Lifestyle Focus: Every Force Evolves A Center

As the suburbs have developed into new exurban modes, there remains nostalgia for the old town-center grid. Lifestyle centers seem to be an expression of that sentiment.
August 11, 2004, 5am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Lifestyle centers, in fact, are a reversal of the mall concept, taking their lead more from the traditional strip center: Whereas the mall is a closed space, the lifestyle concept calls for open air, often with porch roofs that lend an Old West or Old London look (depending on coastal orientation). Whereas malls are egalitarian, playing up and down the economic scale, lifestyle centers are selective, or specialized, playing to the upscale communities in which they are located. And, whereas the mall is a pure product of the suburbs--a large retail footprint set in a sea of parking--lifestyle centers seek to create a cosmopolitan accessibility and timbre. Indeed, curbside parking, sidewalks (sometimes in Colonial Williamsburg brick), lamp posts and the strategic use of fountains and public gathering space telegraph urbanity with its associated claims to discernment, old-world values and classicism."

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Published on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 in REIS
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