Listen Up Retail Developers

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Posted by: Manny - 11/25/2007 8:25:31 PM
I am not a fan of stuffy indoor shopping malls. A layout like this http://www.thenewcenturyplan.com/img/learn/siteplanlrg.jpg would be perfect, and Gotchalks and the theater could be incorporated. I like the parking garage concept with two to three story retail.

Posted by: Susan - 11/26/2007 7:17:40 AM
The idea of retail along Commercial Row from Virginia to the proposed baseball stadium is a great idea. An outdoor street-scape like atmosphere. Harrah's parking garage across from the Amtrak Station needs a serious facelift anyway. Turning the trench cover into a pedestrian mall is the way to go. At least then it will have some function, and not sit as a plaza for homeless people to gather.

Posted by: Ken - 11/26/2007 7:44:53 AM
Great post! I took the bait and of course ended up getting my crayons out. http://theurban.blogs.com/urbanspaceconsulting_home/2007/11/reno-back-of-th.html Plans for Park Lane - in short - "A district not a mall"

Posted by: Devin Sommerton - 11/26/2007 7:45:38 AM
I have to disagree with the first comment. MY wife and I feel a 4 story shopping mall like the Beverly Center is exactly what downtown needs to lure shoppers in from Summit Sierra. They need to do what Legends at Sparks Marina is doing, and get unique retailers that aren't in this area already.

Posted by: Danny - 11/26/2007 6:11:52 PM
If the open air concept kept the parking on the outside, the cold really wouldn't matter. Most people go from store to store, but when the parking is smack dab in the middle (Sierra Summit) then it becomes a drab to walk clear to the other part. So many times I have been at Apple and wanted to go to Banana Republic but didn't because it's an issue to get in the car then get out. Then get back in the car. So... my point is, if it was like third street promenade, or the block at orange, it would be AMAZING!

Posted by: Pat Fifel - 11/26/2007 6:57:18 PM
Have you heard of Hollywood and Highland? It is a big mall in Hollywood that's pretty famous. Something like that would be nice downtown.

Posted by: Mike Van H - 11/27/2007 7:25:04 AM
Wow thanks for all the comments so far! To Ken, I can't believe how fast you came up with your own site plan for Park Lane! I think it's awesome idea. From your East River plan to your Grant's Landing alternative and now Park Lane, I totally follow your style of urban planning and love it. Why aren't you working for our planning commission? To Pat, yes I have heard of Hollywood and Highland, how could a bonified Southern California native not? For those of you unfamiliar, Hollywood and Highland is a huge shopping district which includes the Kodak Theater, a hotel, and a cutting edge futuristic shopping mall with about 60 stores. It's beauty lies in its layout, which is 5 levels high and surrounds a massive central courtyard. You can see a directory map here http://www.hollywoodandhighland.com/information_directorymap.php or a picture here http://www.inetours.com/Los_Angeles/Images/Hlywd_Blvd/Hlwd-Hlnd_7506.jpg. I would classify this as the Beverly Center type of mall..compact, vertical and efficient. I could definitely see something like this across the street from the Baseball Stadium or at Park Lane.

Posted by: El Diablo - 11/27/2007 10:03:58 AM
Listen to yourselves, have you looked lately at the population of Reno, it is 204,000 people and currently stagnating. The median income is $40,530.00 per household (meaning that it usually takes two people working in the same house to make that much money). However, some people think huge retail projects, which exist in LARGE cities with poulations five to ten times larger than ours, would be great in Reno. Reno had a lot of money going around for the last couple of years due to the easy credit, but that is coming to a screaching halt. There will be no more using your house like a piggy bank. No more easy refinances of the home and just watch the foreclosure list grow every day. Anyone who has lived in Reno for a long time knows Reno goes through boom and busts periods and we are about to go into a bust period. It may not start until next summer but its coming. There is so much vacant retail space in downtown Reno right now and even more is about to be available and some people think we should build giant malls with more retail space? I am just being realistic not negative, this website and the revitilization of downtown reno are wonderful. I worry though that all this unfettered building will result in empty buildings, which will drag Reno backwards. Let's just enjoy the progress made so far.

Posted by: Ken - 11/27/2007 12:00:29 PM
El Diablo you raise a lot of great points. From my perspective, a big dirt lot where there used to be a mall will drag Reno backwards just as well as a big empty mall would. I think things like the park lane project don't operate in a vacuum - what I mean is this project has to be considered in tandem with the other work that's going on citywide: facade improvement program downtown, Leal's Plaza we're going to learn about soon, lighting upgrades along S Virginia between Plumb and Liberty, Grand Sierra's plans, RSCVA's stabbing around in the dark to find a fall/winter event that will work every year, airport authority's aggressive attempts to get nonstop service to destinations like NY and DC, etc - all these signs point to continuing investments in Reno and the area as both a place to live and as a visitor attraction. Park Lane's strength is its proximity to downtown and the convention center. One high negative for Reno right now as a visitor destination is the existence of close-in high street retail and if this helps answer that in a meaningful way, you'll see those visitor and associated numbers get on an upward trend, which will affect all the other numbers you highlight.

Posted by: Justin - 11/27/2007 2:23:08 PM
El Diablo brings up some very important points, but I think one needs to examine the details a bit more closely in order to see the big picture. Reno's population is actually closing in on 220k, not 204k. In 2006, the population was estimated at nearly 212k (Source: State of Nevada Demographer). Add in our city city, Sparks at roughly 80k and you have 300k people within a 15 minute drive of Reno's city core. The median income was 42,214 in 2005, so I can only assume 2-3 years later it's somewhere around $45k. What makes Reno unique? Our tourism market for one. We are roughly the size of Boise, yet we get significantly more tourists due to our casinos, recreational opportunities, and special events. Reno is also the only significant metropolitan area in Northern Nevada, and as such, is the only place you can go to do any sort of serious shopping in Northern Nevada. Retailers in our area draw shoppers from many outlying bedroom communities such as Fernley, Fallon, Silver Springs, Minden, Gardnerville, Dayton, Virginia City, Carson City, Lake Tahoe, etc. Does this mean I think that we can support a big mall like the Beverly Center at Plumb & Virginia? No, but I do think we can support something approx. the size of The Summit Sierra or Meadowood Mall, especially given the great location (centrally located in the heart of the valley at the corner of Reno's 2nd or 3rd busiest intersection and within close proximity to nearly all the area hotels/casinos and the airport). In reference to the vacant retail space downtown, I have a feeling this has a bit to do with the fact that major retailers like to be located next to other major retailers, of which, downtown offers none. Not to mention the very limited permanent population of the downtown area, which only recently has begun to change. I also think it's easier to lure new retailers with new contruction where the buildings can be built to their specs. Whatever they do with this site, I truly hope it's something unique. Quality over quantity, I say.

Posted by: H.T. - 12/15/2007 8:16:54 AM
Think Downtown San Diego..... The Gaslamp District hosted absolutely no retail or restaurants outside of Horton Plaza. Over the last 15 years, the city completely revitalized itself. Many new/renovated living lofts, tons of unique shopping, cafes, restaurants and nightclubs. A fantastic inspiration for this city (on a smaller scale, respectively).


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