CityWay Phase Two: retail retreat and its impact on the street.

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My latest just went up at Urban Indy.  It focuses on the CityWay mixed-used development in downtown Indianapolis, which includes a few hundred apartments, multiple restaurants, a hotel, and a multi-level YMCA.That’s phase one, at least.  Now the developer is embarking on Phase Two, which will double the apartment units (to nearly 500), add some …Read more…

How long before the robots tell us “Thank you, come again”?

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In the suburban fringe of Indianapolis, just within the city limits, patrons of a regional supermarket chain encounter this…um, mural?—as they exit the premises.“See you tomorrow.” Clearly it’s a marketing ploy, gently cajoling the visitor into making the grocery trip a daily occurrence. More than anything, though, this sign is a nod to nostalgia, evoking …Read more…

In Central Falls, a strip mall is still salvation.

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Even in the best of times, the opening of a new strip mall rarely if ever gets anyone’s pulses racing. This one, on the southern boundary of Central Falls, Rhode Island, a suburb of nearby Providence, is no different.The only characteristic that distinguishes this is a certain three-letter adjective that appears in my first sentence—a word …Read more…

Sears at Landmark Mall: all dressed up and nowhere to go.

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We’re all aware of the abysmal condition of the national corporation Sears Holdings Company and its two flagship department stores, Sears and Kmart. I’ve covered both numerous times. For the last decade, the parent company, in a desperate attempt to induce profitability, has shed its lowest performing locations, one after another. But none are well-performing, …Read more…