HRT’s New Southside Facility

4 12 2009

HRT is in the process of building a new facility for Southside services. The old (really old) maintenance building still had the old trolley tracks in the floor. The new facility will be up to date and include everything that is needed to operate an efficient, safe bus system. In the future, the building will also include a mixed-use development with shops, apartments, etc. Once this project is completed, the mixed-use portion should bring people (especially pedestrians) down Monticello Ave. When new must be built, this is the kind of development that needs to be considered to bring Norfolk into the future instead of stagnating in the past.

18th Street Facility

15th Street Facility

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Downtown Anchors?

23 11 2009

Everyone knows that nearly every shopping center in the United States relies on “anchor stores,” or large department stores or “big box” stores to bring in the interest sufficient for generated foot traffic to the small stores situated between each anchor. Without these anchors, most malls would close down quickly.

MacArthur Center

 

  • Dillard’s
  • Nordstroms
  • Regal
Chesapeake Square Mall

 

  • Macy’s
  • JCPenney
  • Sears
  • Target
Gallery at Military Circle

 

  • Cinemark
  • JCPenney
  • Macy’s
  • Sears
Lynnhaven Mall

 

  • JCPenney
  • Dillard’s
  • Macy’s
  • AMC
  • Dick’s
Pembroke Mall

 

  • Sears
  • Kohl’s
  • Stein Mart
  • Regal
Greenbrier Mall

 

  • Macy’s
  • JCPennys
  • Dillard’s
  • Sears

My question is this: Why can that same principle not be applied to Downtown in general? For example, I think a Macy’s would make a great fit into Downtown’s plan and clientele. I don’t think, however, that it should be part of MacArthur Center. Instead, I think that Macy’s would be a good fit somewhere outside, such as the building on Market between Granby and Monticello (used to be TCC offices and Targeted Publications). This location would be in good proximity to MacArthur. Shoppers would shop at Macy’s and cross the street to MacArthur Center. In fact, compared to standard malls like Greenbriers, with four anchors, this location would be a de-facto fourth anchor to MacArthur.  However, because it is outside, the patrons would be inclined to shop around on Granby Street, leading to an increase in demand for Granby Street storefronts. As for the Center’s elusive third anchor, I think that something like a Best Buy (or better yet, their new competition in the region, hhgregg) would be good. A Target would be another good store to have, but since Norfolk has no full electronics store, the hhgregg might be a better option. This third anchor would be included in the current plan, of course. If you are unfamiliar, Norfolk’s vision of the third anchor lot is a high rise, mixed-use building, including an anchor, perimeter storefront shops, and apartments/condos and/or offices upstairs. This plan would do wonders for the Center, due to its residential population.

Norfolk 2020 Plan

Norfolk needs to start looking at Downtown as an area with faded boundaries. They have spent that past 30 years trying to divide it. We have office space on Main St., Commercial Retail on Granby St., etc. We need to mix this up a bit. Stores won’t move in by themselves unless there is sufficient foot traffic. You can’t get foot traffic without having residential towers. Norfolk needs to try to get these stores to work with developers to build mixed use, high-rise residential buildings with plenty of storefront shops. Additionally, they need to attract larger retailers as “anchors” Downtown. A full-time residential population, combined with jobs and retail, is the key to a successful, viable Downtown.

Cambie St & W 7th Ave., Vancouver - Note the Urban Home Depot. Across the street is an Urban Best Buy. There are condos on top of each of these buildings