Wednesday, June 7, 2017

How To Save Downtown Greensboro

And Downtown Greensboro Inc. President, Zack Methany didn't think of it.

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

“The buzz word is experiential retail,” Slusher said, responding to a question from Planning Commission member Gregory Baka about the special exception needed for raising the roof higher than the 45 feet permitted in B-3 zoning.

“We are trying to create a new experience and bring people in, to attract them to the Regency experience,” Slusher said. “What that means is we need theaters and craft breweries and restaurants and trampoline parks and laser tag — things that people can experience in real life to compete with the internet. That’s becoming our big competitor now — the web. We want to give people real life experiences.”

Of course, should any mall or shopping center around do the same thing, with their ease of access and perceived parking excesses, Downtown Greensboro will still be screwed.

Have you ever thought perhaps our status quo is leading us on a race to the bottom? First one there looses.

But wait a minute... Isn't experiential retail what is going on downtown already? Sure, we don't have laser tag or trampoline parks but the craft breweries and restaurants are there. And the performing arts theatre is on the way. And what about those cool downtown parks people come to experience before going back to the suburbs to catch dinner and a movie? Pizzas are only $5.99 at the drive thru at Little Cesar's on East Market St. (You know, in the same building with Great Stops.) Did you know that building is owned by Phil and Charisse Kleinman who own the largest home in the Triad located in Irving Park.

But wait. developers like Marty Kotis are doing the same things at Midtown where Irving Park residents like the Kleinmans can park in front of the door. And what if the Koury Corporation decides trampolines and laser tag might be a good fit for Four Seasons Mall? Wow! There goes the rest of the working class dollars.

Maybe Kotis Properties will put such things in the shopping center he's building on East Wendover at the bypass-- you know, to give him a better chance of drawing that mega anchor tenant.

Yep, Downtown Greensboro is screwed just as it has been since 1960.

Maybe Zack did think of it. Sounds like something he would do.