“Certainly better, livelier and brighter signage can be helpful to attract new stores and restaurants to the area and make these blocks a more inviting shopping and entertainment destination,” he said. “We are dealing with several national tenants interested in this location, and more flexible signage options and a more dramatic streetscape would be considered a plus for them to locate here.”
Originally Posted by Ninjawho
Oh I totally agree...I just think the plan seems a little shaky if they're saying they can't build it because the funds are dependent on the signs being in place. That doesn't seem like prudence or even legit business practice. I feel like the funding should be in place without anticipating the revenue produced by these signs.
It's considered a "plus", but it doesn't strike me as imperative to locating on Market Street. When I think of the Mag Mile in Chicago or Newbury Street in Boston (granted, two historical high-street commercial areas), the signage for those stores is significant, but isn't Times Sq-esque. Although, the streetscape is
part of the city's responsibility to encourage and support high-volume commercial tenants.
“There’s so much misinterpretation out there,” said Paul Levy, CEO of Center City District. “It’s completely different from Times Square though it is using the technology. Times Square isn’t even close to what we are thinking about. Toronto and Boston have sign districts and this is even more restrictive.”
I must say, I trust Paul Levy. He's proven to go against a lot of awful planning principles that have been in the interests of big, expedited development. I feel like he regularly reconciles the need for development and proper planning.
A sign overlay would be a needed boost to the project, Botel said, since the current lending environment is still tight for new construction and retail rents don’t support it either.
“It would be a challenge without the sign district,” he [Larry Botel, managing partner at JOSS Realty of New York] said. “We don’t want it to be loud and flashy, but it needs to be what it is to enliven the street.”
I get it. The capital expenditure for a project of this scale wouldn't be able to recover the cost through rents alone. Or at least it will take a longer period of time to do so. But then you ask yourself, Why are you doing it if you can't justify it without changing a signage law? What they're saying is that the market isn't there, but they can shoehorn this development in only by changing a law. And how much more money can more prominent signage/advertisements bring? If the cost of the project is $100 million, how much would the sign district have to capture to make it a worthwhile amendment?
I need more information if I'm going to reconcile Paul Levy's endorsement with the seemingly veiled attempt to change a law by dangling a development that the city has wanted for so long.