Author Topic: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto  (Read 8133 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« on: June 22, 2012, 03:03:28 AM »
Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto



Michele Bozzuto, vice president and Managing Partner of Jacksonville-based Mad Men Marketing ponders if the St. Johns Town Center has ruined Downtown Jacksonville's chance for survival?

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-jun-guest-series-michele-bozzuto

vicupstate

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2012, 05:00:11 AM »
National retailers are not going to be the salvation of DT jax.  Local and regional ones will be, if and when a turnaround ever happens.

The only exceptions that there may be would be the Landing,(provided there was a major overhaul)or maybe a corner drug store like Walgreens.
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simms3

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 07:31:02 AM »
Good question/article.  I find myself asking if Midtown Atl retail was essentially killed by Atlantic Station a half mile away, but the answer is no in short.

Many mall/national brands are suffering immensely right now with too many locations and bad product, and many have killed relationships with landlords.  There is a shortlist of good brands out there that landlords want, and these brands are creative and looking for opportunities to do something different.  That includes locating in unique urban areas/high streets rather than fortress malls like SJTC.

I would count these retailers as:

J Crew (includes Madewell and bridal shop brands)
Ralph Lauren (includes successful redo of Club Monaco)
Steven Alan
Rag and Bone
Uniqlo (Japanese, expanding in US)
Scotch and Soda (Dutch, expanding in US)
Jack Spade
Billy Reid
Gant
Blue Ridge Mountain sports
Free People/Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie (definitely not doing the mall thing anymore...UI is even in DT Asheville, NC)
Jonathan Adler
Apple (looking to get out of malls and do some more unique stores)
Louis Vuitton (credit multi brand luxury shop looking to get out of malls)
Trader Joe's...they average over $1,000/SF in sales, more than any other grocer including Whole Foods...now expanding in Columbia, SC
Lululemon (I'm actually surprised they went to SJTC and not San Marco)
Intermix
Diane von Furstenburg

Nashville has a few of these retailers, albeit next to their mall in a walkable infill development that is soo cool.  Jacksonville needs a cool infill driven area to attract a real estate shop that can pull these brands in.  The pre-empter will be cool locals/regionals/mom and pops and foot traffic.

If Jacksonville is in America, and I think it is, then SJTC has not killed all chances for urban retail.  SJTC is a fortress mall like any other, and most cities have multiple/many fortress malls with same tenant mix as SJTC, and yet their downtowns/urban areas are all exploding right now despite and many of these malls are actually doing pop-ups as a desperate move to fill newly empty space.

MetroJacksonville needs to explore the idea of pop-ups, and before it does so it should PM me because the king of pop-ups is employed by my firm and has taken pop-ups to a whole new level.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 08:15:52 AM by simms3 »
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Bill Hoff

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2012, 07:40:53 AM »
The majority of SJTC is does not seem designed to be walkable, just the core. All the expansion surronding the core is not anymore walkable than your average strip mall. The walkable core is whar draws people in.

Bill Hoff

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2012, 07:42:11 AM »
The majority of SJTC does not seem designed to be walkable, just the core. All the expansion surronding the core is not anymore walkable than your average strip mall. The walkable core is whar draws people in.

jaxlore

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2012, 08:40:19 AM »
I don't know, at first I had the same feeling about the town center. But now I tend to believe that downtown's growth has to happen, dare i say "organically". Forcing high end retailers into downtown for downtown's sake wont work. But if anyone has been down there at night on a weekend or during art walk it's starting to be a busy place. Once we start seeing a more successful locally owned local businesses the bigger ones will come.

But i say let them stay at the town center. I would rather have a home grown art/culture/funky life downtown then town center part duex.

jtwestside

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2012, 09:04:34 AM »
I think it's more of a chicken or egg argument. Did St. Johns Town Center ruin Downtown Jacksonville's chances for survival or were they ruined by mega-churches and politics well before St. Johns Town Center came along thereby causing the growth of the "town centers" (St. Johns and River City Marketplace).

thelakelander

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 09:10:50 AM »
I don't have much to say other than the SJTC has not ruined downtown Jacksonville.  SJTC is a mall just like Gateway, Philips, Normandy, Roosevelt, Grand Boulevard and a host of other malls that have come and gone since the 1950s.  On the other hand, downtown is a neighborhood and community within its own right.  Rebuild downtown's economic structure and it will be just fine, no matter how many malls pop up in the burbs.
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fsujax

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 09:20:59 AM »
Churches have not ruined Downtown. I get so tired of that lame argument. Cheap, vast, sprawling land connected by highways ruined Downtown!

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 09:25:49 AM »
I don't know, at first I had the same feeling about the town center. But now I tend to believe that downtown's growth has to happen, dare i say "organically". Forcing high end retailers into downtown for downtown's sake wont work. But if anyone has been down there at night on a weekend or during art walk it's starting to be a busy place. Once we start seeing a more successful locally owned local businesses the bigger ones will come.

But i say let them stay at the town center. I would rather have a home grown art/culture/funky life downtown then town center part duex.

You, I and a whole lot of other people really feel the same way.  Last night was fun.  I went to the Kona event, ate at Burrito Gallery, hit up a few bars and went home, but for me that's kind of normal - except for the event and the thousands of other people that it drew.  The same with the Truckies Event.  The same with Jazz Fest.  The same with most any other PROGRAMMING/EVENT meant to draw in crowds that wouldn't normally come downtown.

That's the key.  Try and have something going on all the time.  It doesn't have to appeal to everyone, as evidenced last night.  Hell, do a Pops Under the Stars on a Friday night that caters to the older crowds.  Just do something that's going to bring people in - the rest will work itself out.
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CityLife

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2012, 09:28:30 AM »
You don't have to rely on national retailers to create a vibrant downtown or urban neighborhoods. Look at Asheville, Brooklyn and countless others. Actually look no further than BOrlando. They have way more heavy hitting national retailers outside of downtown (stuff the SJTC dreams of). Yet they have a much more vibrant downtown than Jax and it is made of up of mostly locally owned small businesses.

I once talked to a rep from Ben Carter Properties at a conference and jokingly told him how poorly designed I thought the SJTC is. He agreed and said that they knew the SJTC would have little competition in town and thus they were able to design/build fairly cheaply (not that you didn't know that). Its a horrifically designed faux urban area and the people of Jacksonville will start to realize that when or if Downtown, Riverside/Avondale, and San Marco really blow up. You can't just plop one long stretch of 1st floor retail in the middle of a giant surface parking lot and create any kind of walkable, urban environment.

I give the SJTC about 10 years max before the love affair wears off. The traffic is already horrific and there really isn't much developable land in proximity to make it more than it already is. I don't know how long the leases are for the retailers there, but as demographics shift in Jax, as more people start moving back to the urban core, and if we can get some transit in place, I think it would be very easy for a developer to pick off any of the SJTC stores that would do well in downtown.

But we need to focus on duplicating whats happening in Riverside/Avondale downtown right now, before we even start to think about national retailers. Like Jaxlore said, I'd rather have that than the SJTC anyway.


« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 09:37:03 AM by CityLife »

copperfiend

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2012, 09:30:02 AM »
Churches have not ruined Downtown. I get so tired of that lame argument. Cheap, vast, sprawling land connected by highways ruined Downtown!

I think the sprawl is part of it. I think lack of vision by people in leadership positions is a major factor. As was consolidation.

CityLife

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2012, 09:35:38 AM »
Churches have not ruined Downtown. I get so tired of that lame argument. Cheap, vast, sprawling land connected by highways ruined Downtown!

There is cheap, vast, sprawling land connected by highways in every city in the United State. Yet we find ourselves well behind the curve.

That is totally on the former leaders (or lack thereof) and power players of this city. I'm not saying it was the churches fault, but it wasn't just because of cheap land.

fsujax

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2012, 09:40:37 AM »
^^it played a big role as was documented on this site with the Skinner family article. We just can't seem to figure out how to bring some of the growth back downtown.

CityLife

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Re: Guest Series: Michele Bozzuto
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2012, 09:52:19 AM »
^^it played a big role as was documented on this site with the Skinner family article. We just can't seem to figure out how to bring some of the growth back downtown.

Of course it played a role, just like it played a role in the suburbanization of America. However, our past leaders let it happen.

One needs to look no further than the architectural gems that our idiotic city allowed to be torn down. If downtown currently had this architectural stock in place, it would be far, far, far, far easier to redevelop. Not to mention that it would probably be a tourist destination for the architecture alone.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2009-jan-lost-jacksonville/page/