Yearly Archives: 2015

Is it time to peel back our provisions for parking?

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With few exceptions, any time a person living in a less urban area must patronize a business in a more urban area, a single question emerges… “What’s the parking situation like?” But this commonplace consideration masks an underlying predicament that’s a lot hairier: what is the perception of parking at the destination? And, as is …Read more…

Parsimonious (but potent) pedestrian provisions.

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If you don’t have the money to make it aesthetic, at least you can make it functional. This seems to be mentality that Hoboken, New Jersey, America’s most walkable city, endorses in some of its streetscape improvements. Considering the high median incomes of this city of over 40,000 people per square mile, it’s a bit …Read more…

At the Indianapolis City Market, the tenant’s the thing.

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I’ve covered familiar territory with my latest blog post–so familiar, in fact, that I decided to feature the full article on Urban Indy instead of here.   Yes, it’s the Indianapolis City Market once again.I first covered it in 2009, when the market was a sad place, plagued by vacancies, excessive seating (just about any …Read more…

Biblical Flooding on a Biblical Floodplain, Part I – The recipe for natural disaster.

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Whether wildfires, tornadoes, power plant meltdowns, explosions, epidemics, bankruptcies, school shootings, Godzilla invasions, or roving bands of undomesticated alpacas on the loose, the essential agreement for a disaster to capture the public eye is magnitude. This isn’t brain surgery. Size is generally the variable that semantically distinguishes disaster from catastrophe, or separates predicament from setback. …Read more…

Turning up the heat by removing the kitchen.

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How do you know when a commercial area is—to use a phrase I hate—“going downhill”? Take a good look at who the tenants are. Sometimes it’s merely a matter of rising vacancy levels, but if the occupancy levels are high while those tenants are radically different from just two years prior, something’s afoot. It’s usually …Read more…

Will doggie bags replace shopping bags?

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With the future of malls more uncertain than ever, it’s understandable that mall management must defy tradition now and then, if that’s what it takes to secure a tenant. Because these days it’s not about finding the right tenant; it’s about finding any tenant at all. America is already among the most over-retailed countries, perhaps …Read more…

Why America deserves its retail blight.

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My latest was just published in full at Urban Indy.  It focuses on a new greenfield development proposed in Greenwood, the first suburb just south of Indianapolis.  The proposal, at a site just off of I-65 at County Line Road, includes 700,000 square feet of retail in what is anticipated to function as a lifestyle center arrangement, …Read more…