Author Topic: Is Springfield a viable retail market?  (Read 116659 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #105 on: May 06, 2008, 04:45:07 PM »
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But what advice would the springfielders give to their neighbors on how best to create a solution?

For Springfield:

Main Street is a viable retail market.  However there are obstacles that need to be addressed to give the corridor a swift kick in the pants.

1. Become a one-stop source of information

Make it easy for a perspective business owner to get information about Main Street.  Either SAMBA or SPAR needs to be a one stop resource of information and knowledge on available buildings, their square footage numbers, leasing rates, landlord info. and possible enterprise and empowerment zone grants.  Unlike the facade grant fiasco from a couple of years ago, these are programs that are easy to follow and the city can't give you much run around with, because the money comes from the state.  Speaking from personal experience with the 6th Street loft project, it was pretty easy working with the State for the Building Material Sales Tax Refund program the first unit.

2. Promotion and Marketing

Main Street isn't totally abandoned.  There are quite a few retailers out there.  Embrace them and pull them into the mix on how to attract more businesses to the district.  There's no reason we can't start promoting what's there already right now.

3. Atmosphere

People are attracted to Springfield because of it has an urban atmosphere that is unique to most of Jacksonville, including Riverside, Avondale and San Marco.  Any plan to revitalize Main should build upon that characteristic.  The physical landscape with older buildings lining the street and the street itself are unique things that give the district an urban feel.  The streetscape project will help change the physical look of blight, at least from a public property standpoint.

4. Foot Traffic

While, I've disagreed with Stephen many times in this thread, I do agree that foot traffic helps enhance the strips "sense of place".  We need to find away to work with existing businesses in a manner that helps build visual interest and foot traffic.  This can be done in multiple inexpensive ways through things like building illumination, signage, window displays and outdoor seating in front of existing dining establishments.

5. Recruitment of local businesses

While many want chains, most major chains have their own marketing departments and will come when the demographics fit their business model.  All the gimmicks in the world won't get them here if the demographic numbers aren't what they're looking for.  However, national chain retailers don't fit the model of what attracts urban pioneers to Springfield in the first place.  Its unique atmosphere and physical landscape.  With that said, Main is in a position to build upon that atmosphere by attracting locally based retail operations that don't rely on national demographics and that are more willing to adapt to shape and sizes of existing available buildings and the needs of the nearby urban population.  With that marketing information in hand, we need to agressively market that information to businesses that are attracted to being apart of what can become Jacksonville's premier urban retail district.  If we can pull the local retailers in, for those who desire national retailers, they'll soon follow on their own.
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thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #106 on: May 06, 2008, 05:03:37 PM »
thats a great description of the process lake.

The history of springfields main street and Downtown have an identical process.

When Regency Square opened, all of the stores multiplied by seven were in the shopping megaplex of downtown and springfield.

Main Street was busy all the way to trout river and people came from all over the state and southern georgia to shop here.  Certainly the shopping district of downtown was not supported by only its locals.   Every downtown of every city drew from a larger shopping base than its nearby residential stock.

Regency is going through the step by step process of what happened to our CBD, as anyone who was here when it happened can tell you.

Here's the difference between Regency, Downtown and Springfield.

Regency was built from the start to become a regional shopping mecca built for easy accomodation by the automobile.  Downtown and Springfield were built as urban districts that accomodated foot traffic from the dense nearby residential base and rail based traffic from the streetcar system.

Regency's construction had little to do with Arlington itself and more to do with being the premier shopping mall for Jacksonville as a whole.  Revitalization techniques for all will be somewhat different.

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thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #107 on: May 06, 2008, 05:31:32 PM »
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Here's the difference between Regency, Downtown and Springfield.

Regency was built from the start to become a regional shopping mecca built for easy accomodation by the automobile.  Downtown and Springfield were built as urban districts that accomodated foot traffic from the dense nearby residential base and rail based traffic from the streetcar system.

Regency's construction had little to do with Arlington itself and more to do with being the premier shopping mall for Jacksonville as a whole.  Revitalization techniques for all will be somewhat different.

The dynamics are exactly the same Lake.  If you had been here you would know.

And I dont mean that to sound dismissive, but its not a conceptual thing with a couple of possible outcomes, it has already happened, which weve covered ourselves on this site.

I must admit, I wasn't around 100 years ago when Springfield and Downtown's retail districts came to life.  However, Jacksonville isn't unique.  This scene has been played out across the country on a continuous basis.

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Regency Square would correlate with Downtown and the Hemming Plaza district (five million square feet of retail) and Main and 8th would correlate with Old Arlington's retail.

The residents obviously couldnt have done much to save downtown.

But who knows?  With proper code enforcement and a strong residents association in place to keep the neighborhood into deteriorating so badly, maybe there would have been enough force of will to influence how downtown developed.

Unfortunately, most of downtown's residential base was torn down as a result of failed urban renewal plans.  When the suburbanites fled to new retail centers that were free of downtown congestion, metered parking and one way streets, downtown retail, in general, had nothing to fall back on, considering the office population bolts from downtown like a bat out of hell at 5pm.

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Instead most of the upper and middle class went and built on the cheap, tax reduced land in arlington, just as people have crossed over into st Johns and Clay County, providing the wealthy customer base that is leeching business away from the center.

But I do think that the people who are now having to struggle with reviving something probably have a whole laundry list of things that they wish their predecessors had or hadnt done to make things easier on this end.

For me, I would have limited the number of Car lots and maintained the brick streets for example.

I would have set a strict limit on the percentage of structures that could be endlessly subdivided into group homes.

Going back, for me I would have keep and expanded the streetcar system to deal with congestion and outlawed excessive building setbacks or demolitions for the sake of demolition.
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Downtown Dweller

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #108 on: May 15, 2008, 07:38:12 AM »
Sorry... been working A LOT. I did read JRTMom's post and agree with her. Also, from casual observation Arlington has been going down the tubes for awhile. I just don't think they have the upscale market to support anything too nice...it appears to have all moved to Southside. About the only reason for me to go to Arlington is they have a Home Depot AND a Lowes right across the street from each other LOL! Plus have you seen the buses at regency? Spend a day watching the buses and you will get an additional take on the downfall of regency at least.

thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #109 on: September 07, 2008, 09:48:19 PM »
I still maintain my original position.  The businesses that appeal to Springfield residents, as well as through traffic on the neighborhood's major streets will be the ones most likely to survive.  Six months later, these businesses (ex. Three Layers, Jerome Brown's, Hola, the chicken restaurants, etc.) still appear to be doing well.

As far as the Main Street corridor goes, although the Cesery project is moving full steam ahead, I would not expect a retail renaissance anytime soon.  The street still has a full year of construction ahead.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #110 on: September 07, 2008, 10:50:38 PM »
RECIPE FOR SPRINGFIELD RETAIL SUCCESS

Beat that MEDIAN OUT down Main and:

On a bed of ancient rock,

Just add properly aged streetcars,

A dash of greens,

garnish with gingerbread stops,

Pour in the people


OCKLAWAHA

thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #111 on: September 08, 2008, 08:20:44 AM »
Here's an update from UrbanJacksonville.Info on Uptown Market.


image courtesy of urban jacksonville.info

full article update: http://www.urbanjacksonville.info/2008/09/08/uptown-market-in-springfield/
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thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #112 on: September 08, 2008, 11:44:41 AM »
Thats a great link, Lake.   But the image is not of the market.  Just a similar development.

Why do you say this?  The renderings seem to match the approved construction documents I saw a few months ago.

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The actual opening remains to be seen, and if they follow the same kind of game plan that just closed 9th and Main for the final time (upper middle class whites preferred) then there isnt any likelihood of it working out.

This group isn't the same as 9th and Main.  If they can appeal to the same broad market that the Burrito Gallery appeals to, things should work out okay.
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thelakelander

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #113 on: September 08, 2008, 12:03:26 PM »
I'm happy to see these guys move forward with something that will be a positive for the community.  Give them a chance.  Let's hope they've done their homework.  As long as the cereal, bread, milk and food aren't overpriced, they should be okay.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

jason_contentdg

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #114 on: September 08, 2008, 12:51:11 PM »
I see now.  Its just a rendering that hasnt been built yet.

It still needs to be said.

And while it is a different group, the Burrito Gallery is in a different neighborhood.

They need more customers than just that carryover crowd and Springfield yuppies.  Especially in this coming economy.


I understand your caution, but it seems you've become a little overtly negative about Springfield recently.

City Slicker

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #115 on: September 13, 2008, 03:35:48 PM »
These factors are all enough to seriously hinder any neighborhood by themselves.  But besides a lot of new residents and a general desire to see the neighborhood 'improve', the steps one actually has to take to make that happen have not and still are not, occurring.


Would you be willing to list the top 5 things that need to be done now to make things happen?

sparhater

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #116 on: September 19, 2008, 03:46:25 PM »
Well.  they would be controversial steps.  Or at least it would be controversial to suggest them.

But it could be done even still.

Replace the SPAR board with new residents? The LOLAS must go. They whine about pawn shops and lodge complaints about Shanty Town (too noisy too many cars) and the Pearl (oh no they built a bar out back and didn't get a permit). They are not anti business, if it is a business a LOLA would frequent. Then again if you give them a bunch of money you can do anything you want, including renting to drug dealers and letting your properties and/or vacant lots sit and rot.

Springfield Girl

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #117 on: September 21, 2008, 05:00:09 PM »
[quote author=sparhater link=topic=2028.msg42466#msg42466 date=1221853585

Replace the SPAR board with new residents? The LOLAS must go. They whine about pawn shops and lodge complaints about Shanty Town (too noisy too many cars) and the Pearl (oh no they built a bar out back and didn't get a permit). They are not anti business, if it is a business a LOLA would frequent. Then again if you give them a bunch of money you can do anything you want, including renting to drug dealers and letting your properties and/or vacant lots sit and rot.
[/quote]

You obviously know nothing about SPAR. The organization does not make complaints but forward those made by residents who call or email the office to the appropriate entity. I have seen many board members at The Pearl and Shantytown so you are so right, they obviously don't support those businesses? ::) ??? Could you please name the LOLA'S?

JaxByDefault

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #118 on: September 22, 2008, 12:24:01 AM »
The organization does not make complaints but forward those made by residents who call or email the office to the appropriate entity.

This is not entirely true. There have been several requests in the CARE system that list/ed SPAR (or its administrative staff) as the follow-up contact or in which they were the complainant. There are several reasons CARE requests may get tied to SPAR (setting aside rumor and speculation, a major culprit). This may be because SPAR acts as a clearinghouse, as you suggest, or that the city records them as such because of who relays the information. However, it also could be because a couple members of the SPAR leadership personally file complaints but use SPAR's name to add more heft to the request.

The CARE system is easy to use and available to the public. As a matter of efficiency, SPAR should probably act as a middle person in the process only if a complainant is unaware of the program or in need of assistance.


« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 08:06:10 AM by JaxByDefault »

gatorback

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Re: Is Springfield a viable retail market?
« Reply #119 on: September 22, 2008, 07:50:08 AM »
If FCCJ became a 4 year degree school and built downtown to support that effort it would be great.  What is Spar doing to encourage FCCJ to build downtown?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 07:52:29 AM by gatorback »
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