Originally Posted by WorldTexas
It's a little too far off the beaten path to have viable retail right now. That's a long walk down Avenue A or Karnes with no street activity to pull you down to Newell. Converting the Samuels Glass building would be a better play.
You've got the be kidding, right? It's located at the end of the N/S street that cuts through the heart of the Pearl, Karnes, with significant residential density already immediately adjacent (not to speak of the additional this would bring). Retail here would instantly be simply a footprint expansion of existing retail capacity because it isn't off the beaten path at all. It's right there. Like literally. Literally across the street from the Pearl, even if the particular thing right across the street does itself not have retail.
Not only that, but it is adjacent to a river north access point with its foot traffic (as is, of course, the Glass building). The fact that they don't have a patio restaurant at the top of the ascent from the river, let alone a whole battery of retail spots fronting Newell is simply criminal. They wouldn't even need to offer public parking. The pearl's parking is a block away, and the population density and foot traffic of the area would be enough to carry the entire thing given the increases that would come with the ground level retail.
And even more: its on the main frontage of I-35 which is among the most visible locations in the entire city. The daily car traffic alone is enough to generate tremendous visibility for any business that occupies those locations which would guarantee their success.
Again, to reiterate: not off the beaten path at all. Not in the slightest and this should have retail. Period. That it doesn't is criminal.
And if you think the Samuels Glass Co. building would be a good spot for commercial space (which I agree -- it screams for a restaurant or event flexspace in an adaptive reuse), then why not pair that with retail across the street so that they can play off of each other and help each other build foot traffic on this end of the Pearl. And shouldn't we want the Pearl to better connect with downtown? Building foot traffic through here is the way to do that. And guess what? This little spot around the corner of Camden and Newell is a critical place in which to accomplish that goal. After all, right across the highway are another good bunch of residential developments, as well as SAMA.
In fact, I'd wager that a street interactive reuse of the Glass building that focused against Newell wouldn't do as well if there weren't also commercial activity here.