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Old 01-24-2014, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,371 posts, read 59,827,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Hmm, well as for the silent auctions? Oddly enough I have been to several over the couple months. And all did have local stuff. No big names at all. At our street festivals and such? I do see a few bigger companies, but it is mostly local people.
Perhaps you should tell your local nonprofits to ask.

Quote:
I think the big criticism of the chains, and their role in the community, is that their involvement will never be very "personal." or tailored since they don't have their hands in the community if you will.
Part of this somewhat skewed perception probably is because of the relatively quick management turnover at the chain stores. Mr. Smith who owns Smith's Hardware is going to be around for dozens of years; the manager of the Home Depot likely will be gone in a year or two.

But I've seen plenty of employees of various big box stores and regional chains, and plenty of charitable dollars and in-kind donations come out of those stores as well. Some are not as community-active as others, just as you'd expect within any other group of businesses.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,419 posts, read 11,920,328 times
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Of the dozen or so cities I have lived in, plus the many more I have visited and spent time in, none have random businesses scattered throughout the residential neighborhoods. What would be the purpose of that? Isn't it better for the businesses to attract customers from a wider area than a small residential neighborhood? Isn't it better for the consumer to be able to do all or most of their shopping in a few central areas, rather than having to go all over town? Why buy your shoes in one residential neighborhood, then go to another to buy a pair of pants, maybe another for a shirt (b/c there are no shirt stores near the shoe/pants stores or you don't like the shirts they have), etc?
I've definitely been in a few neighborhoods which have no business district per-se, but have small storefronts scattered throughout. More frequently you see neighborhoods which had a central business district, but also had scattered storefronts elsewhere in the neighborhood. My own neighborhood has a ton of these. Most are no longer used as such, having been made into apartments. But there are some exceptions - art galleries, hair salons, and hole-in-the-wall bars.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,166 posts, read 29,660,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Perhaps you should tell your local nonprofits to ask.


Part of this somewhat skewed perception probably is because of the relatively quick management turnover at the chain stores. Mr. Smith who owns Smith's Hardware is going to be around for dozens of years; the manager of the Home Depot likely will be gone in a year or two.

But I've seen plenty of employees of various big box stores and regional chains, and plenty of charitable dollars and in-kind donations come out of those stores as well. Some are not as community-active as others, just as you'd expect within any other group of businesses.
On the scheme of community involvement, I care way more about local sourcing, than in kind donations. Most chains do a terrible job of local sourcing.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:34 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,823,688 times
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Many (most?) Manhattan commercial streets have no landscaping or shade, does that make them unfriendly for walking?
YES. In the summer, anyway. Although often enough one side or another is shaded by the buildings.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:20 AM
 
2,978 posts, read 2,703,597 times
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Originally Posted by Malloric View Post

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Next, let’s say you finally discover a plot of land where you can build your own bakery. Before you even begin construction, the local government will require you to use at least 40% of your private land for free parking. No if’s, and’s, or but’s…you’ve just been told by the government what to do with your property and your valuable retail shelf space has been truncated with the slash of a pen. Now, let’s extrapolate this out to hundreds of other businesses who own private land and are forced to provide everyone free parking. At some point, the system has been sufficiently gamed to where it no longer makes sense to walk.



False.

I've never seen a zoning code that looked anything like that anywhere.


No, not false, that is true. You need to look at the zoning codes of the towns in Pennsylvania. They do a great job of zoning out business and making one's property worthless by restricting the use of the building and parking regulations. Then they take it one step further by downzoning commercial buildings by giving notice to the owner in the form of a snail mail letter. The owner sells the building and claims he knows nothing about the new zoning, as does the listing agent. The sucker that buys the building now has a building that is severely limited as to what it can be used for, and most likely cannot be rented because of the parking restrictions.

This is just one big reason why business has left the rust belt for greener pastures in the southern states, or overseas. One can blame lower labor costs, but don't overlook the restrictions placed on land use by the crooked local politicians. You won't read about this in the media because the journalists are quite cozy with the local politicians. Besides, people don't want to have to walk far after they parked their car.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:26 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,996 posts, read 102,581,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I've definitely been in a few neighborhoods which have no business district per-se, but have small storefronts scattered throughout. More frequently you see neighborhoods which had a central business district, but also had scattered storefronts elsewhere in the neighborhood. My own neighborhood has a ton of these. Most are no longer used as such, having been made into apartments. But there are some exceptions - art galleries, hair salons, and hole-in-the-wall bars.
Not surprising for Pittsburgh! Hair salons are a type of business usually allowed in residential, as long as the hairdresser has no employees. I can't imagine how a bar nor art gallery would get enough customers to stay in business.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,166 posts, read 29,660,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Not surprising for Pittsburgh! Hair salons are a type of business usually allowed in residential, as long as the hairdresser has no employees. I can't imagine how a bar nor art gallery would get enough customers to stay in business.
I think one point this article was trying to make is that it is a lot harder than it should be to build a building with a bakery on the bottom and housing on top even in commercial districts. With zoning and parking requirements.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:08 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,996 posts, read 102,581,357 times
Reputation: 33059
They didn't do a very good job of making their point. They misrepresented a lot of stuff, and got into a lot of stuff irrelevant to a bakery. If they'd stuck to that, they might have accomplished their goal.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,311 posts, read 5,330,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I think one point this article was trying to make is that it is a lot harder than it should be to build a building with a bakery on the bottom and housing on top even in commercial districts. With zoning and parking requirements.
That was how I took it as well. To be able to build that type of environment to open something like a bakery with mixed use would be very difficult in today's environment. That means that you'd likely have to go to an older area that was already built in that fashion, because so many modern suburban commercial districts look something like this (with no residential on top):

https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...9DGc0PbnQg!2e0
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,166 posts, read 29,660,252 times
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Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
That was how I took it as well. To be able to build that type of environment to open something like a bakery with mixed use would be very difficult in today's environment. That means that you'd likely have to go to an older area that was already built in that fashion, because so many modern suburban commercial districts look something like this (with no residential on top):

https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...9DGc0PbnQg!2e0
This is what I see most of the time, and it has been downright impossible in my city to get mixed use developments outside of downtown. Even though most of the long thriving main streets are mixed use.

They also developed in the street car days and were built up in the early 1900s.

It is really crazy. I mean there are mixed use developments across the street in some cases. There is a BS argument that the real estate isn't selling, and the home prices in the walkable transit friendly areas like these developments are going in are up about 40% overt he past 5 years. Rents are up about 30-40% as well. There is a huge housing shortage of newer stuff in "good" walkable neighborhoods, and the projects that do exist have been selling pretty briskly, even when I think they are overpriced.

The better block projects goal as an organization is to creat blocks that are more vibrant and combine uses.
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