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Old 06-16-2014, 06:07 AM
Status: "How long till Fall?" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Where my bills arrive
8,140 posts, read 9,576,422 times
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Main Street (as remembered) is just one facet to living in some towns, for others the suburban strip mall has always been their town center. A good friend who grew up in a somewhat rural small town once told me "Wal-Mart's arrival did cause many business to go out in town but as residents we were tired of being price gouged" she went on to explain that with out competition the local stores could charge what they wanted, many did. Aside from jobs just having variety was Wal-Mart's biggest contribution to small town life.
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:43 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,990 posts, read 41,998,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA Yankee View Post
Main Street (as remembered) is just one facet to living in some towns, for others the suburban strip mall has always been their town center.
Only in towns that either didn't exist or were very small before roughly 1950 or so, when strip malls became the norm for commercial development. Suburban strip malls rarely provide a functional town center, in the sense of centralizing the retail in a small sense and encouraging a high pedestrian volume.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:27 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,634,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA Yankee View Post
Main Street (as remembered) is just one facet to living in some towns, for others the suburban strip mall has always been their town center. A good friend who grew up in a somewhat rural small town once told me "Wal-Mart's arrival did cause many business to go out in town but as residents we were tired of being price gouged" she went on to explain that with out competition the local stores could charge what they wanted, many did. Aside from jobs just having variety was Wal-Mart's biggest contribution to small town life.
Exactly! There is a huge debate regarding Walmart taking place on "Great Debates" right now. I think it may have just about run its course.
Myths, Truth and Wal Mart

When Walmart came to the community next to mine, Lafayette, CO, the downtown was long gone. People had to drive to Boulder, about 10 miles away, to do any kind of shopping other than groceries. When we moved to that area, in 1982, Lafayette didn't even have a grocery store. This in a town of 10,000 people.

Many small towns never really had a full-service downtown. By that I mean a place where you could buy most of the things you needed, e.g. food, clothing, shoes, housewares; go to the doctor, dentist, hairdresser; library services, etc. In Beaver County, PA in the 1950s/60s, there were two communities that had such downtowns, Beaver Falls and Ambridge. The rest of the towns had grocery stores (some of them), gas stations, maybe a couple of stores/offices. This in a county of 207,000 in 1960.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:38 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,990 posts, read 41,998,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
When Walmart came to the community next to mine, Lafayette, CO, the downtown was long gone. People had to drive to Boulder, about 10 miles away, to do any kind of shopping other than groceries. When we moved to that area, in 1982, Lafayette didn't even have a grocery store. This in a town of 10,000 people.
I can't think of any town of 10,000 with no grocery store off the top of my head.

Quote:
Many small towns never really had a full-service downtown. By that I mean a place where you could buy most of the things you needed, e.g. food, clothing, shoes, housewares; go to the doctor, dentist, hairdresser; library services, etc. In Beaver County, PA in the 1950s/60s, there were two communities that had such downtowns, Beaver Falls and Ambridge. The rest of the towns had grocery stores (some of them), gas stations, maybe a couple of stores/offices. This in a county of 207,000 in 1960.
The OP talked about small towns as in a few thousand people. I've brought up towns with "functional" downtowns but most are larger, 10,000+ often more. Large size clothing stores seems to have left downtowns more so than most, I can think of downtowns that have some, but still the best selection is in malls. Places like this one haven't lost clothing stores, but it's a city neighborhoods downtowns, so it's a bit of a different beast:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
As for cities, neighborhood business districts of cities (in a "main-street style), at least denser ones like New York City and Boston, generally have plenty of practical shops. There isn't anywhere else for shops to go, though some big box ones go elsewhere. I mentioned Austin St in Forest Hills, Queens:

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@40.7...J6rksMbhBw!2e0
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:47 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,352,590 times
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
I can't think of any town of 10,000 with no grocery store off the top of my head.



The OP talked about small towns as in a few thousand people. I've brought up towns with "functional" downtowns but most are larger, 10,000+ often more. Large size clothing stores seems to have left downtowns more so than most, I can think of downtowns that have some, but still the best selection is in malls. Places like this one haven't lost clothing stores, but it's a city neighborhoods downtowns, so it's a bit of a different beast:

Can't imagine driving downtown towards all the congestion; looking for parking; paying for parking; hiking to the store from the parking spot; shopping for clothes - then hiking back to the car with the clothes ever mindful of the ticking parking meter. Forget looking for another parking spot for the next thing on the to-do list downtown. Why not drive to a place where parking is convenient - and free?

The solution is avoiding downtown, the parking meters, the congestion, etc. People have options and they exercise them. Businesses have options and they exercise them too. Why would a business with options want to locate in the highest cost area around - especially a retail business that needs floor space?
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,661,531 times
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Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Can't imagine driving downtown towards all the congestion; looking for parking; paying for parking; hiking to the store from the parking spot; shopping for clothes - then hiking back to the car with the clothes ever mindful of the ticking parking meter. Forget looking for another parking spot for the next thing on the to-do list downtown. Why not drive to a place where parking is convenient - and free?

The solution is avoiding downtown, the parking meters, the congestion, etc. People have options and they exercise them. Businesses have options and they exercise them too. Why would a business with options want to locate in the highest cost area around - especially a retail business that needs floor space?
Your answer to the OP reminds me of a Yogi Berra quote: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."


Somewhat apropos of nothing, I signed up for my first credit card at a JC Penney's located in downtown Massillon, (my hometown, a city of 32,000) in the mid-90's. Unfortunately, they closed that location a couple years later. (it was the last department store to leave downtown) I sometimes wonder, if they had held out a little longer, would that location have benefited from the renewed interest downtown Massillon saw over the next few years?
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:53 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,634,943 times
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Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Your answer to the OP reminds me of a Yogi Berra quote: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."


Somewhat apropos of nothing, I signed up for my first credit card at a JC Penney's located in downtown Massillon, (my hometown, a city of 32,000) in the mid-90's. Unfortunately, they closed that location a couple years later. (it was the last department store to leave downtown) I sometimes wonder, if they had held out a little longer, would that location have benefited from the renewed interest downtown Massillon saw over the next few years?
Of all sad words. . .
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/253...en-the-saddest
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:49 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,990 posts, read 41,998,698 times
Reputation: 14810
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Can't imagine driving downtown towards all the congestion; looking for parking; paying for parking; hiking to the store from the parking spot; shopping for clothes - then hiking back to the car with the clothes ever mindful of the ticking parking meter. Forget looking for another parking spot for the next thing on the to-do list downtown. Why not drive to a place where parking is convenient - and free?
You can go from store to store once you park. Walking back to your car doesn't add that much time-wise to shopping. I also enjoy strolling around downtown or a main street area, it's a more interesting place than a shopping center.

In any case, you're not really responding about anything in my post, or any examples discussed.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,538,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Can't imagine driving downtown towards all the congestion; looking for parking; paying for parking; hiking to the store from the parking spot; shopping for clothes - then hiking back to the car with the clothes ever mindful of the ticking parking meter. Forget looking for another parking spot for the next thing on the to-do list downtown. Why not drive to a place where parking is convenient - and free?

The solution is avoiding downtown, the parking meters, the congestion, etc. People have options and they exercise them. Businesses have options and they exercise them too. Why would a business with options want to locate in the highest cost area around - especially a retail business that needs floor space?
I assume you never go to any suburban places that are busy so you don't have to hike through a parking lot after hunting for a parking spot? I love when people who are against parking in downtowns due to the walk will hike over a quarter of a mile through a mall parking lot just to walk around in a mall.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
1,954 posts, read 4,507,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Can't imagine driving downtown towards all the congestion; looking for parking; paying for parking; hiking to the store from the parking spot; shopping for clothes - then hiking back to the car with the clothes ever mindful of the ticking parking meter. Forget looking for another parking spot for the next thing on the to-do list downtown. Why not drive to a place where parking is convenient - and free?

The solution is avoiding downtown, the parking meters, the congestion, etc. People have options and they exercise them. Businesses have options and they exercise them too. Why would a business with options want to locate in the highest cost area around - especially a retail business that needs floor space?
What you describe is more like parking in a major city, not small town downtown areas that a largely being discussed here. Most small towns that I have been to with still active downtowns have reasonable parking. In fact the downtowns that come to mind all have free municipal parking lots.
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