Author Topic: Is Springfield a viable retail market?  (Read 116635 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #225 on: August 21, 2013, 09:32:16 PM »
Where's Alexander's Grill?  Never heard of them.  Also, has anyone tried out Hip Hop Chicken?
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DDC

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #226 on: August 21, 2013, 09:57:08 PM »
Where's Alexander's Grill?  Never heard of them.  Also, has anyone tried out Hip Hop Chicken?

I have eaten at Hip Hop Fish and Chicken several times but not in the past 3 -4 years. I was never disatisfired with the food. Always good portions, tasty, nothing fancy but good food. I was working in the area at night and it was one of my rotation of eateries.
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strider

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #227 on: August 22, 2013, 08:15:23 AM »
There was a comment in this thread about how well Main St was doing north of MLK to the Trout River. What are you talking about? Using the same 5 year standard the following businesses have closed

Food Lion
Jackie's Seafood (later reopened as Fella's and closed again)
ABC Liqour
McDonalds
Jax Bargain Plywood
Another hardware store closed on 48th and Main, I forget what its name was


The only businesses of any substance that have opened are
Save-A-Lot reopened in the old Food Lion. However, they're only using roughly half the foot print. I have trouble seeing what else might go there.

Hip Hop Chicken
Alexander's Grill (If there is a Part 3 to the Hole in a Wall series, these guys deserve a shout out. Good wings and very generous with portions)



As mentioned, Save a lot opened in half of the old food lion.

Jackies is undergoing a long and major renovation to be opened as something?

ABC is still empty as is Mc Donalds

JAx Bargain Plywood is a new business now.

The old hardware store was Monks Hardware and it is still an empty building.

Traditionally, the northern part of Main has been doing better than the Historic Springfield area.  Stephen is at least partially right in that for a period of time, there was a group of people in Springfield who tried to determine who, what and where when the market had other ideas.  It no longer matters who they were or what their actual game plan was, it didn't work and hurt the commercial corridor.  I think that what we see on Main today is simply the natural state of affairs. It is not a particularity successful commercial corridor no matter what section you look at.  It is an average older area and it shows in the types of businesses and the lack of new construction.  Though the latter may not be a bad thing as it doesn't look like all of the rest of America that way.

It would be a bit interesting to do a study about how each of the road design philosophies effect the commercial aspects as there are at least four different designs used from First Street to the Trout River.
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FSBA

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #228 on: August 22, 2013, 08:28:14 AM »
Where's Alexander's Grill?  Never heard of them.  Also, has anyone tried out Hip Hop Chicken?

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ChriswUfGator

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #229 on: August 22, 2013, 08:40:55 AM »
The stupid medians on Main Street and the removal of bus stops will continue to inhibit commercial viability until reversed. Both SPAR initiatives naturally. Removing the bus stops eliminated a lot of blue collar but employed foot traffic, and the medians make it a hassle to get to a particular storefront, not to mention they've had the effect of creating something of an expressway with much faster traffic than before. In every city I've seen install those medians it's basically the same result, it inhibits commercial development. And tufsu spare me the "it's a state/federal road, they were mandated" argument, almost all of the rest of main both north and south of Springfield doesn't have them, it was one more SPAR decision the rest of us get to live with.


chris farley

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #230 on: August 22, 2013, 09:26:33 AM »
Quote
The stupid medians on Main Street and the removal of bus stops will continue to inhibit commercial viability until reversed. Both SPAR initiatives naturally. Removing the bus stops eliminated a lot of blue collar but employed foot traffic, and the medians make it a hassle to get to a particular storefront, not to mention they've had the effect of creating something of an expressway with much faster traffic than before. In every city I've seen install those medians it's basically the same result, it inhibits commercial development. And tufsu spare me the "it's a state/federal road, they were mandated" argument, almost all of the rest of main both north and south of Springfield doesn't have them, it was one more SPAR decision the rest of us get to live with.
Unquote
Above completely untrue, except I do not know about the "inhibition".  Some of the first things I saw when I came into Springfield in 2000 were the beautiful Main Street Plans on the walls of the Historic Springfield Community Council (HSCC).  Glorious drawings. HSCC had offices in the Woman's Club Building.  Phil Neary was president and he fought for Main Street restoration.  The medians were put back as restoration of the original ones, sadly we could not get trolley tracks on them  The rest of Main Street does not fall under historic guidelines, as does our section.  The idea was to try to recreate.  One of the engineers who supervised the Main Street redo, said he regretted not making the historic part of Main single lane with nose in parking in the other lane.  Bus stops are not a local entity decision.  SPAR was not really involved in Main Street until after the merger of HSCC and SPAR.    As to the decision on the plantings that was done at community meetings held by GAI, I just wish we had gone for palm trees.

peestandingup

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #231 on: August 22, 2013, 10:02:35 AM »
The stupid medians on Main Street and the removal of bus stops will continue to inhibit commercial viability until reversed. Both SPAR initiatives naturally. Removing the bus stops eliminated a lot of blue collar but employed foot traffic, and the medians make it a hassle to get to a particular storefront, not to mention they've had the effect of creating something of an expressway with much faster traffic than before. In every city I've seen install those medians it's basically the same result, it inhibits commercial development. And tufsu spare me the "it's a state/federal road, they were mandated" argument, almost all of the rest of main both north and south of Springfield doesn't have them, it was one more SPAR decision the rest of us get to live with.

Yep. I've said this same thing all along. As soon as I saw the finished product (coupled w the removal of bus stops), I knew it was a killer. Its going to be nearly impossible to recover from it until its redone (with people who's agenda is to actually promote walkability instead of hamper it). But I'm afraid that'll be a long way off since it was just redone.

Springfield is a cool area (prob the coolest urban area in the city as far as uniqueness, layout & history), but its going to have a really tough time attracting businesses & people in the near future. People look at of as tainted goods. Not to mention, it doesn't feed off other close by areas like the hoods of Riverside does. All Spr has is downtown, which is still pretty stagnant. So IMO you won't see these things getting better until downtown gets its shit together, and Riverside starts busting at the seams.

There's other issues of course (like the ridiculous rents some people charge for storefronts in Spr), but I think those are the main ones just from personal observations.

tufsu1

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #232 on: August 22, 2013, 10:40:57 AM »
And tufsu spare me the "it's a state/federal road, they were mandated" argument, almost all of the rest of main both north and south of Springfield doesn't have them, it was one more SPAR decision the rest of us get to live with.

1. I wouldn't say the medians were mandated by state/federal law...although undivided arterials (those without turn lanes) are strongly discouarged by FDOT

2. I don't beleive any of the other north-south roads in Springfield are state facilities

strider

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #233 on: August 22, 2013, 10:51:57 AM »
Quote
The stupid medians on Main Street and the removal of bus stops will continue to inhibit commercial viability until reversed. Both SPAR initiatives naturally. Removing the bus stops eliminated a lot of blue collar but employed foot traffic, and the medians make it a hassle to get to a particular storefront, not to mention they've had the effect of creating something of an expressway with much faster traffic than before. In every city I've seen install those medians it's basically the same result, it inhibits commercial development. And tufsu spare me the "it's a state/federal road, they were mandated" argument, almost all of the rest of main both north and south of Springfield doesn't have them, it was one more SPAR decision the rest of us get to live with.
Unquote
Above completely untrue, except I do not know about the "inhibition".  Some of the first things I saw when I came into Springfield in 2000 were the beautiful Main Street Plans on the walls of the Historic Springfield Community Council (HSCC).  Glorious drawings. HSCC had offices in the Woman's Club Building.  Phil Neary was president and he fought for Main Street restoration.  The medians were put back as restoration of the original ones, sadly we could not get trolley tracks on them  The rest of Main Street does not fall under historic guidelines, as does our section.  The idea was to try to recreate.  One of the engineers who supervised the Main Street redo, said he regretted not making the historic part of Main single lane with nose in parking in the other lane.  Bus stops are not a local entity decision.  SPAR was not really involved in Main Street until after the merger of HSCC and SPAR.    As to the decision on the plantings that was done at community meetings held by GAI, I just wish we had gone for palm trees.

Just a couple of comments. To start with, if there were no medians, they would not have spent the state Millions on Main street. The medians are not to restore the old ones but simply the current thinking from the FDOT. That is why the upper end of Main also has medians again.  If FDOT believed no medians was the way to go back then, there would be no medians.  The same goes for the closed left turn lanes.  The FDOT wants to move traffic, and not have people walking around. If there were bike lanes, there would be NO parking.  The whole angled parking thing was discussed and the FDOT said no way.  (all my info comes from Phil Neary, who was integral to those discussions). The bit of Main Street that has it was Privately Funded by grants not paid by the FDOT which is how they got away with keeping it.  Farley is correct that this was not a SPAR thing.  In fact, SPAR started the project and dropped the ball.  HSCC picked it up and got it done.  It is far better to have new infrastructure with medians than sagging streets. I keep hearing how bad the medians and closed turn lanes are but also how much you want a walkable Main Street. The things many complain about being gone make for better driving not walking. Perhaps rather than complaining about Main, we need to take what we have and find positives to talk about like how we can utilize the empty small lots for parking and promote walking a couple of blocks.  Of course, to get people to want to do that, there has to be something, anything to walk to.

The cost of store fronts is not overly high at this point, when compared to all of Jax, but just higher than a business can justify when the local org was trying to say who could and couldn't have a business and what kinds of businesses could open there.  And SPAR did have a hand in closing bus stops.  It was often discussed as a way to reduce litter and the undesirables hanging out. That serves as a great example of how rubber tired public transport will never promote development as it can be changed on a whim and cost businesses large percentages of their clientele. Of course, if the community leadership doesn't like the businesses that are there, then changing the bus stops to facilitate the loss of businesses works for them.

The Historic Springfield commercial corridor has it's best chance of success right now.  The people with the most influence from SPAR are gone, the money is much tighter and so perhaps the natural process will take place.  If the city can be convinced the the best use of a fixed rail street car is up Main to promote that development, it might just work in our life time.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 10:54:41 AM by strider »
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iloveionia

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #234 on: August 22, 2013, 08:52:32 PM »
I will go against and state I happen to like the medians.  They add green and color and de-sterilize the street. I live less than one mile from the "shore"  Belmont Shore to be exact.  It is a bustling middle-upper class area that has, gheesh, probably the length of Springfield's Main Street 1st to 10th, that is FILLED with stores and a great big giant median running through the two lane (two lanes each side) street.  There are lights and walkways at each street.  Belmont Shore can not be compared to Springfield due to it's location and neighborhood, however my comment is about the median and it doesn't prevent foot or car traffic due to the density of the storefronts/eateries/services.   


chris farley

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #235 on: August 22, 2013, 09:02:43 PM »
I love the medians and I wish the historic part of Main was single lane it would make for a much softer and cozier area and allow for more parking.   We just have to try and get grants or facade money, so much could be done to the beautiful buildings on Main if the junk, - aluminum and fieldstone was pulled off the store fronts and the lovely old transoms exposed.

peestandingup

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #236 on: August 22, 2013, 09:15:38 PM »
I will go against and state I happen to like the medians.  They add green and color and de-sterilize the street. I live less than one mile from the "shore"  Belmont Shore to be exact.  It is a bustling middle-upper class area that has, gheesh, probably the length of Springfield's Main Street 1st to 10th, that is FILLED with stores and a great big giant median running through the two lane (two lanes each side) street.  There are lights and walkways at each street.  Belmont Shore can not be compared to Springfield due to it's location and neighborhood, however my comment is about the median and it doesn't prevent foot or car traffic due to the density of the storefronts/eateries/services.

Is their main drag a highway though with cars running 40+ MPH?

thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #237 on: August 22, 2013, 09:22:51 PM »
The big negative with the medians is the elimination of full vehicular access to half the perpendicular streets intersecting with Main.  The reduction of access alone, negatively impacts the commercial value of the lots/buildings at those intersections by limiting the amount of potential uses.  For example, pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS shy away from full access non-signalized intersections.   

Although no big deal, they also have no historical connection to what Main once was.  Any true historic connection would have at least made an attempt at having a similar median width.  Main's medians are simply a function of access management to improve traffic flow on an FDOT maintained arterial highway.  FDOT has been doing this all across the state.  I've even had to privilege to work on a few access management projects throughout my career.

However, it is what it is.  They aren't going anywhere, so it's time to move on.  One thing the Main Street streetscape project (Philip Randolph in the Eastside also) really illustrates is there's more to stimulating economic revitalization than simply beautifying streets and sidewalks. I wonder if something like Florida's Main Street Program would be ideal for Springfield?

http://www.flheritage.com/preservation/mainstreet/

Has this been tried locally before?
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iloveionia

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #238 on: August 22, 2013, 09:40:39 PM »
pees.  the cars can't go 40+ mph.  too many street lights they have to stop at, forcing slow down.  we bike down to eat and shop as opposed to driving, but if forced to drive for some reason, I stick to the parallel streets behind the main thoroughfare. 

I think we all agree.  It's there.  Not going anywhere.  Find a way to make it work.  I agree with Chris Farley about the façade front curb appeal.  A group in Springfield needs to focus (in my opinion) entirely on Main Street and getting business in.  Whether they partner with owners, spar, the city, women's club, or whoever to make it happen, it needs to happen.  Another opinion: it is my belief that the absence of a strong Main Street with stores/business/eateries is what keeps buyers OUT of our hood, NOT vacant unloved homes, an eclectic social class, empty lots, blight.  A lack of a vibrant Main Street stifles the hood. 


Bridges

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #239 on: August 23, 2013, 08:37:07 AM »
Count me in the I hate the medians group, but I also hate the whole design of main.  Cars most certainly drive 40+ on Main.  Traffic lights aren't stop signs.  In fact, as was pointed out in the thread about San Marco, the lights can often encourage people to hurry so they can make the next one.  Main street is clear, the car is king. 

A group in Springfield needs to focus (in my opinion) entirely on Main Street and getting business in.  Whether they partner with owners, spar, the city, women's club, or whoever to make it happen, it needs to happen.  Another opinion: it is my belief that the absence of a strong Main Street with stores/business/eateries is what keeps buyers OUT of our hood, NOT vacant unloved homes, an eclectic social class, empty lots, blight.  A lack of a vibrant Main Street stifles the hood. 

Absolutely agree 100%.  This is my #1 thing too.  But I think putting the pedestrian first is a huge step. 
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