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Old 01-05-2015, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,544,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
I know this is off topic, but how is GM's headquarters not downtown Detroit? They moved from their New Center location in 1996 to the Ren Center because it was an amazing deal and they wanted to have a more central presence in the cities revitalization. Also the freeway system you say Detroit built (Which GMs headquarters is within) was put in place in the late 50s/ early 60s almost 40 years before GM located to the riverfront. This makes no sense.
I didn't say the loop was built for GM, Detroit has made plenty of mistakes besides where GM located their headquarters. In the case of Detroit, that loop functions as a barrier and the GM headquarters is outside of that loop and has a direct freeway connection which is the point I am making. GM might have moved to that location to help with some sort of revitalization, but the way it was done didn't help downtown Detroit.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Just another way to say "all commercial". The housing is apartments renting for $1,100 - $3,300/month. Although the site touts "live, work" in the Domain the apartments certainly aren't the homes for all the retail sales clerks in the Domain. The folks staying in the hotel aren't there for extended time periods. The people that do live there drive elsewhere to work. The place touts itself as "sustainable" whatever that's supposed to mean. Promoters seems to promote endless spending on rent, restaurant, and entertainment. The "green" in "Green Urbanism" means your money. Funny that Komeht is so opposed to malls. It would seem that the Domain is nothing but a suburban mall that includes rental housing and office space.
That is often times the case when a developer redevelops an old mall. Bridgeport Village just outside of Portland looks like a little urban district but in the end it is just an outdoor mall.
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:12 AM
 
28,441 posts, read 71,104,696 times
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Default Hmm sounds like this is more about failure to have coherent land use plans...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
I-35 cuts a football field sized swatch through the heart of Austin and condemns about another amount of that land on either side to low intensity uses (adult book stores, gas stations, lingerie modeling studios, fast food joints, etc. tend to be the businesses willing to locate there) Compare that with the value and contribution to the community of the neighborhoods that are several blocks off the freeway and you'll see a world of difference.
These "low value uses" almost certainly could have been avoided with a more coherent planning process. The features of a well planned surface street don't just "magically happen" any more than the errors of a poorly thought out freeway on-ramp are also due to failures of the planning process.

When you come right down to the core issue in the case of the 20% of shopping malls with vacancy problems, the root cause can likely be traced to similar break-downs in the planning process -- instead of a regional approach that encourages developers to not end up with "over retailed" areas, too often adjacent towns compete for malls on the false hope that every retail development will generate needed tax revenue.

If the folks that laid out these "football field swaths" of freeways also approached the planning process with a comprehensive view perhaps they could have envisioned a multi-tiered approach to land use as well. Ideally that includes not just the revenue aspects but quality of life issues too. That said, the mere presence of fast food joints, gas stations, and even adult book stores are NOT indicative of the same kind of failed planning as the hulks of vacant retail malls -- after all fuel for vehicles does make sense to be purchased where there are an abundance of vehicles. So to does it make sense for fast food businesses to cluster in areas where folks that need to "eat on the go" are likely to congregate (sadly not everyone has the time nor the inclination to enjoy a leisurely luncheon of slow braised tempeh with wilted field greens and organic brown rice...) and despite the moralistic tendencies of the small minded to impose their personal standards for not just land development / freeway use but also sexual mores on others, there are probably people that like the opportunity to purchase explicit materials and 'adult toys' from a local business instead of some online site, especially if their work keeps them on the roads for long stretches of time... I suspect these marginal businesses are profitable, which more than one can say for ill conceived malls.

In contrast the planning that goes into successful malls (and remember 80% of malls have no issues with vacancies...) result in a lots of positive side effects. The fact is there are many many affluent areas that simply are not economical for low margin businesses to use as the their location. Nice high-end malls with fashion oriented retailers are not going have low rent stores nearby with "lingerie studios". Instead the fashionable malls tend to create rings of high value land around them. Some will likely prove attractive to office developers, others to high priced white tablecloth steakhouses / fine dining. Also common are the higher end hotels that serve business travelers. Many times these areas also do get some condominium / apartment development that fits with the needs of white collar workers. Overall this kind of "mixed use" is probably much more likely to have positive results than the wholesale destruction of failed malls. The elements that cause the 20% of malls with vacancy issues to fail are similarly NOT conducive to higher-end restaurants, hotels or residential -- people WITH MONEY TO SPEND are needed for all these places to flourish...

The real problem with the myopic view that "cars are the problem" is the likely negative side effects of artificially removing things like freeways. Instead of clustering things that are valid uses for relatively undesirable land like gas stations near the freeway on-ramp a wholesale destruction of freeways would likely force some gas stations (and their associated "convenience stores") into lower cost residential area. In addition to the negative impacts this might have on the poor people that would then be living downwind from these fueling stations the tendency for these convenience stores to sell cheap beer and other such 'quick trip' items would hurt the ability of smaller community based grocers to make a profit with such high demand / long shelf life goods that can help offset losses from healthier items with a shorter shelf life like fresh produce. Thus the cycle of poor areas being under-served would grow worse as more "organic" grocers like Whole Foods continue to flock to high end malls...

Last edited by chet everett; 01-05-2015 at 11:08 AM..
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Old 01-05-2015, 10:56 AM
 
3,963 posts, read 3,498,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
I didn't say the loop was built for GM, Detroit has made plenty of mistakes besides where GM located their headquarters. In the case of Detroit, that loop functions as a barrier and the GM headquarters is outside of that loop and has a direct freeway connection which is the point I am making. GM might have moved to that location to help with some sort of revitalization, but the way it was done didn't help downtown Detroit.
GM sits on Jefferson Avenue which is a Boulevard and NOT a limited access freeway it is part of downtown and surrounded by loads of activity. Thousands of people cross that street every day to get to other businesses in the CBD. It has played a vital role in the redevelopment of the river front. On top of that it has an exclusive people mover stop that also gives easy access to the rest of downtown. I also don't see how relocating tens of thousands of employees who otherwise wouldn't have been there, doesn't help the city. Have you been to Detroit to see it for yourself?

Last edited by mjlo; 01-05-2015 at 11:33 AM..
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:12 AM
 
2,991 posts, read 1,219,186 times
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From the NY Times article.
Quote:
With income inequality continuing to widen, high-end malls are thriving.
Not surprising from the times. It probably is the 1 per-centers fault.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:31 AM
 
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I am seeing malls close left and right but this isn't new. The mall I shopped at as a child had been closed for years before being demolished. In fact it had a pop culture status due to its being used in a popular movie. However, the reason this mall closed was because the area was going from middle and working class to low income crime ridden and people stopped shopping there due to the danger. This was before the economy was like it is today.

Flash forward to the 80's where mall shopping was the in thing for middle class suburban teens. Mall shopping was a fun day for me and my friends and I did all my Christmas shopping there. I loved it because one was able to find a variety of items. Contrast this to the last few years when I did my shopping in big box stores. Why? cheaper and I find the same things there. This is why middle class areas are losing customers, because many middle class can't afford to spend like in the past. Not to mention courtesy of things like student loans and offshoring, many people have fallen out of the middle class so their only choices are the big box stores.

Sadly, another mall I shopped at has just closed and a few others are in bad financial shape. I have to wonder when more will close.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:09 PM
 
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Default Just so we all understand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idon'tdateyou View Post
I am seeing malls close left and right but this isn't new. The mall I shopped at as a child had been closed for years before being demolished. In fact it had a pop culture status due to its being used in a popular movie. However, the reason this mall closed was because the area was going from middle and working class to low income crime ridden and people stopped shopping there due to the danger. This was before the economy was like it is today.

Flash forward to the 80's where mall shopping was the in thing for middle class suburban teens. Mall shopping was a fun day for me and my friends and I did all my Christmas shopping there. I loved it because one was able to find a variety of items. Contrast this to the last few years when I did my shopping in big box stores. Why? cheaper and I find the same things there. This is why middle class areas are losing customers, because many middle class can't afford to spend like in the past. Not to mention courtesy of things like student loans and offshoring, many people have fallen out of the middle class so their only choices are the big box stores.

Sadly, another mall I shopped at has just closed and a few others are in bad financial shape. I have to wonder when more will close.

What I bolded mostly seems CONSISTENT with the NYT article that was linked to at the start of the thread.

The OVER RETAILING means that stores with SMALLER OVERHEAD COSTS like a big box store can tough it out in an area that has lost its affluent shoppers. The 20% of malls with vacancy issues are predominately in less affluent non-coastal areas.

And for the most part it is not like people are suffering by shopping at big box stores -- they drive their cars there, load up on the SAME STUFF they might have found at a mall and just spend a little bit less.

The dreamers act like getting rid of malls will magically shift our economy to folks buying not mass made goods but artsy fartsy hippy stuff made on communes like "100% organic hemp dashiki hoodies" while we peddle our unicycles. That is just not going to happen...
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Old 01-05-2015, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,544,210 times
Reputation: 7830
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
GM sits on Jefferson Avenue which is a Boulevard and NOT a limited access freeway it is part of downtown and surrounded by loads of activity. Thousands of people cross that street every day to get to other businesses in the CBD. It has played a vital role in the redevelopment of the river front. On top of that it has an exclusive people mover stop that also gives easy access to the rest of downtown. I also don't see how relocating tens of thousands of employees who otherwise wouldn't have been there, doesn't help the city. Have you been to Detroit to see it for yourself?
True, Jefferson is roughly a two block boulevard that connects to freeways and is lined with parking garages. I would wager that those cross the street is probably going to and from their parked cars.

Locating the GM office space in the middle of downtown, at Adams and Woodard or at Campus Martius Park would have had a much different effect on the downtown than the current location. Obviously no one is moving the GM headquarters, so this is just commenting on past events and the better decisions that could have been done.

I have not been to Detroit, but neither have most people here that comment on the city. Not is it a city I ever plan on visiting, nothing there I want to see. With that said, if you have a more local insight, then please correct anything I have said because a local would have a much better hands on experience than I do with Detroit.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:36 PM
 
548 posts, read 638,815 times
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Are there a lot of dead malls in areas that despite being unable to support a mall, have sufficient demand for new housing / speciality retail construction to make it worth redeveloping? Most of the dead malls I can think of are in places where the whole _area_ is declining. That's certainly true where I live now -- a state with high unemployment and a net population decline. There are a couple of malls and plenty of shopping plazas / big box sites that are now abandonded, but little demand for new housing -- and especially not demand for those locations, too close to freeways to appeal to the bucolic suburban buyers, too far from downtown to appeal to upscale urbanites.

I imagine there are some dead malls in areas with demand, but which were just poorly designed and get killed when a new better mall opens nearby.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:02 PM
 
2,991 posts, read 1,219,186 times
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Times change. There has at this same time been substantial growth in outlet malls.
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