Author Topic: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South  (Read 13932 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« on: June 22, 2011, 08:27:48 AM »
Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South



Metro Jacksonville revisits a long-lost retail landmark downtown and ponders what it will take for downtown to get back on retail's radar.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-jun-sears-the-cadillac-store-of-the-south

KenFSU

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2011, 08:46:59 AM »
Really fantastic, well researched story.

duvaldude08

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2011, 08:57:18 AM »
The cycly of life is funny. Its like Regency killed downtown retail and Regency is being killed by the Avenues and SJTC, RCMP. That photo of DT in 1960 is amazing.
Jaguars 2.0

Garden guy

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2011, 08:59:48 AM »
Even more now does it seem strange to see fields of parking lots on the most expensive property around...hopefully one day i can go downtown for all of my shopping needs..it's only 5 mins away...why can't we get even a small national store downtown..maybe a mini full service Target?...or even a Sears again...that would be cool....the new hip modern sears in downtown..

thelakelander

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2011, 09:07:22 AM »
Speaking of parking lots, i'm working on a graphic now that visually compares the amount of surface parking lots in downtown Jacksonville to surface parking in a variety of cities across the US and Canada.  I thought it was going to be a quick process, but we have more than I originally imagined, so it will take me the rest of the week and through the weekend to finish the Jacksonville map.  When that article runs sometime next week, you'll clearly see what we're up against in our effort to spur walkability and life in downtown.  In the meantime, here's one of downtown Pittsburgh:


http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=5303339&postcount=51
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riverside planner

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2011, 09:15:31 AM »
Such a great piece!  I remember going to the Downtown Sears (and May Cohens and Ivey's) as a kid.  My aunt worked there and it was always such a treat to go meet her for lunch with my mom and grandmother.

Wacca Pilatka

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2011, 10:41:14 AM »
Great article and what a delight to see all of those photos, many of which I'd never seen before.  It is always a pleasure to learn more about the history of Jacksonville retail.
The tourist would realize at once that he had struck the Land of Flowers - the City Beautiful!

Henry J. Klutho

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2011, 11:28:59 AM »
Once again, looking to the past to rejuvenate ideas and models that are not going to work in the modern age with malls and town centers are a waste of time.

Increasing foot traffic might bring more retail, but in order for that retail to in turn increase foot traffic it needs to be something customers cannot get elsewhere and more conveniently. Pouring tax dollars into this model is also wasteful, and should be better spent on encouraging development and removing obstacles to allowing locals to create this environment.

The exception, as some point out, is parking. This needs to be addressed and planned significantly better than it has been. I am not sure what keeps some of these places closed at night, but it doesnt make sense.

Trying to to score some branded retailers is bogus. What we need to do is remove restrictions and hurdles that keep local people wanting to do business in downtown out of business. There are plenty of other department store locales. We need to create a Jacksonville identity, that people want to experience and go downtown for, then the big guys will follow the crowd.

I hope the new mayor is serious about these efforts and not just creating a new resource drain and more committees. We need: Better Public transportation. Perhaps more street vendor licensing. Tear down condemned buildings, offer incentives for restoration or occupancy. Offer the same kind of assistance that RAP does to homeowners for businesses in the areas, perhaps partner with building owners to provide assistance directly to renters. A better homeless solution. Sanitation has improved but some places still need work.

thelakelander

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2011, 11:52:41 AM »
Once again, looking to the past to rejuvenate ideas and models that are not going to work in the modern age with malls and town centers are a waste of time.

That's not the purpose of looking at and understanding the past.  You do that to understand how to repair your natural organic economic model.  The bells and whistles stuff like tourism, retail, etc. are byproducts of what that base economic anchor system generates.  So at the end of the day, sometimes a site like the JEA or Shipyards may be better off for downtown being industrial, maritime or logistics related instead of tourism and luxury residential?  Maybe we should be looking at how to expand places like Maxwell House and North Florida Shipyards instead of hoping they can be replaced by condos, green space and marinas?

Quote
Increasing foot traffic might bring more retail, but in order for that retail to in turn increase foot traffic it needs to be something customers cannot get elsewhere and more conveniently. Pouring tax dollars into this model is also wasteful, and should be better spent on encouraging development and removing obstacles to allowing locals to create this environment.

The exception, as some point out, is parking. This needs to be addressed and planned significantly better than it has been. I am not sure what keeps some of these places closed at night, but it doesnt make sense.

Trying to to score some branded retailers is bogus. What we need to do is remove restrictions and hurdles that keep local people wanting to do business in downtown out of business. There are plenty of other department store locales. We need to create a Jacksonville identity, that people want to experience and go downtown for, then the big guys will follow the crowd.

I hope the new mayor is serious about these efforts and not just creating a new resource drain and more committees. We need: Better Public transportation. Perhaps more street vendor licensing. Tear down condemned buildings, offer incentives for restoration or occupancy. Offer the same kind of assistance that RAP does to homeowners for businesses in the areas, perhaps partner with building owners to provide assistance directly to renters. A better homeless solution. Sanitation has improved but some places still need work.

Overall, if you really want to turn downtown around, you do the things necessary to create and stimulate the growth of a organic economic anchor.  Most likely, it should be something where it won't be cost effective to one day pick up and move to another area of town or to a completely different city.  Think medical (places like Baptist and Shands aren't going anywhere), government (COJ isn't relocating to Cecil or SJTC), education, maritime (the river won't be moving to Tinseltown), etc.  Build around that structure and you'll discover the byproducts will come on their own dime.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 11:54:26 AM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

finehoe

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2011, 12:09:34 PM »
Quote
...the redevelopment of the site into the Enterprise Center and Omni Hotel, both of which remain in this location today.

Which have to be two of the ugliest structures ever built downtown.

Lunican

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2011, 12:11:20 PM »
So at the end of the day, sometimes a site like the JEA or Shipyards may be better off for downtown being industrial, maritime or logistics related instead of tourism and luxury residential?  Maybe we should be looking at how to expand places like Maxwell House and North Florida Shipyards instead of hoping they can be replaced by condos, green space and marinas?

This is a great point. I always thought the suggestions to move Maxwell House out of downtown were completely off base.

Gravity

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2011, 12:22:36 PM »

Overall, if you really want to turn downtown around, you do the things necessary to create and stimulate the growth of a organic economic anchor.  Most likely, it should be something where it won't be cost effective to one day pick up and move to another area of town or to a completely different city.  Think medical (places like Baptist and Shands aren't going anywhere), government (COJ isn't relocating to Cecil or SJTC), education, maritime (the river won't be moving to Tinseltown), etc.  Build around that structure and you'll discover the byproducts will come on their own dime.

This is my point, Currently there are more favorable conditions elsewhere. You cannot regulate businesses, successfully, to locate a specific place. You have to deregulate, intelligently, so people make the decisions themselves. Anything else is a false market economy that will vaporize once laden, such as the recent housing market bust. We have enough buildings... and a lot are falling apart.

The exception, as i said, is parking and of course public transit. Solve these problems, people will come to what is being built. Customer bases will expand, business will thrive, on its own dime. We also need a better homeless solution. I do not want to take my daughter downtown and have belligerent obscenity hollering or aggressive panhandling. It is less sightly, but more family safe to go to the mall. And in most places in this city it is closer.

We need an identity... unique and marketable.

fieldafm

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2011, 12:40:55 PM »
Quote
You cannot regulate businesses, successfully, to locate a specific place. You have to deregulate
'

Current auto-centric zoning downtown does not encourage infill and pedestrian-scaled development.  It was 'de-regulated' years ago and what we have today are suburbanized, auto-centric building projects that have been stuffed in an urban environment like a child in kindegarden tries to stuff a round peg into a square hole.

Jaxson

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2011, 12:42:28 PM »
The cycly of life is funny. Its like Regency killed downtown retail and Regency is being killed by the Avenues and SJTC, RCMP. That photo of DT in 1960 is amazing.

so true!  we are quite fickle and we contribute to the decay of our city by chasing the next new, shiny thing to the detriment of everything else...
John Louis Meeks, Jr.

fieldafm

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Re: Sears: The Cadillac Store Of The South
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2011, 12:44:25 PM »
BTW, stopped in and made a purchase at Icon yesterday(in between Burro Bar and Poppy Love Smoke)

You should stop in.  It's a cool, unique store... stuff you can't get anywhere else in town.

Rents downtown are starting to get very attractive for small business growth.