My View: Turning Our Attention to the Core Area Specific Plan

Empty store fronts are increasing

It is with a sense of relief that we can now move on from Trackside.  The Trackside issue was divisive and disappointing in a lot of ways, but as a 27-unit project, it is not going to solve the city’s housing crisis.  With Trackside now off the table after nearly two and a half years, we can now turn our attention to other issues.

While we will have discussions coming up soon on Lincoln40, Plaza 2555, West Davis Active Adult Center, and Nishi, I believe that the most important issue may be the update of the Core Area Specific Plan.

The staff report notes: “The Core Area Specific Plan (CASP) establishes general policies for development in the Core Area and includes the allowable density.”  Staff noted that, while Trackside was “consistent with the overall vision of the CASP,” it required an amendment to address “the project’s increased density for its land use classification.”

And in point of fact, as the staff noted, “no other changes to the CASP are required.”

As much as other issues crept into the debate, “The primary neighborhood issues with the Trackside Center project have been concerns about historical impacts, the size, scale and density of the
project…”

At multiple points in time, I made the argument that it was a mistake to approve Trackside in isolation from the Core Area Specific Plan discussion.  Part of the problem that I see is the same problem I see on the western boundary of the core area – a patchwork approach to development that will leave large new buildings next to low-profile older ones.

The point I have been making for some time now is that, if we wish to limit peripheral growth in Davis – and the voters and most leaders seem to support such a limitation, then we need to find ways to improve our density.  Creative and attractive ways.  Innovative ways.  But we must get more dense.  And I see the Core Area as the way to do that.

Everyone (gross generalization here) loves the Davis downtown.  But the reality is that it is, in my opinion, both antiquated and dying a slow death.  Let me lay out the problems here.

First, retail is dying.  You can point to a lot of things but the reality is that with very few exceptions people do not come to the downtown to do retail shopping.  Okay, it’s nice to have Davis Ace down there, especially for a business owner who frequently needs such items in short order.  It is nice to have quality athletic shoe stores like Fleet Feet.  As a parent, Mother & Baby Source has saved our lives and our babies’ behinds more than a few times.  There are a few others, but retail is dying across the country and it has been dying in Davis Downtown for a long time.

Second, the downtown is bars and restaurants.  As someone in their 40s now, I don’t go to bars late at night like I did when I moved here in 1996 as a 23-year-old.  The reality is that the downtown is less about retail and more about food and entertainment these days, and one of my chief complaints is that Davis really doesn’t have any great restaurants.  There are restaurants in places like San Francisco, Berkeley, even Mendocino where I would drive hours just to eat there.  There is nowhere in Davis that I would drive just to go eat there.

Three, parking is antiquated.  Yeah, okay, we approved paid parking for the few hours a day when we are at capacity.  I don’t know if that’s going to help, but the whole system is old and antiquated and needs to be updated.

Fourth, underutilization of space.  I’m sorry we have a finite space downtown and in this city, and we are wasting most of it with single-story buildings on whole blocks.

We could do so much more in the downtown if we transformed it from the quaint downtown of yore into a vital new urban center.

Everyone is going to have a different vision for the downtown, but here’s mine.

We need to do a minimum of four stories everywhere, and go up as high as six stories, especially in those center blocks in the downtown, centering around E, F, and G Streets.

Here is what I see:

First floor, you make that ground level retails and commercial.  That’s where your bars, restaurants, and retail stores are located.

Second floor, maybe even second and third, would have office space.  There is a limited amount of office space in Davis and that’s where small businesses and groups can rent space to be in the downtown.

Then your top three to four stories should be apartments and condos.  Imagine how vibrant the downtown would become around the clock if people lived down there – young professionals, people outside of college, UC Davis employees, and some students.

Where do people park?  A couple of years ago I was shown this great development in Sacramento.  They took an existing apartment building, put live-work townhouses on one side, commercial along the main street, and an internal parking lot – and the size was about the size of a city block in Davis.

Imagine a few of those type of developments in the middle of downtown, and then going up to three to four stories in the rest of the area so that we are utilizing our space.

It is a way for us to address housing issues, to put more people in the core of town where they don’t have to drive anywhere, focus on live-work arrangements to alleviate the in and out commute, and get more people into commercial areas where they will consume the retail and entertainment options offered in the downtown.

Davis has done a lot of things right with its downtown, but right now that downtown is in trouble and if we do not figure out ways to modernize, the downtown will become less and less the center of our community.  To figure that out, in the Core Area Specific Plan, we have some pretty innovative and smart people – many of whom are experts in regional development, innovation, and new urbanism.

Now we have to tap that expertise and turn it into a vision for the downtown that keeps it vital for the next 50 years.

—David M. Greenwald reporting



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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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42 thoughts on “My View: Turning Our Attention to the Core Area Specific Plan”

  1. Tia Will

    David

    I believe that the most important issue may be the update of the Core Area Specific Plan.”

    I honestly do not see why the update of the Core Area Specific Plan is important at all except as a waste of time, energy, money and as window dressing. If a vote of three of the CC is going to be able to override the CASP as has been done repetitively with Trackside merely being the most recent, then as has previously been pointed out, why have a CASP at all ? Those of us who bought houses within OED certainly believed that a CASP was in place that would provide assurances about the size and scale of buildings that could be built. Despite our investments in our homes, and some of us have been denied exceptions on our property that would not have had a community wide effect, the Trackside developers were allowed exceptions denied others.

    Some said it was because the existing CASP was outdated. So are we going to accept a number of years in which it cannot be over ridden by a vote of 3?. Say 3 years or 5 years after which an update will be agreed upon. 

     Imagine how vibrant the downtown “

    Please specify what you mean by the term “vibrant”. When I asked this at a Vanguard conclave, Jason Taoromino defined “vibrant” as bringing in enough money to pay for “what we want”. It did clarify his point, however, was less than satisfactory as obviously there is no absolute agreement about what “we want”. I have now lived in OED for 6 years and when the students are here find the downtown very “vibrant” with the streets full of people. Obviously my view of “vibrancy” meaning a downtown with people coming and going, eating out, attending events to be desirable and already exists. Unless one is willing to put a number on how much money or how many more people you are attempting to attract, these kinds of statements are vague

     get more people into commercial areas where they will consume the retail and entertainment options offered in the downtown.”

    This is the “build it and they will come approach”. Maybe it will work, and I share your vision for the actual downtown. However, until the downtown has been maximized which we are far from, I strongly object to “exceptions” which allow outsized projects to be developed in the transitional zones ( which everyone including Rochelle) ultimately agreed Trackside was in, to be developed.

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Vibrant would be economically successful, revenue generating.

      “If a vote of three of the CC is going to be able to override the CASP as has been done repetitively with Trackside merely being the most recent, then as has previously been pointed out, why have a CASP at all ?”

      For one thing you are seeing a plan as being limited to zoning codes rather than an actual road map for the future of the downtown. You are taking a very limited view of what the CASP is and its colored by what I feel is a very narrow discussion and debate over Trackside.

      1. Tia Will

        David

        Vibrant would be economically successful, revenue generating.”

        You chose not to address the issue of how much is enough. There will always be people who “want more” and thus will argue for ever more growth. At some point there must be some acknowledgement that this should be goal oriented not simply more is better since all populations are capable of outstripping their resources with adverse consequences.

        You are taking a very limited view of what the CASP is and its colored by what I feel is a very narrow discussion and debate over Trackside.”

        And I would assert that you are choosing to ignore many, many conversations we have had about a broad range of projects to claim this is just about Trackside. You and I have had conversations and I have posted on projects I have supported ( Nishi, Lincoln 40), projects I have not supported ( Cannery, Trackside) and ones on which I have remained neutral ( Sterling). I believe that you are aware, but not acknowledging that I have applied the same standards to each:

        1. Does it conform to existing zoning and guidelines ?

        2. If not, does it meet a city “need” especially an urgent need such as for student housing and affordable housing.

        I am sorry that having known my position and reasoning on many projects that you would still suggest that my comments are Trackside driven. Especially since you and I have discussed personally my reasons for supporting Lincoln 40 even though it is much closer to my house and will have a much more direct impact on me than Trackside. Frankly,both disingenuous and disappointing David.

         

    2. Howard P

      Ah, the days of whine and ruses…

      Alternative… get in the game for the CASP revision/update… insist that its key provisions are codified in the Zoning Code (which needs a top to bottom rewrite/revision… it is truly ‘Byzantine’, as others have noted, as well).

      https://qcode.us/codes/davis/, chapter 40…

      1. Tia Will

        Howard

        How do you suggest that anyone “insist that key provisions be codified” ? Do you honestly not believe that 1. Codification itself will be resisted?  2. Do you honestly do not believe that CC, staff, and developers will not find a way to make exceptions if such “codification” did not meet their desired ends ?

        I admit that I was naive, but it was my belief when I made my home purchase, that the zoning and design guidelines were protection against these kinds of exceptions. Boy, was I wrong. This is not whining, but a recognition of what has now happened repetitively in our community as Lucas pointed out at council. I do not see how you can interpret a recognition of reality as “whining”.

      2. John Hobbs

        “Ah, the days of whine and ruses…”

        Pithy response. Much better than my first thought, the pedestrian “sour grapes.”

        Collaboration has such different meaning to some folk.

         

    3. Don Shor

      I honestly do not see why the update of the Core Area Specific Plan is important at all except as a waste of time, energy, money and as window dressing.

      So you don’t think the committee should meet and should just be disbanded?

      1. Tia Will

        Don

        So you don’t think the committee should meet and should just be disbanded?”

        No. What I think is in accord with David’s position was that the CASP update should have been completed prior to making exception decision on Trackside. I see CASP as a agreement amongst multiple members of our community on the best way to achieve our agreed upon goal of increased densification and infill. I have always opposed development by exception since : 1. It creates an uneven “playing field” with individuals not being given exceptions while favored developers get exceptions. 2. As currently being implemented, it does not help populations at real need such as students, those who cannot afford luxury accommodations and other special needs populations but caters to the already affluent. 3. Instead of being in alignment with previously agreed upon guidelines, it allows the subjective opinions of 3 members of our community to disregard real, material harm to far more members of our community than will directly benefit from a project in the name of their interpretation of which guidelines are expendable even though they are enforced for neighborhood residents.

         

  2. dan cornford

    And the last sentence of Don Schor’s first link, posted above reads:  “Given all this, I believe that one of the big questions for cities in the future will be: Do you want the character of your city to shape the new development, or do you want the new development to shape the character of the city?

    Precisely Davis, Precisely David!!!

     

  3. Todd Edelman

    Density! Hooray! With affordability! I hope so.

    Bicycles? Bizarrely not mentioned. Buses/public transport? Nope.

    True, many residents of Downtown will walk and cycle many places. But parking even at the modest ratio of one car per apartment or condo at the 4-story density level is going to create a worse situation at peak times and continued perceived danger at some other times as it will be combined with the current traffic generated by others coming to and through Downtown from other areas.

    Vibrant? Hmm… how ’bout vibrating? Engines, braking, stinky, scary.

    Davis has to stop being the Capitol of Trying to Have One’s Cake and Eating It, Too!

    There are many alternatives available that can make density joyous, quiet, prosperous, child-friendly, accessible even to cars for visits… and there’s no rocket science required to get there. Only will, solidarity, responsibility and maturity will help us agree in the CASP to eliminate the parking minimum, create a large pedestrianized area with integrated playgrounds, a couple of bicycle priority streets going north and south, replacement of parking craters (Second St. Parkingaza, banks, behind City Hall, etc.) for commercial businesses and housing including for seniors, students and lower-income folks, transformation of the two top levels of the parking structure on 1st St into an amazing venue, a 24/7 free driverless electric shuttle from peripheral parking such as near Richards & 80 and fully paid parking at 4th St and possibly under City Hall’s housing, public transport available in some form at all times of day…  and so much more.  Make Davis Great Again! Not just a wannabe Midtown.

  4. Matt Williams

    David Greenwald said . . . “one of my chief complaints is that Davis really doesn’t have any great restaurants.  There are restaurants in places like San Francisco, Berkeley, even Mendocino where I would drive hours just to eat there.  There is nowhere in Davis that I would drive just to go eat there.”

    As is often his approach, David paints with a broad hyperbolic brush.  “Nowhere?”

    I regularly go out of my way to have dinner at Yakitori Yuchan at 109 E Street just north of Natsoulas Gallery in the Lofts Building.

    I also go out of my way to drive to The Mustard Seed at 222 D Street, especially to eat on the patio.

    Seasons at 102 F Street never disappoints me.

    Konditorei at 2710 5th Street, next to the Police Station has outstanding food and baked goods, and surprisingly the best pizza in town, their Pizza Verde.

    I’ve had one meal at Mikuni at 500 First Street (Davis Commons) and it was outstanding.  I’ve not gone there more often because there is almost always a long waiting line for a table, which tells me that lots and lots of people are going out of their way to eat there.

    So, David, “nowhere” is rhetorical, not factual.

    1. David Greenwald

      There is nowhere I would drive to eat in Davis if I had to drive from out of town.  Yes, factual.  All those are nice places, none of them are places I’d drive an hour to eat at.  None of those I would consider world class cuisine.

      1. Matt Williams

        David, take a moment and list 10 restaurants that you would drive from out of town to eat at and then list them here.  My suspicion is that there will be a common denominator about most or all of the 10 that does not exist in Davis.

        I look forward to reading your list.

    2. Tia Will

      David

      So exactly how, other than attracting the relatively few people that financially can and would drive an hour to come to a “world class” restaurant in Davis, do you see having such a restaurant would benefit the community?  How many of such restaurants do you think that Davis can reasonably support ? How many would have to be supported in order to enact the change that you think they should bring to Davis ?

    3. Tia Will

      Matt

      To your list I would like to add :

      Osteria Fasulo in Village Homes

      Zen Toro downtown which has some of the best oysters on the half shell that I have ever eaten and I am a native of the Pacific Northwest.

      While none of these restaurants has the cache of “world class” that for some reason David feels is necessary for our downtown to thrive, I would posit that none also have the exorbitant prices that frequently accompany such restaurants and all have had years long records of success.

      1. Matt Williams

        Thanks for the Zen Toro rcommendation Tia.  I didn’t know that … and love oysters.  I will be sure to try it soon.

        In its prior incarnation as the Plumshire Inn, Osteria Fasulo’s location was the best restaurant in Davis … by a mile.  Tom Fries was a true world-class chef, with at Plumshire and his own restaurant Colette.  His Duck with Raspberry Sauce was to die for.  Ironically my choice for dinner at home on Wednesday was Duck Breast with a Raspberry-Cranberry Coulis.  Little did I know I would be taking about Plumshire 72 hours later.

  5. Michael Bisch

    David, your vision was lifted straight out of the pages of the 1961 Core Area Plan and has been repeated in every visioning document since including the current CASP and GP. The problem is not the vision, it’s the ongoing adoption and execution of misguided policies that prevent us from advancing toward the vision.  How do we know this? We know this because we have fallen far, far short of the stated goals…50 years later!

    We’ll see whether any of this changes with the CASP update currently underway.

  6. Tia Will

    I had another thought about a comment made previously about differential “protection” of neighborhoods made on a previous thread. I agreed in part Richard, feeling that all neighborhoods should be protected equally. I appreciate Todd’s comments and would like to point out that my neighborhood, OED, is already less “protected” than many in town.

    1.Third street is a corridor that has already been recognized as dangerous with need for traffic calming, and yet Trackside, if the business component is successful will be bringing in more, not less automobile traffic, and if the housing component is successful will bring in many more visitor cars needing parking.

    2.Most of the neighborhoods in Davis are provided with direct, safe access to a greenbelt. OED does not have such direct access, and yet, as Richard previously noted, neighborhoods should have equal “protection”.

    3. OED, because of its unique location will be bearing the brunt of the current approved and likely to be approved projects ( Sterling via the 3rd street corridor, Trackside, and Lincoln 40 )which will be located directly across the tracks and less than 1/2 block from the nearest OED houses.  So when thinking of equal treatment of neighborhoods, where is the equality when one neighborhood is expected to bear the downsides of multiple projects ? Rochelle urged looking at the “big picture”. I would suggest that she is not including the impacts of multiple projects on a single neighborhood as part of the “big picture”.

    Before someone jumps on me for these comments, please remember that I was neutral on Sterling, promote Lincoln 40 and opposed only the one project which offered only a handful of luxury apartments as its “contribution” to densification, Trackside.

    1. Howard P

      Have that second cup of coffee, Tia… not sure if you are on rant or tirade mode… none of your 3 points are rational, and in most cases, untrue or fancible (creating greenbelt in the Core?) Third Street is NOT unsafe! The latter will be unchanged in any event, based on the number of units.

      1. Tia Will

        Howard,

        Respectfully, I suspect that you do not live on 3rd street. You have probably not seen the high number of “near misses” and one significant accident ( enough to disable both cars involved) on 3rd street within the past 2-3 months. I saw one “miss” between car and bicyclist leaving the driver so shaken that I had almost reached her car to check on her status before she pulled herself together enough to carry on having nearly hit the bike going about 25 mph. By nearly, I mean so close that he could have reached out and touched her hood. You probably do not experience anxiety leaving the neighborhood via the 3rd and J intersection daily because of the lack of a 4 way stop, very poor visibility + increased speeds along the corridor over the past 5 years. I suspect you also do not know that the Mayor himself at an event this summer recognized the need for traffic calming along this corridor nor the fact that a temporary calming device has been placed at the corner of 3rd & I where the SPCA is located, and within the same block as Trackside because  of the danger of pedestrians trying to cross 3rd street at this location.

        But ok, just because you seem unaware of any of this, I guess I am just “wrong”.

        Now for the strawman part of your comment. I said nothing advocating placing a greenbelt in OED. What I said was that OED lacks protections that other neighborhoods benefit from. It is the safety that is of significance to me, not the specific means of providing safety.

      2. Alan Miller

         none of your 3 points are rational, and in most cases, untrue or fancible (creating greenbelt in the Core?) Third Street is NOT unsafe!

        HP, your rhetoric towards TW about rationality is unduly insulting, and your conclusions incorrect.  3rd Street is bad and getting worse.  TW is 100% correct.  There is already a traffic calming plan in place for 3rd and 4th Streets, just no money to implement it.  The danger is real.  A greenbelt may not happen, but there is much talk among the bicycle community of a 3rd Street complete street bicycle boulevard.  It is a natural link from the east to west sides of Davis through the campus core to major bicycle routes on each side.  If you don’t bike this may not be obvious — look at a map.  I just had a long talk with “a city council candidate” about this.  This will happen eventually.

        1. Mark West

          “3rd Street complete street bicycle boulevard”

          The 3rd Street promenade is yet another aspect of the 1961 CASP that the community failed to implement. Read that plan and you may realize that we are wasting time and money simply reinventing the wheel.

  7. Tia Will

    David

    Where did you get the idea that the highly subjective criteria of a restaurant that you would choose to drive the arbitrarily determined time of 1 hour to eat at is any measure of success of a downtown ?

  8. Ron

    David:  “There are restaurants in places like San Francisco, Berkeley, even Mendocino where I would drive hours just to eat there.”

    David:  “There is nowhere I would drive to eat in Davis if I had to drive from out of town.  Yes, factual.  All those are nice places, none of them are places I’d drive an hour to eat at.”

    I guess there’s only “part-time” concern on the Vanguard, regarding VMTs.  (Suddenly/only an “issue”, when it comes to supporting more development.) 🙂

     

  9. Tia Will

    Howard

    One does not know, unless one tries.  If one does not try, one loses any credible criticism/whining status.”

    I guess that you do not consider countless hours reading documents, of collaborative talks, discussions with city council members, public comments, individually written ( not form)letters to CC members,  meetings with commissions, tabling at Farmer’s Market and advocacy for CASP directed development to be “trying”.

    Your comments suggest that I engaged in nothing previously and am now just “whining” about the outcome. I suggest that this is very far from the truth all of which is able to be corroborated if you cared to do so rather than simply being demeaning.

    So honest question. In view of all the previously noted activities, what more do you think would be useful in promoting  my vision of an enforceable CASP rather than one easily over ridden by a vote of 3 ?

  10. John Hobbs

    “what more do you think would be useful in promoting  my vision of an enforceable CASP rather than one easily over ridden by a vote of 3 ?”

    You seem to be missing the point that your efforts, while onerous were not successful. As a performing musician I can assure you that I got a thousand “no thanks” before I got the first “You’re hired.” More recently I wore out three pairs of boots and my eyesight registering voters in rural Texas and Arizona. I’m pretty sure all of my preferred candidates lost. Now I am supporting a different approach but I haven’t even considered picking up my marbles and going home. If you mean what you post, then other than a “collaborative” process within the accepted framework, by what means would you promote your “vision?”

    What is disturbing is your disregard for the rule of democracy. I have a feeling that Trackside could been approved 5-0 and we would hear the same old song.

    1. Tia Will

      John

      You seem to be missing the point that your efforts, while onerous were not successful”
      And you seem to be missing the point that I am keenly aware of the lack of success of our efforts and posing a genuine question to Howard, who seemed to me to be implying that no effort had been made and that I was only whining. I would sincerely like to know what else anyone would suggest that we do the next time, if there is a next time, that might be more successful ?  Now perhaps either you or Howard have positive suggestions for me, or perhaps you would prefer to just post more snarky derogatory comments. The choice is yours.

       

      1. Don Shor

        I would sincerely like to know what else anyone would suggest that we do the next time, if there is a next time, that might be more successful ?

        Form a competing investment group and prepare to make a counter offer on any property under consideration.

        This became a conflict between competing values of community goals and needs. I suspect every council member is on record somewhere as advocating for greater densification and acknowledging our severe housing shortage. That was put up against conserving the character of a neighborhood.
        Ultimately some might ask how much of a difference four stories makes compared to three. For the person living next door, it makes a big difference. But once it became a binary choice between those conflicting values, one side has to lose.
        I don’t think the neighborhood group could have done anything more. Creating the local investment group was a brilliant gambit. Property owners to the east and north should definitely take notice. A de facto height limit of four stories has now been created all the way to L Street on the east, and Fifth Street on the north.

      2. Howard P

        What you might of taken as “snarky” from we, was to point out the obvious… the effectiveness of not engaging in a future CASP review/amendment, because “it did not work before” will be zero.  Guaranteed.

  11. John Hobbs

    ” I would sincerely like to know what else anyone would suggest that we do the next time”

    Something different. You did not engage the imagination of your neighbors with the same old song, so find a tune that does. This is the nature of marketing, whether cornflakes or ideas. Sorry if you find my comments snarky, but honestly I can’t think of another poster on the forum as lacking in self reflection as you.

    1. Alan Miller

      honestly I can’t think of another poster on the forum as lacking in self reflection as you.

      Out of bounds – personal attack lacking any redeeming substance.

  12. Ron

    From article below:  “That price may seem like a steal for any San Franciscan, but Smith says that by renting these “expensive” apartments, out-of-towners are driving up prices for everyone else.”

    She writes Bay Area ex-pats are acting “like drunk millionaires in a dollar store.”

    “There’s more people, there’s more traffic. And, unfortunately, there are a lot of people here that can no longer afford to live where they grew up,” Hunter Watkins, a 25-year-old native of Sacramento, told SFGATE in June.” 

    http://www.sfgate.com/expensive-san-francisco/article/Sacramento-Bay-Area-moving-refugees-housing-rent-12209647.php

      1. Ron

        Exodus from Bay Area drives up rents in the entire region, facilitating developments like Trackside (and other, future proposals).  Expensive/luxury housing (by local standards) won’t be much of a deterrent, to those exiting the Bay Area.  Just noting it, not seeking an argument.

        1. Ron

          Some might argue that in cases where it impacts immediately-adjacent neighbors (not just Trackside), it might cause one to ponder the goal of accommodating housing that’s not affordable (by local standards). No dog in this fight, but I suspect others might, as was already demonstrated by Trackside.

          As Don noted above:

          “Property owners to the east and north should definitely take notice. A de facto height limit of four stories has now been created all the way to L Street on the east, and Fifth Street on the north.”

  13. Ron

    From article:  “Then your top three to four stories should be apartments and condos.  Imagine how vibrant the downtown would become around the clock if people lived down there – young professionals, people outside of college, UC Davis employees, and some students.”

    Well, I guess the same “imagination” isn’t working in already-dense San Francisco:

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SF-developers-struggling-to-fill-new-ground-floor-12372889.php?t=83ed034b7e&ipid=articlerecirc

    1. Howard P

      a symptom of the weak retail sector, as well as high construction costs and zoning restrictions that limit what can go into many of the spaces

      So… if the Core Area is doing at least OK with GF retail today, why would they not do at least as well with 3-4 stories of apts/condos above?

      Ron, just be honest what you object to… more people… the rest is window-dressing… mis-direction…

      1. Ron

        Howard:  A good question, and one that I thought of, as well.  (Perhaps the rent is higher, in a newly-constructed building?)

        I wonder if any of the existing businesses at Trackside will re-open at that location.

        I don’t necessarily object to densifying downtown, and have stated this in the past.  (It’s “misdirection” to suggest otherwise.)  But, as shown in the example above, it may not work out in the manner that some are apparently hoping for.

        As is usually the case, there appears to be a strong market for residential, but questionable/fragile demand for space to house businesses.

        1. Howard P

          (Perhaps the rent is higher, in a newly-constructed building?)

          Market is market.  If a business has a ‘hinge point’, it has a ‘hinge point’.

          We’ll see.

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