Communities want “good” retail to attract and retain residents and visitors, to boost their tax base and to provide services to local residents within a walkable environment. I am essentially talking about “Main Street” pedestrian focused retail. Unfortunately, many downtown Main Street environments continue to suffer, in spite of ongoing efforts to attract merchants, entice shoppers, add parking and upgrade the street environment. The following article by Dan Zack/Better! Cities & Towns is a great primer or check list to guide decision making as development and investment in retail environments happens over time.
In fact, this is one of the largest issues I hear about from both municipalities and private developers alike – “Where do we start? How do we best strategize retail locations and what are best practices that will help lead to success?” Here are the basic steps. Read the article for the full details and some great visual examples that explain the principles below.
1. Redefine Retail
2.Site Retail Strategically: High Activity Zone, Moderate Activity Zone, Flexible Zone