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A power center turns over a new leaf, only to find more grubs.

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About a year ago I explored one of the few retail typologies that seems to be growing in prevalence during this turbulent era: the power center. It’s essentially the only physical construction that suburban retail developers are building these days. And they usually look like little more than a strip mall on steroids—which, apparently, is …Read more…

Boundary battles over sparklers and smokes?

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We always look for the better deal first. It goes without saying. When two neighboring jurisdictions apply different regulations to a specific good or service for which great demand exists, the industry that financially depends on that good/service will gravitate toward the less stringent side of the boundary line. I’ve pointed this out before when …Read more…

Power centers: where beauty is in the eye of the consumer.

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Particularly in the last few months, this blog has honed in on retail trends that usually point to the slow demise of the conventional, enclosed, middle-class shopping mall. I just can’t get enough of the topic. And most evidence suggests that, with the possible exception of the high-end ones, the mall is typically failing to …Read more…

Getting from A to B via Z(ig-zags).

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I’m in the midst of a particularly intense period at work right now, and I have had literally no time to post. A computer slow-down at the moment is all that’s giving me a breather to squeeze a quick observation in. The second part of my dissection of the neighborhoods/subdivisions in Baton Rouge will have …Read more…

Further proof that car-culture is a religion.

It doesn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to guess that one of the greatest concerns in retaining the viability of historic urban centers involves the accommodation of parking. Ask anyone what his or her opinion of X downtown is, and chances are excellent that the issue of where to put the car will …Read more…