Author Topic: Is Springfield a viable retail market?  (Read 116636 times)

iloveionia

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #180 on: November 22, 2010, 07:11:46 PM »
Not meaning to get off track to the thread, but why doesn't the city pay for the lights?  A community not for profit has to pay?  Really?  What is wrong with the city?  Ridiculous.


sheclown

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #181 on: November 22, 2010, 07:23:24 PM »
We've lost too many bus stops on Main Street.

Business in the thrift store has dropped since JTA did away with the bus stop on the corner of 7th and Main.  Sometimes I think we go out of our way to keep the sidewalks nice and clear of people.

iloveionia

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #182 on: November 22, 2010, 07:33:42 PM »
The way Main Street was created with the median and not all the through streets was meant to be walkable. But walk to what?  No offense to the thrift store or other businesses, albeit few, there. With the exception of the Boom Town Building and the Woolworth's, and maybe the New Orleans style old A-Z Sandwiches building, Main Street is in good shape, BUT NO STORES, EATERIES, ETC.!!!!!!!!!


sheclown

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #183 on: November 22, 2010, 07:49:16 PM »
We used to get folks walking from the bus stop on 8th Street to the bus stop in 7th Street and stopping in to kill some time at the thrift store.  Sure, these weren't the folks who would frequent an "eatery" but they did buy $4.00 pairs of jeans. French fries at Carls or a DVD at the pawn shops.  Now these folks are gone too.

And I sat in a SHADCO meeting where eliminating bus stops was all the talk.  Spoken from people who do not have a clue about retail realities and their Main Street.

If a thrift store or a pawn shop or a Carl's can't make it b/c all customers are eliminated, who is going to want to take a risk on the "forgotten block" of Main Street? 

I really don't know.

« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 07:51:42 PM by sheclown »

sheclown

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #184 on: November 22, 2010, 07:54:00 PM »
Hell, people wouldn't even walk down our block for the Main Street celebration.  They drove by and waved...(at the time it seemed like the middle finger).

sheclown

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #185 on: November 22, 2010, 08:15:26 PM »
Don't even get me started about parking.

On a good Tuesday morning, the ladies of the Bible class take up the entire west side of Main Street from 7th to 8th. Not a problem since there is only one business open on the east side of this block so there is always plenty of parking.

What would happen if a coffee shop opened up as successful as 3 layers?  Have you seen what parking is like on the corner of 6th and Walnut on a busy night?  Put a couple of successful businesses there and you'd have to walk, for quite a distance,  since there is no place to park. 

A potential business man or woman will notice available parking...

Angled parking would have helped, it would have doubled the parking places.  
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 08:18:11 PM by sheclown »

strider

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #186 on: November 22, 2010, 08:32:27 PM »
It cost quite a bit to light up the streets every night.  SPAR Council (and perhaps HSCC before them) made a deal to have those pretty lights added, but had to agree to pay for them.  The same with the fancy plantings that needed watered, they had to agree to pay for the cost of the water.  The city agreed to pay for the lights and their installation, the plants and the sprinkler system. I suspect deals like this between the city and communities are pretty common.  

I think someone had promised to pay for the lights and water for a time period and everyone thought someone else would step up, but then came the long delay in getting the last 2/3rds of Main done and the economy and here we are. Last time the lights were on, they only did the first few blocks, this time it is all of Main at least.

In theory, the businesses along Main would be happy to contribute to have the pretty lights and keep the plantings well kept, but under the circumstances, no one has nor probably will. If it was a vibrant area with real possibilities instead of the past's flawed promises, the businesses would have asked to do it.

I have to ask, what exactly has SPAR Council accomplished with the LISC funds for Main Street?  I have yet to see real tangible results for the betterment of the community.

SHeclown is very right about the bus stops. Those cries that Springfield had too many bus stops and needed to have far fewer came from those who never ride the buses.  It has hurt the few business on our block of Main Street.  It reduced the odds of something like a hot dog shop being able to make it on that block.  It also illustrates very well why things like rubber wheels buses and trolleys can not and will not bring the needed development to an area. The whole concept can be taken away on the whim of the JTA or the local organizations. No business could depend on a customer base with just a trolley stop near by.  It makes a big argument for Streetcar with fixed, expensive stops that will not be moved anytime soon.

While Main Street was being worked on, some started the cry for bike lanes.  Then we would have had zero on-street parking.  About that time, a few on this forum said parking would not be a problem but frankly, it is about 10% of the time.  Like Sheclown said, if there were just a couple of real, active businesses on every block, it would be a problem 90% of the time.  SPAR Council and SAMBA had a meeting about this issue and some good info came out of it, but the conversation died quickly.

We have a lot of good intentions and talk going on now about the commercial corridor. I do wonder if we are really past the old way of thinking though.  Can we move past the "not welcomed" if the business does not meet some out of this world ideal some have and recognize that every single business there has value and is needed?  I don't know.

The rents were never "out of line" - at least not per the realtors who were telling the owners what to charge.  Yes, some owners were greedy, but you can also place the blame on some realtors and the local organization telling everyone that only certain business were welcomed. And that the overlay said things it did not. All to control the who and the what.  That didn't work out that well for all of us, now did it?

Main Street needs help.  And it will get it.  We are finally moving out of the darkness and into the help not hinder stage and so look for a few to do some pretty great things here in the next year or so.

"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement." Patrica, Joe VS the Volcano.

iloveionia

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #187 on: November 22, 2010, 08:46:46 PM »
FYI, south of 6th on Main was not lit tonight.  But 7th-8th was beautiful with trees and lights.


sheclown

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #188 on: November 22, 2010, 08:51:10 PM »
:) It is a beautiful sight.

movedsouth

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #189 on: November 22, 2010, 11:50:34 PM »
About the median lights: This was discussed at the last round table meeting. Indeed, SPAR foots the bill for the median lights. I think the cost they quoted was around $300 a month, but it depends on the hours (this is for dusk to 11pm if I recall right). Given that SPAR pays for it, SPAR also controls when they are turned on. A donation to SPAR may keep the lights going longer. Right now, SPAR only pays for it during events. During the round table meeting, they talked about JEA turning them on by mistake in the past in response to residents calling JEA about the "outage".

Guess we can be happy that the City is paying for some lights around here :(

Main Street is in a very sad state right now, and it is not any particular entities fault. Greedy developers sitting on properties, a city that lost its downtown focus, missing residential density around it. In many ways, what we call "downtown" is no longer functioning as a downtown. Areas around JTB are much more downtown like (jobs + shopping + residential density) then what is geographically called downtown.


sheclown

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #190 on: November 23, 2010, 06:42:52 AM »
It is a perfect storm of tragedy, but certainly misguided attempts at gentrifying Main Street at the expense of the reality of the current retail situation hastened its death.

~encouraging JTA to get rid of bus stops on Main Street & 8th Street
~silly boycotts of 'uncooperative' businesses
~using commercial corridor dollars for expensive studies and consultants instead of real & lasting improvements to the existing building fabric
~all out war on places like the car wash (you think that brought a rush of potential businesses in?)

Make no mistake about it.  Main Street, business-wise, is worse this year than last.  

Even tax places are relocating to a more vibrant location.



« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 07:06:17 AM by sheclown »

CS Foltz

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #191 on: November 23, 2010, 06:53:58 AM »
Well Main Street upgrade did not do a whole lot for anything sheclown! That was not its  purpose,( stupid though it seems!) it was to make it look better! It is cleaner, but that is about it......once again the City had no vision, no plan and no means to fund it! There has never been anything that I am aware off to fully address these issue's in Springfield? So much for the representative doing their job, but I degress............this may be something that your next representative can get involved in and SOS might get some input! I know that the business's need to band together or there will be no business's!

thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #192 on: November 23, 2010, 08:15:13 AM »
No.  When I was a SAMBA board member, I wanted to have JTA shift their entire BRT corridor to Main Street (although not many liked that idea).  The more frequent reliable bus service on your commercial corridors, the better, in my opinion.  As Strider said, they won't spur permanent development in the form of major construction but riders can support existing businesses and create opportunities for complementing enterprises (ex. hot dog stands, etc.) to open near major stops.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 08:19:27 AM by thelakelander »
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nvrenuf

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #193 on: November 23, 2010, 08:26:41 AM »
I know it was brought up at a SHADCO meeting by Sgt Short. Less bus stops = less excuses for people hanging around claiming to be waiting for a bus.

thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #194 on: November 23, 2010, 08:39:38 AM »
basically, this sounds like a solution that throws the baby out with the bath water.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali