Retail Uses

The granite exterior of the Nordstrom store in San Francisco.

Recent Retail Closures in U.S. Cities Follow Trends Established Before the Pandemic

While some cling to debatable claims about higher crime rates as the cause for recent high-profile store closures in U.S. downtowns, the real reasons are more realistically extensions of the causes of the “retail apocalypse” from the before times.

May 15, 2023 - CNN

New York City Homelessness

Chain Retail Slow to Recover From Pandemic in New York City

2020 was a rough year for retail chains in New York City, making even a slow year, like 2021, look like a recovery.

December 24, 2021 - Commercial Observer


Zoning for Marijuana: Retail Not Included

Local municipalities in New Jersey retain local control in response to a state law that legalizes marijuana businesses throughout the state.

December 23, 2021 -

Dollar Store

Retail Openings Outpace Closures in 2021

An estimated 20 percent of the stores to open so far in 2021 are Dollar Generals.

October 3, 2021 - Retail Dive

Social distancing in a Trader Joe's line in Cambridgeport, Cambridge, Massachusetts March 21, 2020

Opinion: How Trader Joe's Nailed its Pandemic Response

Cities could learn from the grocery store chain's successful navigation of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

February 2, 2021 - Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research

Delivery Services

The Link Between Smart Cities, Fleet Technology, and Economics

The theoretical planning of smart cities could help make city economies stronger as purchasing becomes more straightforward.

December 20, 2020 - Devin Partida

Stay-at-Home Orders

The State of Commercial Corridors (And How to Protect Them During the Pandemic)

The pandemic is accelerating recent trends in commercial real estate with potentially catastrophic consequences for the commercial corridors that play such a fundamental role in the urban fabric.

November 25, 2020 - Urban Institute

Seattle Coronavirus

Seattle Extends Outdoor Dining for a Year, Eases Rules on Heaters for the Winter

Outdoor dining is going to hang out for a bit.

October 22, 2020 - Eater Seattle

New York City Homelessness

The Impacts of Repeated Closures on California Commercial Real Estate

Carl Muhlstein discusses the recent re-closure of California businesses and the subsequent impact on the regional real estate market.

August 21, 2020 - The Planning Report

Washington D.C. Stores

A Tale of Two Real Estate Markets

Hotels, retail, and office properties, along with renters, have been ravaged by the economic downturn of the pandemic. Meanwhile home sales are booming as people with money in the bank take advantage of low interest rates to upgrade.

July 28, 2020 - The Dallas Morning News

Charlottesville Downtown mall

Post-Pandemic Era of Shopping Malls Creates Opportunities for Downtowns

The COVID-19 pandemic and massive mall-retailer closings has left millions of highly skilled workers from the retail and food and beverage industries unemployed and eager to work. Many will seek to open their own businesses in downtowns.

June 1, 2020 - ASLA The Dirt

Restaurant Business

Lessons from the Pandemic: Housing, Retail, Broadband

Second in a series of conversations about what comes next in local government policies and processes, this time between Geoff Koski and Ben Brown on housing, retail, and broadband

May 12, 2020 - PlaceShakers

Boston Parking Meter

Free Parking as a Restaurant Business Incentive During Coronavirus

As restaurants and other local retail businesses ponder how to stay open as people stay at home and social distance for the foreseeable future, parking regulations will likely be reevaluated—they already are in Cincinnati.

March 17, 2020 - Cincinnati Business Courier


It's Easier to Consume Marijuana in Public in Colorado, Starting Today

This article pitches Colorado's new commercial marijuana regulations, including making more space for public consumption, as a way for the state to keep up with California.

January 1, 2020 - The Know


Retail Apocalypse Blazes New Trails

The demise of a beloved outdoors gear chain in Southern California suggests that no store is safe in America's high-priced cities.

December 19, 2019 - California Planning & Development Report

Broadway Downtown

A Sprinkle of Stores: Wrestling With Jacobs's Uncertainty

Jane Jacobs used vague terms to describe the number of stores necessary for a safe and vibrant streetscape. Here, author Fanis Grammenos attempts to discover a more specific number to attach to this prescription.

February 27, 2019 - Fanis Grammenos

Big Box Store

Understanding the 'Dark Store Theory' Costing Local Governments Millions in Property Tax

The New York Times takes a deep dive into the "dark store theory" costing local municipalities millions, and potentially more, in property tax revenues all over the country.

January 17, 2019 - The New York Times

Christmas Shopping

6 Charts to Summarize the 'Retail Apocalypse' in 2018

2018 was more of the same for the demise of retail businesses in the United States.

December 31, 2018 - CityLab

Wayne County Main Street

Keeping Downtown Main Streets Full

Oakland County, Michigan has announced an initiative to attract and retain retail businesses.

September 25, 2018 - Crain's Detroit Business

Great Mall of America

Friday Fun: Can You Save the American Mall? (The Video Game)

It's a free online video game, in retro 8-bit style. What could go wrong?

March 2, 2018 - Bloomberg

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