Originally Posted by Mappy
Even if this does not get built, someone needs to build up the retail/commercial properties of Walnut St on Washington Sq if they are really trying to create a "Rittenhouse Sq east" vibe - which seems to be the idea here.
Something more serious than palm reading and bible shops needs to go here to diversify purposes of foot traffic through/to the area.
There's plenty of great retail along Walnut west of 7th street. The one bible shop is a bit strange, but next to it you have some great restaurants, a nice children's store, Nuts to You, etc. It's a nice retail mix, I'm not sure what you mean by "more serious". There's plenty of foot traffic along Walnut and things are pretty cohesive West of the square at least.
The thing with Washington Square is that it's ringed by large buildings that don't have convenient retail floor plates for various reasons (Curtis Building and Penn Mutual are unlikely to alter the historic facade for many reasons. Hopkinson House has retail, but it's set back behind a driveway and doesn't really add much to the vibe.) The Talutia's Garden Cafe which recently opened up in the Aria Building is a nice little addition, but aside from that you're not likely to get much retail facing the square. Given the federal grass lot collection along the north side of Walnut to the east of Washington Square, I don't think there's ever going to be a humming retail district there. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, the area is very nice as it is.