[sbs_tax tax="States"] [sbs_tax tax="Albany"]

Summit, New Jersey: does a promenade between two buildings represent an opportunity gap?

For much of the twentieth century, it was an all-too-common occurrence: an old commercial structure in a declining downtown struggles to compete with the strip malls cropping up everywhere on the outskirts.  Over time, the old building—retail on the first floor, office or warehousing on the next two/three/four levels—becomes functionally obsolete.  It’s drafty, the plumbing

Chipotle bucks the struggling restaurant trend, by predicting the future. What’s so tricky about that?!

A year ago, the prevailing wisdom among urban analysts was that restaurants would serve as the lodestar for any further downtown revitalization.  I shared this sentiment, particularly in recognizing the recent, fashionable emergence of the food hall–a smattering of diverse small-kitchen eateries under one roof.  The reality seemed, then as now, that most other retail—certainly

Tom's Diner: Googie architecture in Denver

Googie gets guardianship: conserving the Atomic Age through Tom’s Diner in Denver.

It’s not every day that a person stumbles across a location that he or she had recently read about in the news, completely unintentionally.  But that’s exactly what happened earlier this year as I nudged my way forward, from a side street onto Colfax Avenue, the main east-west arterial in Denver.  And low and behold:

Circle Centre Mall’s silver anniversary: can we scrape away the tarnish?

I was recently quoted in an Indianapolis Monthly article celebrating the 25th anniversary of downtown’s Circle Centre Mall.  As anyone who has visited recently can attest, there’s not a great deal to celebrate at this point.  I’ll concede that my last visit was in early 2017, shortly before the closure of Carson’s (at that point the only

Café Dolci on Market Street: will defensive downscaling (and social distancing) pave the way for more microretail?

In the approximately eighteen months since I walked along the underachieving arterial of Market Street in downtown San Francisco, its character has changed far more than anyone might expect. For such a prime thoroughfare in such a densely populated city, it’s surprisingly mediocre in terms of the density of foot-traffic, which, not surprisingly, leads to