In retail, appearances aren’t everything. They’re the only thing.

I’ve pontificated upon main street retail numerous times on this blog, yet I still haven’t come close to running out of good material. The subject (and retail in general) is deeply sensitive to individual circumstances, and the ingredients of a healthy, vibrant, low-vacancy main street often evolves steadily, right along with our shifting consumer preferences.

Chatham Park: a great new development under threat by its own neighbors.

My latest just went up at Urban Indy.  I’ve covered the proposal multiple times in the past.  A developer in a downtown Indianapolis neighborhood called Chatham Arch wants to repurpose the site of a long-underutilized old elementary school, occupying an entire block.  It currently looks like this: He wants to transform it to this: A mix

A business grows organically—the building is just its chrysalis.

It’s not easy to predict what, on any given day, might avert the eyes of a photo-driven blogger like me. Since empiricism generates most of my blog articles, usually it really does come down to what stimulates my own two peepers. Then I take a picture of it, often hastily. (Which is why I call

Steak ‘n Shake: nostalgia comes around full circle.

The average Midwesterner will probably recognize the icon visible through this smudgy windshield. But he or she might not be so familiar with the aesthetic.As the white-and-black sign indicates, it’s a Steak ‘n Shake—a leading candidate for the most Midwestern restaurant out there…right up there along with Bob Evans. The chain, which survived numerous ups

Have fun. Violators will be prosecuted.

It’s a serene setting: a community park in the verdant, affluent borough of Glen Gardner, New Jersey, population 1,700.The park is almost as obscure as the borough itself, which consists primarily of a main street that runs parallel to the lightly traveled Route 31, with a creek and a thick wall of trees separating the

Steak ‘n Shake: nostalgia comes around full circle.

The average Midwesterner will probably recognize the icon visible through this smudgy windshield. But he or she might not be so familiar with the aesthetic.As the white-and-black sign indicates, it’s a Steak ‘n

Have fun. Violators will be prosecuted.

It’s a serene setting: a community park in the verdant, affluent borough of Glen Gardner, New Jersey, population 1,700.The park is almost as obscure as the borough itself, which consists primarily of a