Retail: Walkable Urban Primer with Southwestern Inspiration
"There are all sorts of reasons for the current retail imbalance that has created dark and under-performing storefronts in the heart of second tier cities, and some of it has to do with perception. Retailers are biased against locating in poor areas, even though the spending power per acre of poor neighborhoods is usually significantly greater than the suburbs because of greater density. Adding to perception problems is the very real problem of land use, which often favors the suburbs. We’ve blogged extensively about how to level the playing field as well as pointing to the places that are upgrading zoning practices." "Trying to build a downtown out of just specialty shops also doesn’t work because form follows anchor. You can only support about 30,000 square feet of retail without an anchor. And that doesn’t necessarily mean a baby box retailer anchoring main street – non-retail amenities like a library, post office, and courthouse are all strong civic anchors." Borys goes on to share Gibbs pointers on market preference, anchors, the mix, walkability, and retail merchandising essentials.