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  #121  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2018, 3:00 AM
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Spokane's downtown mall seems to work. One reason is they have a Nordstrom due to home-state history.

In other cities, the best downtown retail isn't about getting suburbanites to drive in from the fringe. It's about having a lot of urban residents with money who find it easier to go downtown, which generally means a large volume of transit riders. But just as importantly, all the best retail downtowns have large volumes of tourists, including people who visit the city just to shop.
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  #122  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2018, 12:13 PM
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McKesson didn't sell it's building because of insane rents. It owned the damn building. It sold it to get a return on capital. It turned around and leased all the space back. McKesson's CEO lives in Pacific Heights, he's not going to change a 15 minute commute for an hour-plus commute.
1] True, they did sell the 420k sq. ft. building and leased back 200k sq. ft.
2] They consolidated SF operations to 1 Post to cut costs
3] They moved about 1000 jobs from S.F. to Irving Tex. with plans on expanding that to 2500 jobs
4] McK moved the U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group to their largest driver of revenue and the 'core of their business'.
5] Mck's largest offices are in S.F. Scottsdale, Dallas and Atlanta
6] The CEO said the move to Dallas was because of its large existing employee base, its reasonable cost of living and Texas’ business-friendly climate. The central location and time zone are a great fit for a pharmaceutical supply chain company.
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  #123  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2018, 2:16 PM
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More dead and dying downtown malls:

Des Moines has the HUB which is all but done, best feature left according to locals is the 3rd fl food court, with "international" flavors of Indian Mexican and Asian. But levels 1&2 are near vacant.

Indianapolis has Circle Centre, Now nearly empty of retail with Nordstrom gone, they are in the process of"whats next" convert to office, resi, hotel?

Good example of deconversion was Louisville, they had an enclosed mall but did away with retail a decade or more back. Now 4th St Live. All entertainment, they opened up the street to traffic, although will close down for street fest and music. They left the old mall roof over an entire block long section and bars now front the 1st and 2nd levels which is connected by walkway and sheltered from rain. It active space that can be closed or open.

Milwaukee is now reinventing the old Shops of Grand ave. It is a beautiful space, historic building but failed as retail. Newest is to add a Food Hall, wait and see.

Chicago had closed off State Street traffic in the 80's -FAIL! Opened it up in the 90's and it has seen a slow, steady increase in total mixed use. anchored by Universities (DePaul, Robert Morris, John Marshall, Columbia, Roosevelt) on south end, big hotels and major retail with Target, Macys, H&M. And plenty of new residential mixed in.
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  #124  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2018, 5:06 PM
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A few more additions to the deteriorated downtown mall list:

Minneapolis: In the '80's, downtown Minneapolis had a very strong downtown for retail--largely due to popularity of Dayton's with their incredible flagship store (remember the beginning of the Mary Tyler Moore Show-there'a reason she threw the tam in front of Daytons). But after the Mall of America opened in 1992, the downtown retail market declined. The Conservatory was demolished for construction of US Bank HQ, while City Center and Gavidae continue to exist with significantly reduced retail space.
One could also mention Riverplace and St. Anthony Main, specialty centers located along the Mississippi River across from downtown. These centers flourished in the '80's, but declined rapidly in the '90s. Now they are primarily office space and restaurants, although the surrounding neighborhood is booming with new apartments and condos.

St. Paul: Though never as vibrant as Minneapolis, downtown St. Paul had a decent retail scene with multi-level retail malls at Town Square (built 1982) and World Trade Center (built 1987) adjacent to Daytons (which became Marshall Fields and then Macys--until it closed about 5-7 years ago). A specialty mall was also opened in 1984/85 called Galtier Plaza in the historic Lowertown neighborhood. All three centers still exist, but with substantially reduced retail presence.

Cleveland: Cleveland has two retail malls--Tower City and Galleria. Tower City still has a retail presence, but is a shadow of what it was 15 years ago. I don't think Galleria was ever too successful, but did have some stores like Ann Taylor or Talbots. Last I heard, the Galleria was primarily used as a fitness center.

Toledo: Portside Festival Center was a Rouse Company development in the mid-1980s that was a specialty center. It's now a COSI science museum.

St. Louis: St. Louis Centre was built in the mid-80s and did well for a while. I remember visiting it in 1995 and it seemed to be ok. By the time I returned in 2007, it was a dead mall.

Rochester, NY: The Midtown Plaza was often cited as being the first enclosed mall in any US downtown. It dates back to the early '60s. It was famous for the Clock of Nations. It was a successful mall for several decades. But, sadly, the mall was demolished in 2010.
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  #125  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2018, 5:55 PM
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Cleveland: Cleveland has two retail malls--Tower City and Galleria. Tower City still has a retail presence, but is a shadow of what it was 15 years ago. I don't think Galleria was ever too successful, but did have some stores like Ann Taylor or Talbots. Last I heard, the Galleria was primarily used as a fitness center.

Tower City Center (the shopping center itself, not the Terminal Tower) was purchased by Bedrock Detroit (Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers). From my understanding, they are allowing some leases to expire so they can re-purpose or re-retail the space. Forest City Enterprises was the initial developer and owner - my take is they overshot a little. When Tower City Center opened, it had high-end stores along the lines of Barneys, Fendi, Gucci (and the usual 'mid/upscale' places). Initially the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and several residential towers were planned to be built adjacent, but that never materialized. At the same time, suburban malls had already pulled a lot retail out of the city limits, and downtown Cleveland didn't have much in the way of downtown residential to support it. Coupled with the region's economic issues as well as national retail trends, stores closed and if any retailers replaced them, they were more low-end in nature. Today, there are still a few stores - the only remaining original stores are Brooks Brothers and Victoria's Secret, but the center has good foot traffic given that it's connected to several office buildings, hotels, and the main hub of Cleveland's rail system. The Terminal Tower's lower floors are being converted into residential, so it'll be interesting to see what's next.

The Galleria was successful for a while, albeit not as high-end as Tower City was. Some of the stores that were there:
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Williams Sonoma
  • Brookstone
  • Sharper Image
  • Banana Republic (back when it was a safari-themed store)
  • Express (two-level 'flagship')
  • The Limited
  • Victorias Secret

The Galleria is located closer to the eastern end of the CBD, so its location wasn't as central as Tower City Center, which also had a lock on the upscale retailers. The Galleria declined before Tower City Center and today is lacking any notable retail. The YMCA took over a significant amount of space, Pittsburgh-based Dollar Bank located their regional headquarters there, a few areas have been repurposed into office space and after hours the space is used for corporate events, weddings, etc.
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  #126  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2018, 7:17 PM
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Toronto may have pulled a huge boner when it built the Gardiner Expressway along the waterfront, but its main downtown mall (The Eaton Centre) is doing very well indeed. Due to its central location right at Yonge-Dundas Square, rapid transit access and tourist traffic, it is North America's busiest shopping centre with about 50,000,000 visitors per year.
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  #127  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2018, 7:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MplsTodd View Post
A few more additions to the deteriorated downtown mall list:

Minneapolis: In the '80's, downtown Minneapolis had a very strong downtown for retail--largely due to popularity of Dayton's with their incredible flagship store (remember the beginning of the Mary Tyler Moore Show-there'a reason she threw the tam in front of Daytons). But after the Mall of America opened in 1992, the downtown retail market declined. The Conservatory was demolished for construction of US Bank HQ, while City Center and Gavidae continue to exist with significantly reduced retail space.
One could also mention Riverplace and St. Anthony Main, specialty centers located along the Mississippi River across from downtown. These centers flourished in the '80's, but declined rapidly in the '90s. Now they are primarily office space and restaurants, although the surrounding neighborhood is booming with new apartments and condos.

St. Paul: Though never as vibrant as Minneapolis, downtown St. Paul had a decent retail scene with multi-level retail malls at Town Square (built 1982) and World Trade Center (built 1987) adjacent to Daytons (which became Marshall Fields and then Macys--until it closed about 5-7 years ago). A specialty mall was also opened in 1984/85 called Galtier Plaza in the historic Lowertown neighborhood. All three centers still exist, but with substantially reduced retail presence.

Cleveland: Cleveland has two retail malls--Tower City and Galleria. Tower City still has a retail presence, but is a shadow of what it was 15 years ago. I don't think Galleria was ever too successful, but did have some stores like Ann Taylor or Talbots. Last I heard, the Galleria was primarily used as a fitness center.

Toledo: Portside Festival Center was a Rouse Company development in the mid-1980s that was a specialty center. It's now a COSI science museum.

St. Louis: St. Louis Centre was built in the mid-80s and did well for a while. I remember visiting it in 1995 and it seemed to be ok. By the time I returned in 2007, it was a dead mall.

Rochester, NY: The Midtown Plaza was often cited as being the first enclosed mall in any US downtown. It dates back to the early '60s. It was famous for the Clock of Nations. It was a successful mall for several decades. But, sadly, the mall was demolished in 2010.
The Omni Mall in Miami closed in 2000. The space is now used as an art school and some office space. Mostly just sitting there as Genting tries to get permits for casinio gambling on the property.
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  #128  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2018, 8:12 PM
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How is Salt Lake City's mall doing?
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  #129  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2018, 10:10 PM
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A handful of residential towers will have little direct effect on a mall in terms of providing any decent percentage of customers. A mall might need hundreds of thousands of people as base clients.

But if those towers make the neighborhood seem more prosperous, that might have a bigger effect. Also residents can have an outsized effect on the slowest times...giving restaurants a little more reason to open on a rainy Tuesday night.
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  #130  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2018, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MplsTodd View Post
A few more additions to the deteriorated downtown mall list:

Minneapolis: In the '80's, downtown Minneapolis had a very strong downtown for retail--largely due to popularity of Dayton's with their incredible flagship store (remember the beginning of the Mary Tyler Moore Show-there'a reason she threw the tam in front of Daytons). But after the Mall of America opened in 1992, the downtown retail market declined. The Conservatory was demolished for construction of US Bank HQ, while City Center and Gavidae continue to exist with significantly reduced retail space.
One could also mention Riverplace and St. Anthony Main, specialty centers located along the Mississippi River across from downtown. These centers flourished in the '80's, but declined rapidly in the '90s. Now they are primarily office space and restaurants, although the surrounding neighborhood is booming with new apartments and condos.

St. Paul: Though never as vibrant as Minneapolis, downtown St. Paul had a decent retail scene with multi-level retail malls at Town Square (built 1982) and World Trade Center (built 1987) adjacent to Daytons (which became Marshall Fields and then Macys--until it closed about 5-7 years ago). A specialty mall was also opened in 1984/85 called Galtier Plaza in the historic Lowertown neighborhood. All three centers still exist, but with substantially reduced retail presence.

Cleveland: Cleveland has two retail malls--Tower City and Galleria. Tower City still has a retail presence, but is a shadow of what it was 15 years ago. I don't think Galleria was ever too successful, but did have some stores like Ann Taylor or Talbots. Last I heard, the Galleria was primarily used as a fitness center.

Toledo: Portside Festival Center was a Rouse Company development in the mid-1980s that was a specialty center. It's now a COSI science museum.

St. Louis: St. Louis Centre was built in the mid-80s and did well for a while. I remember visiting it in 1995 and it seemed to be ok. By the time I returned in 2007, it was a dead mall. Also, St. Louis tried to make Union Station, purported to be the largest, busiest single train station in the world when opened in 1894, a mall. It lingered in this way until now (?) i think? the slowest mall death i've ever seen...slowed by historicism i guess.

Rochester, NY: The Midtown Plaza was often cited as being the first enclosed mall in any US downtown. It dates back to the early '60s. It was famous for the Clock of Nations. It was a successful mall for several decades. But, sadly, the mall was demolished in 2010.
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  #131  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2018, 2:37 AM
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Bingo. I say it all the time, but in virtually every one of the worst traffic cities you can go back to a map like this and see how NIMBYs caused highways not to be built resulting in the traffic problems because the highway network as built is incomplete.
I actually don't mind the traffic. I'd rather have intact neighborhoods.

Even huge sprawling cities with massive highway systems still have bad traffic. Dallas and Houston both have some of the largest highway systems in the US and still have bad traffic. San Antonio, too. The last time we were in San Antonio we almost ended up in a multi-car wreck as three cars behind us rear-ended each other. One of them almost jumped the concrete barrier, and we were ~50 feet off the ground on an elevated highway. It was bumper to bumper traffic on a weekend. And I would say San Antonio's highway system is considerably more substantial than Austin's is.
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  #132  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2018, 4:43 PM
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Brickell City Center is a new "downtown" mall in Miami and it has been so successful that they are expanding.

"downtown" mall in Miami and it has been so successful that they are expanding.
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  #133  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2018, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
I actually don't mind the traffic. I'd rather have intact neighborhoods.

Even huge sprawling cities with massive highway systems still have bad traffic. Dallas and Houston both have some of the largest highway systems in the US and still have bad traffic. San Antonio, too. The last time we were in San Antonio we almost ended up in a multi-car wreck as three cars behind us rear-ended each other. One of them almost jumped the concrete barrier, and we were ~50 feet off the ground on an elevated highway. It was bumper to bumper traffic on a weekend. And I would say San Antonio's highway system is considerably more substantial than Austin's is.
For proof that extensive highway systems don't alleviate traffic, just look at Beijing - 6 complete ring roads and still absolutely horrific traffic. Or Shanghai, with 4 complete ring roads and a very thorough overall highway system, and still very poor traffic.
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  #134  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2018, 11:33 PM
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Bingo. I say it all the time, but in virtually every one of the worst traffic cities you can go back to a map like this and see how NIMBYs caused highways not to be built resulting in the traffic problems because the highway network as built is incomplete.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
I actually don't mind the traffic. I'd rather have intact neighborhoods.

Even huge sprawling cities with massive highway systems still have bad traffic. Dallas and Houston both have some of the largest highway systems in the US and still have bad traffic. San Antonio, too. The last time we were in San Antonio we almost ended up in a multi-car wreck as three cars behind us rear-ended each other. One of them almost jumped the concrete barrier, and we were ~50 feet off the ground on an elevated highway. It was bumper to bumper traffic on a weekend. And I would say San Antonio's highway system is considerably more substantial than Austin's is.
I once saw a model from the early 1990s of what TxDOT had planned for the stretch of I-35 through downtown Austin. They wanted to add another 8-lane elevated deck above the current trenches and elevated split decks, and then construct large flyovers to access these all decks at regular intervals from the east-west downtown grid streets. It was determined that these flyovers would require ramps each running the length of 6 city blocks, which, combined with running length for ramp-entry yielding, meant that the flyover ramps from I-35 would have practically emptied directly onto Congress Avenue! With such flyovers reaching out 6 downtown city blocks on either side of the highway into both downtown and East Austin for a total additional total width of 12 city blocks, the new I-35 and its tangled tentacles of flyovers would have been wider than the original downtown grid itself. To accommodate the new flyover ramps, the east-west grid streets would probably have had to be widened, demolishing the surrounding facades. So outlandish was this mega-highway design, boasting in some trench areas 4-layers of roadway with additional flyovers above, that the model was immediately dismissed after its presentation before a horrified council.

Sadly, I no longer have a copy of a photo of this model, and I can no long find it online. Too bad, as all the flyovers and perpendicular ramps gave the model highway the peculiar appearance of a giant wooden centipede having landed from outer space and straddling the miniature city. I did find brief mention of the planning behind the model in a 2002 Austin Chronicle article: "Born to be Reviled: Easing on down the road will be tough for TxDOT's I-35 expansion plan" (Dave Mann, Sept. 20, 2002).

It can and has been argued by the "Keep Austin Weird" crowd that if someone is moving to Austin to live in the suburbs and only commute through Austin to reach suburbs on the other side, perhaps they are missing the point of living in Austin. Demolishing Sixth Street to build a highway ramp to access Congress Avenue directly from I-35 is mindboggling in its anti-urbanism:

Austin's recognizable Sixth Street:

(Image by John R Rogers on Flickr)

What they had planned for Sixth Street:

(Image from Austin-American Statesman My Statesman.com)

Similar ramps would have also been at Fourth Street and in the front of the State Capitol. What were they thinking!? Equating people to only cars, and then counting only cars but not people.

Of course, I-35 downtown has never been so expanded, and it is a nightmare highway to drive through along with the rest of Austin's highways. Yet, Austin is still growing despite its notorious congestion and relatively small highway network. Indeed, its growth leads the nation and its downtown skyline has undergone the most dramatic increase in building construction in the U.S. over the past 20 years.

San Antonio makes a great contrast of the other extreme, for it readily pursued the rapid creation and expansion of its almost triple-ring highway network, such that in the 1960s its highways system was among the most extensive in the U.S. A San Antonio Express-News article from the time period, "Bexar County Has Recorded Two Decades of Dramatic Progress in Highways" (Jan. 16, 1966), even boasted that the city "was to witness the growth of a metropolitan highway complex that today ranks second only to Los Angeles County in California." Heart your heart out, Robert Moses! Two factors lead to this outsized complex: the concentration of national military bases around San Antonio in a logistical center midway between both coasts but furthest south from potential Soviet bombers approaching from over the northern pole, and the willingness of San Antonio civic leaders to purchase and grant land for highway construction in a federal program that would accelerate the prioritization of highway construction based in part on such local contributions. This was seen as getting a leg up on competitor cities for highways dollars, and as a way of opening access for local property holders with large exurban tracts

However, San Antonio's modern growth, even with this oversized highway network, has been comparatively lackluster. It has diffused its largest economic generators out into the suburban sprawl. USAA built a headquarters whose floor area nearly equaled one of the twin towers of the former New York World Trade Center, a significant construction for any city, but, instead of building it in the downtown core where its concentration of workers could additionally impact surrounding business, they built it out in the sprawl where its campus of workers now primarily impacts traffic. UTSA is even further out on the farthest edge of farthest loop. Meanwhile, traffic congestion has not been improved, with the population and the traffic problems merely spun out into edge city while the core was long sapped of vitality. The comprehensiveness of the large highway network has not especially helped San Antonio, and in many ways Austin, even with its smaller highway system and smaller population, has caught up with and surpassed San Antonio in economic dynamism.


_________


On the mall discussion, San Antonio's downtown mall at Rivercenter has a noteworthy caveat in the huge art deco Joske's Building, formerly the Joske's Department Store and later the Rivercenter anchor Dillard's. Joske's once billed itself as "the biggest store in the biggest state" and commanded a gateway site into Alamo Plaza, but as Dillard's it could barely fill the ground floor and basement as department store retailing was sucked away into the ring city following suburban flight. It had been largely in a retail holding pattern with empty floors as owners try to figure out how to redevelop it into a the base of a hotel tower. The more modern end of Rivercenter Mall directly faces the city's convention center and sports a boat dock for Riverwalk tours, however, it is also on a weak, uninteresting edge of the downtown core and even boasts flat parking lots behind the Alamo.

Last edited by Hindentanic; Sep 29, 2018 at 4:58 AM.
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  #135  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2018, 12:17 AM
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For every dead mall, there is tons of new street level retail in many cities.
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  #136  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2018, 7:14 PM
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1] True, they did sell the 420k sq. ft. building and leased back 200k sq. ft.
2] They consolidated SF operations to 1 Post to cut costs
3] They moved about 1000 jobs from S.F. to Irving Tex. with plans on expanding that to 2500 jobs
4] McK moved the U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group to their largest driver of revenue and the 'core of their business'.
5] Mck's largest offices are in S.F. Scottsdale, Dallas and Atlanta
6] The CEO said the move to Dallas was because of its large existing employee base, its reasonable cost of living and Texas’ business-friendly climate. The central location and time zone are a great fit for a pharmaceutical supply chain company.
McKesson's business model and the entire drug middle man business model is in jeopardy because it contributes an unnecessary layer of profit into drug prices. Regulation and direct purchase from manufacturers are coming. They probably saw the need to cut costs drastically.

But this pattern is common and sensible: Move the low-salaried drones to some place they can afford but don't disturb the luxury lifestyle of the C-suite.
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  #137  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2018, 7:49 PM
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Somebody with better recent knowledge of New Orleans should step in and make corrections, but I seem to remember two malls opening downtown in the mid to late 1980s. One was located over near the Super Dome and contained a Macy's and maybe a Lord and Taylor. I don't think Holmes or Maison Blanche had stores there. There was a ton of free parking in parking structures. The mall was behind the Civic Center and in the shadow of the Super Dome. It might have fronted on Poydras St. It was gone ( I think) by the late 1990s. A second smaller and posher mall was built at the foot of Canal on the bottom floors of a hotel or office complex. It contained a Saks, Brooks Brothers, and other upscale retail. It may still exist. Finally a long serpentine river front mall was built on the riverside of the convention center that seemed to do quite well for a number of years. I don't know whether it reopened after Katrina. I have not wandered outside of the Warehouse District or the Quarter during recent visits, and lately I stay across the lake with family in Mandeville. My New Orleans information is getting sketchy at best. When I first arrived in New Orleans in 1964 to attend Tulane, the major retail destination for the region was still located on Canal Street which was home to three large local department stores, four or five large specialty stores like Godchaux's, Kreeger's, Gus Mayer, and a host of jewellery stores, shoe stores, and other retail mainstays. There were small suburban malls, but folks still came downtown to shop. By the 1980s most of the Canal Street shopping was in steep decline.

Last edited by austlar1; Sep 29, 2018 at 8:05 PM.
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  #138  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2018, 1:11 AM
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There is actually a plan to "cut and cap" I-35, but I'll probably be an old man bitching about teenagers in my rocking chair before it happens. But it would be sweet. It would do away with the upper decks and would "tunnel" the lanes while adding some new ones through the current route - all underground. Then we'd get back what was originally East Avenue before I-35 swallowed it whole, and it would be fronted with brand spanking new development with plenty of towers I'm sure.

https://austin.curbed.com/2017/9/21/...-downtown-plan

https://austin.towers.net/from-inspi...ns-from-txdot/

https://austin.towers.net/reconnect-...g-out-of-time/

This is an eventual "what if" rendering. These are mostly pipe dreams as some of the land is being redeveloped this very moment, but it's a hint at what could front what is now I-35. This mock up rendering doesn't show what would likely replace Brackenridge Hospital (large white building middle upper right). It also doesn't show what will likely replace the Frank Erwin Center (the round building).


https://austin.towers.net/reconnect-...g-out-of-time/

Austin's eventual buildout will look something like this.



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  #139  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2018, 3:48 AM
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Somebody with better recent knowledge of New Orleans should step in and make corrections, but I seem to remember two malls opening downtown in the mid to late 1980s.
There were three malls in downtown NOLA and two still exist, and are reasonably successful.

Canal Place is the upscale mall, with a Saks. It exists and does well. Quite small, though.

Riverplace is an outlet mall. It was originally built as an 80's-era festival marketplace, failed, and was recently rebuilt as outlet mall. I think it does OK.

New Orleans Centre had a Macys and Lord & Taylor, and was never super successful. It was finally closed after Katrina, and demolished.
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