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View Poll Results: What do you think of the National Harbor in PG County?
I love it! It is fantastic!!! 10 17.54%
It's OK, and should get better as the economy recovers! 18 31.58%
It could be better...a whole LOT better. 22 38.60%
They should rename it "National Disaster". 7 12.28%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-18-2010, 06:08 PM
 
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I went to National Harbor this past weekend with my friend and had fun. It was crowded, and people were just walking around, looking peaceful and enjoying themselves. I even enjoyed one of those much-maligned art stores, trying my hand at drawing a live model.

Yes, they need to put some more stores out there. But no, not the same stores as everywhere else. Yes, it's sididdy and hello! I think that's what the developer was aiming for. Sididdy, see and be seen place with quirky boutiques, art stores and other expensive spots. My view is that they need a Nordstrom or Saks out there.

It still needs to develop. Yes, the parking is pricey. But why is it that every time PG tries to aim high, folks keep clamoring for the average? You want Foot Locker? Go to Bowie Town Center for heaven's sake.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:32 PM
 
Location: 5 years in Southern Maryland, USA
791 posts, read 2,382,548 times
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Keep in mind everyone, National Harbor isn't finished yet. They are still planning the National Childrens Museum --- plus the Disney Corp. is planning some kind of facility there.

Meatkins, when you buy groceries in NoVa, I hope you realize you are shelling out an extra 2.5% sales tax there.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Some T-1 Line
520 posts, read 815,773 times
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"Yes, it's sididdy and hello! I think that's what the developer was aiming for." - bowian
I never said you could not aim for sididdy. But, you could have some meaningful stores to shop in. See below for a reference of areas that offer some great stores that are considered sididdy, yet have good quality stores.

"why is it that every time PG tries to aim high, folks keep clamoring for the average? You want Foot Locker? Go to Bowie Town Center for heaven's sake." - bowian

You must not be from the neighboring area around Nat'l Harbor (as your name suggests). The point is, what good is having a development in your neighborhood if you cannot shop there. It's not about the money with me, trust me. My wife and I can afford every store down there 3-fold. The point is, the quality of stores. You said it yourself, "...they need a Nordstrom or Saks out there.", but yet you sound frustrated that I'm complaining because anytime I need to shop, I cannot do so in my own neighborhood. If the Harbor had what the average mall had, I wouldn't have a problem with them charging for parking. But, I am not going to pay for "average" and that is exactly what the Harbor is.

And, let me ask you, after you tried your hand at art, did it lead to an art sale? Did you walk out with a new purse/wallet from one of the stores. Or, were you just down there to take in the newness of the Harbor. I am not being sarcastic; I am just asking. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you are from the neighborhood you would understand the frustration.

Finally, why would you tell me to go to Bowie Town Centre for Foot Locker when that is over 30 minutes away. Shouldn't I be able to buy a pair of shoes (whether high-priced or cheap) in my own neighborhood. That is the sole point that I am trying to make. It's not about Foot Locker, they were just an example. It is about quality and variety. You can go to Georgetown, Tysons I and II, Greenwich Village in NYC, Westfield Shopping Centre on Market Street in San Francisco and you will find that they have great high-priced stores, and they have some wonderful middle-classed stores. Maybe I did not articulate myself in my previous posts and did not convey this critical point effectively.

I appreciate your feedback. Thank you for your comment.

"They are still planning the National Childrens Museum --- plus the Disney Corp. is planning some kind of facility there." - slowlane

You are right, slow lane. Thank you for pointing that out. These are added bonuses to the neighborhood, and that is wonderful, if they come. But, again, retail-wise I cannot shop in Nat'l Children's Museum, unless it's something for the kids. Same with Disney.

When Xmas comes, or you want to do some random shopping, it's frustrating when you have to leave your neighborhood to run and get things that most neighborhoods have.

"Keep in mind everyone, National Harbor isn't finished yet." - slowlane

And, again, I understand that it is still a work in development, but when I am developing software applications, I can pretty much tell what kind of end-product I am going to have by the time the prototype and customer requirements have been approved.

Last edited by ajsmith365; 10-18-2010 at 07:42 PM..
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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Ajsmith, I used to live in Upper Marlboro and had to go to Bowie or Waldorf to shop. So I have a bit of an idea how frustrated you are. I don't mind venturing out and exploring new places to shop. But I also do a lot of online shopping.

As for the art store, if I had wanted to buy something and it fit in my budget, I certainly would have done so. Instead, it was more valuable for me to meet some people and chat, and walk on the piers and watch my friend taking pictures. The only thing we bought was some Godiva chocolate. Lol.

I'm frustrated not with you but the quick criticism of a place that is a work in progress.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:51 PM
 
6,014 posts, read 6,518,511 times
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Quote:
Retail Shopping: What retail shopping? I mean, it's like Milt Peterson and his organization thought the best way to keep the riff-raff out was to put in high-sididy.....
1) what's wrong with keeping out the riff-raff?

Quote:
... They did not want any sneaker stores or any other stores that would attract young, "urban" people to the area. Everyone wears tennis shoes. Every demographic shops at Foot Locker, Ann Taylor, etc, or their comparables. There are no complimentary men's stores or women's stores in the area, and, if so, there is not enough variety. There may be, at best, 1 store where a man can buy a pair of jeans - and the jeans are $100+ bucks! The t-shirts are > $50. There is no electronics store, no bookstore, and no regular place to eat (ie., McDonald's, Johnny Rocket, a dang-on Cinnabon, or put a Fudgery in that place, please). If you count the number of stores open, they have a higher percentage of art galleries (I believe they are up to 5 art galleries) than they have clothing stores. That's 5 art galleries, 1 shoe store, 3 clothing stores for women, 1 furniture store (I don't know why), 2 handbag stores, and 1 jewelry store. Wow, I did not know that art was so popular.
2) I live in Bowie, not the immediate area of the Harbor Center. So I'm sure my answer is influenced by that. But I don't think HC was supposed to be regular neighborhood shopping. It's supposed to pull traffic from a broader area and demographic.

Harbour Center is menat to pull from all over the area, NOT just locally. It's to be a 'destination.' Why the heck would any developer put a sneaker store or McDonal's there? HC is not the place for Foot Locker Anna Taylor, an electronics store, etc. It wans't MEANT to offer stores in a normal mall.

Now, perhaps, the problem for you ajsmith may be that there is no OTHER place for that either. But don't blame the HC developers for that. That was not their project.

Isn't there shopping near Largo/Arena drive, there's a Petsmart a Borders, a new Wegmans etc. Granted that's not your very immediate area either. But it's closer than Bowie.

I've been to HC and loved it. And spent money. Three friends an I having a our own 'reunion weekend' went. And we all loved it, and all ate there shopped and spent money. Because it was the HC -- and not an odinary mall.

What the heck is so 'destination about annapolis- columbia- or P.G- Wheaton or Montgomery, mall?' That's just ordinary retail. HC is supposed to be just what it is. Higher end destination shopping.

If you want ordinary sneaker stores and mall stores lobby lawmakers to court those retailers for another mall area somewhere else nearby perhaps. Election day is approaching and a perfect opportunity to vote out people who haven't been able to deliver what who say has been missing for so long.

3) Also when you moved to the area it already apparently didn't have the kind of retail you wanted. I'm not asking to be indignant. But if that was important to you why'd you move there? Perhaps this is NOT the case with you. But I''ve seen people on these boards move to Columbia for example or Jessup or Upper Marlboro -- and then complain that there's no night life - there never was. So why'd they move there if that's what they wanted.
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Some T-1 Line
520 posts, read 815,773 times
Reputation: 448
selhars, your points are duly noted. But, again, I think responses are so fixated on the "Foot Locker" text; it was only used as an example. Let me communicate this, again, "the Foot Locker and other stores were used as an example." My point being, and I know the National Harbor (not Harbour Center) is only 3+ years old and this is a rough economy, but you can still gauge a project by it's milestones (it is midway through completion...2012).

Also, I never said the mall you sited were destinations. In fact, I used higher-end malls from my experiences (both local and national). And, to be honest with you, I don't know of a mall in America, maybe the Mall of America in Minnesota, that is a destination; to me, they are just convient shopping places.

But I totally agree with you about your point #3, even though it was hard for me not to take it as being indignant as written text can always get misconstrued. But, I will go back to one of my original points, and critiques, and say that they have blown marketing 101. Erwin Pearl has already bitten the dust. Two other stores folded as well (1 inside the Gaylord and 1 outside). For the demographics, the sales will not be there for the retail stores. The restaurants and attractions will do well because that is what the people are going there for. Ben & Jerry's will be okay. But, the retail stores will be in trouble because (1) the VA visitors will not shop there...only socialize as bowian did, (2) the locals won't buy due to frugality, affordability, brand recognition, or lack of interest, (3) the tourist clientele (people staying in the hotels) will only do the tourist stuff, not the retail buying.

But, I thank you and appreciate your comment. Both you and bowian make great points. You are absolutely correct, the Peterson Co. has the right to build whateve they want, and I have the right to critique it. And, I am waiting for Woodmore Shopping Centre to open in T-minus 10 days; now Best Buy is a little closer for me (I think that one is open now).

God bless. It's all peace and love; and I am glad you and others are adding value and other perspectives to this thread. THANKS! BTW, my wife and I have been trying to move for a while now, anyway (relocation). But, while I am here, I thought this was a good topic to discuss.
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Some T-1 Line
520 posts, read 815,773 times
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My responses are in blue. Thanks, bowian, for the good feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowian View Post
As for the art store, if I had wanted to buy something and it fit in my budget, I certainly would have done so. Instead, it was more valuable for me to meet some people and chat, and walk on the piers and watch my friend taking pictures. The only thing we bought was some Godiva chocolate. Lol.
Bowian, it's all love. Don't mind me, I am frustrated, but not at you, just at the things I see that, to me, do not make sense (for whatever that's worth). But, your upper quote proves my point about the viability of the Nat'l Harbor (NH). Great place to socialize, not a great place to buy. I may have had respect if they just canceled all the retail stores and just made it a big touristy, socializ-y (no such word, but sounds good) place with Ice Sculptures and restuarants and such. But, if you check my other post, like the one about marketing 101, NH will either change their direction on the type of stores or make it a hodge-podge of boutiques and familiar stores. Everyone's socializing there (I'm there frequently) and eating, but no one is shopping.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bowian View Post
I'm frustrated not with you but the quick criticism of a place that is a work in progress.
Again, bowian, you are so correct. I am guilty of this and you are right. I guess we, no I, need to practice patience. It is just like criticising Obama in year 2 of a 4-year term given the extreme circumstances he has to deal with. But, again, sometimes you can see where a train is heading even before it reaches its destination.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:39 AM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 11,213,404 times
Reputation: 3176
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlane View Post
Meatkins, when you buy groceries in NoVa, I hope you realize you are shelling out an extra 2.5% sales tax there.
Thank you slowlane, I'm certain of that and personally I DON'T CARE how much extra I spend my pockets will survive. I'm tired of going to grocery stores in Oxon Hill/Fort Washington and have people talk to me like I'm a dog. When you come to the shopping centers there's trash everywhere, the Giant in Eastover told me one time that they don't even bring the carts inside while they are open, they just leave them out in the parking lot for the people to go get them and told me that's what I had to do. I don't support mediocrity, I don't support ghetto-ness, especially when I pay my hard-earned money.

If people in these areas are okay with the way things are fine, but that's why my wife and I are sitting here and planning our escape out of PG County. I'm tired of the sorry Fort Washington Giant that has looked exactly the same since I was born, I'm tired of seeing like 3 liquor stores at every corner in Oxon Hill and random people standing out there like they don't have anything better to do. I'm tired of the people who work at the local carry outs that don't even have any common courtesy to even greet you and they get an attitude when you ask them for something simple like a packet of ketchup.

So if it seems silly that I pay extra money to shop in VA than so be it. I will continue to take my family out to VA to shop and even get carry out food before I support these establishments until they decide to change. That's why I don't mind the National Harbor for what it is, because it shows that this county is at least trying to keep up with something. I do understand ajsmith365 concern though, given the economy and the local neighborhood, people aren't very likely to go there, and people from VA/DC can eat and shop at places like that in their own neighborhood, but I think it has to be a balance. You can't have teenie-bopper stores like the Blvd, which is what killed that shopping center, and then have upscale shopping. If they are going to put something that fits the clientele more than perhaps they should consider a chain like Macy's or Neiman Marcus or whatever appeals to locals because besides going out for a nice dinner (if you can afford it), most local residents won't shop there.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:47 AM
 
1,831 posts, read 3,732,962 times
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No problem, ajsmith. I was at Harborplace in Baltimore on grand opening day in the 80s. That place sure has changed and it's really sad. Harborplace also had the boutiques, a few artsy things and pricey stores. What happened? Riff-raff? The economy? I don't know. So I think that your assessment of the marketing issue is correct in that they need to keep people coming back as the novelty wears off. Thanks for posting this thread.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:59 AM
 
1,831 posts, read 3,732,962 times
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No problem, ajsmith. I was at Harborplace in Baltimore on grand opening day in the 80s. That place sure has changed and it's really sad. Harborplace also had the boutiques, a few artsy things and pricey stores. What happened? Riff-raff? The economy? I don't know. So I think that your assessment of the marketing issue is correct in that they need to keep people coming back as the novelty wears off. Thanks for posting this thread.
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