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, under the name “Greenwood Town Center”. Here’s an early rendering.
I could easily cavil about the fact that this image makes it appear as though 85% of the site is devoted to parking lots, but it’s not so much about that. The big question is whether Greenwood and Johnson County, growing at a reasonably good pace but certainly not surging, really need that much more square footage devoted to retail. After all, within a five mile radius of this proposed development (indicated by the blue asterisk on the map below) are four other major retail nodes.I’ve ranked these by how vulnerable I think they will be to “retail cannibalism” from the new proposal–unless, of course, the new proposal flops. But who’s going to win from all this? Greenwood? The south side of Indy? Why is the United States so obscenely overbuilt with its retail? This article explores this nationwide predicament, while offering potential solutions to help salvage the persistently successful Greenwood Park Mall, which I’ve also blogged about much in the past.
I look forward to any further discussion on the topic, from both Indy natives and those elsewhere across the country who can offer insight from their own examples.