly than on Erie Blvd. can easily underestimate how quickly an oncoming vehicle will reach them.

I think a downtown movie theater with a limited number of screens would have a better chance than a bookstore. With online booksellers, the neighborhood libraries and Kindle there are many options for readers but if you enjoy movies on the big screen (as so many of us do) - the at home movie experience just isn't the same. I have a 60" screen with high def, great sound and comfy seating at home but I still go out the the movie theater a few times each month. If we had a local art film house that was closer than and was a better facility than the Manlius or even a mainstream theater that mixed a few good indie films in with the mainstream fare... I would frequent it regularly.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:41 PM
Status: "Game recognized game from the start" (set 24 days ago)
 
30,361 posts, read 35,099,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phaelon56 View Post
I've seen countless people crossing that stretch of Erie Blvd just in front of B&N. I think it *looks* to them as though they have time to cross before a car reaches them but folks who don't drive and/or are accustomed to crossing streets in city centers where cars move more slowly than on Erie Blvd. can easily underestimate how quickly an oncoming vehicle will reach them.

I think a downtown movie theater with a limited number of screens would have a better chance than a bookstore. With online booksellers, the neighborhood libraries and Kindle there are many options for readers but if you enjoy movies on the big screen (as so many of us do) - the at home movie experience just isn't the same. I have a 60" screen with high def, great sound and comfy seating at home but I still go out the the movie theater a few times each month. If we had a local art film house that was closer than and was a better facility than the Manlius or even a mainstream theater that mixed a few good indie films in with the mainstream fare... I would frequent it regularly.
The Westcott Theater was sort of like that before it became more of a performance venue. I think the Palace in Eastwood or even the Landmark could do things like that too. I wish they didn't tear down the old Genesee Theater(for a Pep Boys that didn't last long no less). That could have been another venue for indie films. For those that don't remember the Genesee, this is what it looked like: NYCO’s Blog Who killed the Genesee? (http://twentyfour01.com/nyco/?p=10 - broken link)
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