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  1. Developers & Chains ABOUT US Developers & Chains deals in business opportunities, not opportunities that you've missed out on. We specialize in futures, not histories. Developers & Chains is a subscription-only publication that focuses on retail and restaurant expansion across Canada. Developers & Chains is a subscription-only publication that concentrates on the growth and expansion aspects of the retail and restaurant industry across Canada, from British Columbia to Newfoundland. Each issue, and there are over 100 each year, includes information on new concepts and existing chains that have stated an interest in expansion and/or are showing signs of growth. And the reports include details on the companies, their needs and requirement along with the appropriate contacts. Developers & Chains issues also identify new shopping projects, malls and centres that are renovating, expanding or that simply have prime spaces that our subscribers may have available. Again, the issues include the leasing contacts, the uses they are seeking and where to contact them. There is more too. The publication keeps the subscribers aware of planned industry events and changes within the business. There are frequent reports on both retail and development sales and acquisitions, what companies are retaining which real estate-related suppliers and much, much more. Developers & Chains provides the type of leads and information that everyone in the business needs to make calculated decisions and it is all presented in a clear, factual, concise and timely manner that you can depend on. More important though, much of the leasing leads and company details are exclusive to the Developers & Chains’ E-News. They are available only in this publication. The information is exclusive in that it comes directly from our personal conversations with the principals or representatives of the featured companies. It’s almost as if you are there, sitting in on the conversation. Take a look through a recent issues of the Developers & Chains’ E-News. You will find details on new concepts seeking their first location and national chains looking for dozens of new units. You will learn, first hand, about planned entries into new markets. Whether it is a 150 square foot kiosk or a 30,000 square foot anchor tenant for your property, this is where you will meet them first. You will read about malls, centres and large format projects that have that ideal space, perfect for your next store. And you will ‘meet’ the people and companies involved. Oh yes, and the ‘editorial’ that ends every issue. Don’t take offence. It is just a tongue-in-cheek, maybe even irreverent, look at the business that we sometimes take a little too seriously. Sent from my SM-T330NU using Tapatalk
  2. I.H.T. SPECIAL REPORT: SMART CITIES http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/business/global/hip-cities-that-think-about-how-they-work.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=montreal,%20auckland,%20berlin&st=cse&scp=1 By CHRISTOPHER F. SCHUETZE Published: November 17, 2011 The story of young people, full of ambition, energy, skill and talent, moving to enticing cities that call to them like a siren’s song is as old as modern civilization. And in a world where national borders are easier to traverse, where more countries are joining the prosperous global middle class and where the cost of a one-way plane ticket is more affordable, young professionals probably have more cities to choose from than ever before. This survey is not based solely on quality of life, number of trees or the cost of a month’s rent. Instead, we examine some cities that aim to be both smart and well managed, yet have an undeniably hip vibe. Our pick of cities that are, in a phrase, both great and good: Montreal With its hearty French and North American mix, this city of 3.6 million has a real soul thanks to low living costs and long winter evenings. And it is no slouch when it comes to good food, hip culture, well-appointed museums and efficient transportation. Related With four major universities and plenty of bars, the nightlife in this bilingual city has a well-deserved reputation. Because the winters tend to be long and cold, the city possesses an extensive underground network connecting several downtown malls and a subterranean arts quarter. When spring finally does arrive, and snow is cleared from the many bike paths, the city puts out its 5,000 short-term-rental bicycles, known as Bixi. City-sponsored community gardens are sprouting around town, giving urbanites a chance to flex their green thumb. Montreal is an incredibly active town where festivals celebrating everything from jazz to Formula One dominate the city’s calendar during the summer. Thanks to Mount Royal, a large central park and cemetery that serves as cross-country, snowshoe and ice-skating terrain in the winter and becomes a verdant picnic ground and gathering spot in the summer, Montrealers never have to leave city limits.
  3. The Shopping Mall Turns 60 (and Prepares to Retire) The Atlantic Cities EMILY BADGER JUL 13, 2012 The enclosed suburban shopping mall has become so synonymous with the American landscape that it’s hard to imagine the original idea for it ever springing from some particular person's imagination. Now the scheme seems obvious: of course Americans want to amble indoors in a million square feet of air-conditioned retail, of course we will need a food court because so much shopping can’t be done without meal breaks, and of course we will require 10,000 parking spaces ringing the whole thing to accommodate all our cars. The classic indoor mall, however, is widely credited with having an inventor. And when the Vienna-born architect Victor Gruen first outlined his vision for it in a 1952 article in the magazine Progressive Architecture, the plan was a shocker. Most Americans were still shopping downtown, and suburban "shopping centers," to the extent they existed, were most definitely not enclosed in indoor mega-destinations. At the mall’s peak popularity, in 1990, America opened 19 of them. But we haven’t cut the ribbon on a new one since 2006. Gruen’s idea transformed American consumption patterns and much of the environment around us. At age 60, however, the enclosed regional shopping mall also appears to be an idea that has run its course (OK, maybe not in China, but among Gruen’s original clientele). He opened the first prototype in Edina, Minnesota, in 1956, and the concept spread from there (this also means the earliest examples of the archetypal American mall are now of age for historic designation, if anyone wants to make that argument). At the mall’s peak popularity, in 1990, America opened 19 of them. But we haven’t cut the ribbon on a new one since 2006, for reasons that go beyond the recession. As we imagine ways to repurpose these aging monoliths and what the next generation of retail should look like, it’s worth recalling Gruen’s odd legacy. He hated suburbia. He thought his ideas would revitalize cities. He wanted to bring urban density to the suburbs. And he envisioned shopping malls as our best chance at containing sprawl. "He said great quotes on suburbia being 'soulless' and 'in search of a heart,'" says Jeff Hardwick, who wrote the Gruen biography Mall Maker. "He just goes on and on with these critiques. And they occur really early in his writing as well. So it’s not as if he ends up bemoaning suburbia later. He’s critiquing suburbia pretty much from the get-go, and of course the remedy he offers is the shopping mall." Gruen wanted to create better versions of the American downtown in the suburbs. He wanted these places to be civic centers as much as commercial ones, with day cares, libraries, post offices, community halls and public art. He wanted the shopping mall to be for suburbia what the public square was to old European cities. In fact, that mall in Edina, called Southdale, was supposed to be the centerpiece of a 500-acre master plan to include houses, apartments, office buildings, a medical center and schools. In his book, Hardwick unearths a great quote from the president of Dayton’s, the downtown Minneapolis department store that developed Southdale. He, like Gruen, believed that all of this could happen at no expense to the city. "We do not believe," he said, "we or anybody else will lose any business because of the suburban move." • • • • • Gruen’s creations did an amazing job of luring customers (and holding them captive in the shopping bliss now known as the Gruen Effect). The day Southdale opened, 75,000 happy shoppers streamed in. And it’s hard to imagine now where Gruen thought these people were coming from, if not in an exodus from downtown. He also built a series of satellite shopping centers around Detroit for the department store J.L. Hudson. When the first of them opened in 1954, Detroit was the fifth largest city in the country and the fastest growing in the East or Midwest. Of course Gruen’s shopping centers aren’t solely to blame for Detroit’s decline. But his idea helped set off a chain reaction that recurred in cities everywhere. Suburban malls drew consumers who found shopping and parking in the city too difficult. They contributed to a boom in development that enabled not just shopping dollars, but whole households to relocate to suburbia. Cities, eying this exodus, tore down buildings and tried unsuccessfully to recreate the ease of parking and the shopping experience people found in the suburbs. And this only further hastened their decline. "Gruen will often go on about how they’re going to push each other, 'what we’ve created in the suburbs can now be a model for downtown,'" Hardwick says. "But he doesn’t imagine that what we created in the suburbs is going to bankrupt downtown." In Edina, those plans for a whole town anchored around the mall were never executed, and perhaps Gruen was naïve to think the developers of shopping malls would also be interested in developing entire communities. At the time, Gruen believed that by locating all of a community’s shopping needs in an enclosed mall, with a nondescript exterior, we could do away with the "commercial blight" of scattered hot-dog stands and gas stations and neon storefronts that made America, in his eyes, so ugly. But the property value around Southdale quickly went up. And instead of developing the full 500-acre site, Dayton’s sold off chunks of it for what would become the kind of "anonymous mass housing" Gruen detested, and precisely more of the commercial sprawl he wanted to eradicate. Repeatedly, his plans did not turn out as he had imagined them, and later in life he bitterly lamented that Americans had debased his ideas. In one of the strangest legacies of his career, just as he was building these suburban shopping malls, Gruen was trying to revitalize urban downtowns with pedestrian-friendly master plans for cities like Fort Worth, Texas, and Kalamazoo, Michigan. He wanted to bring people back into the city even as he was trying to bring city-like amenities to the suburbs that lured so many people away. "They’re totally at odds," Hardwick says. "He never is able to explain that, or justify it. It’s a fundamental contradiction of his career." And then there was the problem in the suburbs of all that mall parking. How do you make a mall the civic heart of a community when it is, by definition, isolated in a sea of asphalt? "Even if we had realized Gruen’s ideas," says Georgia Tech professor Ellen Dunham-Jones, "if it’s just this self-contained pod surrounded by berms that you drive to, I don’t think the suburbs would actually look or function all that differently [today]." • • • • • By Dunham-Jones' count, today about a third of our existing malls are "dead" or dying. That’s not to say they’re mostly vacant. But they have dreadful sales per square foot. High-end dress stores have moved out, and tattoo parlors have replaced them – "things," Dunham-Jones says, "that would normally be considered way too déclassé for a mall." About a third of our malls are still thriving, and those are the biggest, newest ones. But America is no longer building many new highways, which means we’ve stopped creating prime new locations for mall development. Some of the earliest amenities of the enclosed mall – air-conditioning! – no longer impress us. And the demographics of suburbia have changed dramatically. Malls draw the largest share of their customers from teenagers, and the baby boomers who largely populate suburbia no longer have teenagers at home. For all these reasons, the suburban mall of Gruen’s plan appears to be victim of more than just the recession. Dunham-Jones, who has tracked this trend in her book Retrofitting Suburbia, estimates that more than 40 malls nationwide have been targeted for significant redevelopment. And she can count 29 that have already been repurposed, or that have construction underway. In 2010, Columbus, Ohio, tore down the dead mall in its downtown for a park. Voorhees, New Jersey, demolished half of its dead mall, built a new main street and relocated its city hall into the remaining building. In Denver, eight of the area’s 13 regional malls now have plans for redevelopment. One of them, in suburban Lakewood, was converted from a 100-acre super block into 22 walkable blocks with retail and residences. "It’s the downtown that Lakewood never had before," Dunham-Jones says. Ironically, this is what Gruen had been aiming for. "Except that now it’s open-air." Americans haven’t particularly outgrown the consumer impulse that Gruen detected. We still love to flock to dense agglomerations of Body Shops and Cinnabuns and Brookstones. But now those places look increasingly like open-air "lifestyle centers," with condos above or offices next door. Some of these places are just the old mall in a new Main Street disguise. But when you add residences, and cut Gruen’s mega-block into what actually looks like a downtown street grid, that begins to change things. "You’ve got to get a mix of uses, but the connectivity is probably even more important," Dunham-Jones says. "The uses will come and go over time, but if you can establish a walkable network of streets, that’s when you’re really going to establish a ripple effect in changing suburban patterns."
  4. Un article, qui, je le sent, fera plaisir à Malek Should Downtown Crossing be reopened to traffic? Would car traffic bring back the crowds? Boston Globe, by Michael Levenson, Globe Staff | March 1, 2009 Downtown Crossing's problems have been well-documented: Crime has spawned fear, heightened by a stabbing and shooting in the midst of a bustling afternoon. Shops that once thrived next to Jordan Marsh and Filene's have shuttered, leaving empty storefronts cheek-by-jowl with pushcarts, discount jewelry stalls, and gaping construction sites. Sidewalks that teem with rowdy teenagers and office workers by day lie empty and forbidding at night. For years, city planners have been promising to restore the area to its former grandeur and make it a major urban destination. But as they have attempted solution after solution without success, they have never tried one idea: reopening the streets to traffic. Indeed, Downtown Crossing remains one of the last vestiges of a largely discredited idea, the Ameri can pedestrian mall, which municipal planners once believed would help cities compete with proliferating suburban malls. In the 1970s, at least 220 cities closed downtown thoroughfares, paved them with bricks or cobbles and waited for them to take hold as urban destinations. Since then, all but about two dozen have reopened the malls to traffic, as planners, developers, and municipal officials came to believe that the lack of cars had an effect opposite of what they had intended, driving away shoppers, stifling businesses, and making streets at night seem barren and forlorn. "Pedestrian malls never delivered the type of foot traffic and vitality they had expected," said Doug Loescher, director of The Main Street Center at The National Trust for Historic Preservation. "The sense of movement that a combination of transit modes provides - whether on foot or in car - really does make a difference," he said. "People feel safer, because there's some kind of movement through the district, other than a lone pedestrian at night. It just creates a sense of energy that makes people feel more comfortable and makes the district more appealing." Boston planners are against opening up Downtown Crossing, but as the district suffers the exodus of anchor businesses and a deepening malaise has settled in, some shop owners long for the energy, ease, and excitement they remember before Downtown Crossing closed to most traffic in 1978. "There was a constant flow of cars, stopping and going; it was very active, very busy, like a typical city street," said Steve Centamore, co-owner since 1965 of Bromfield Camera Co., on Bromfield Street, part of which is open only to commercial traffic. "There were people coming and going. It didn't seem to impede any pedestrians. It was a lot busier. People could just pull up and get what they needed. Now, it takes an act of Congress to even get through here." Pellegrino Bondanza, 72, who has sold vegetables in Downtown Crossing since he was a boy, said the pedestrian mall "didn't work out well." He hopes the city will reopen it to traffic. "Maybe it would bring some of the action back in town," he said. "I remember as a kid, I tried to squeeze in with a pushcart and, if I could locate at a corner, I could sell what I had in an hour and make a good living there. You had to be a little careful crossing the streets and everything, but don't forget the cars went slow when they were going up them streets there. There was no fast driving." Boston officials say they considered reopening Downtown Crossing to traffic and, in 2006, hired a team of consultants from London, Toronto, Berkeley, Calif., and Boston to study the idea. The consultants concluded that the mall should stay because the estimated 230,000 people who walk through Downtown Crossing every day should be enough to keep the place lively and economically vital. "What we heard from them pretty loudly was, 'Not just yet. Make it work. Give it your best effort,' " said Andrew Grace, senior planner and urban designer at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. "Lots of cities throughout the world make these districts work. The historic centers in most European cities function, and they thrive." Kristen Keefe, retail sector manager of the BRA, warned that bringing back traffic could squeeze out pedestrians who, she said, already contend with crowded sidewalks. "We just think these two things are in conflict," she said. Boston built its pedestrian mall after a study showed that six times more pedestrians than cars traveled down Washington Street - in front of what was then Filene's and Jordan Marsh - "so the impetus was to reassert the balance for pedestrians a little bit and improve the safety and amenities for pedestrians," said Jane Howard, who helped design the mall for the BRA and is now a planner in a private firm. It was a time when malls were being built across the country. Some are still considered successful - in Burlington, Vt., and Charlottesville, Va., for example. And New York City is experimenting with blocking traffic on Broadway through Times and Herald squares to create pedestrian-only zones. But those are the exceptions. Chicago, which turned downtown State Street into a pedestrian mall in 1979, reopened it to traffic in 1996, convinced that the mall had worsened the area's economic slump and left the street deserted and dangerous. Eugene, Ore., scrapped its mall in 1997, frustrated that "people went around downtown instead of through it," said Mayor Kitty Piercy. Tampa got rid of its mall in 2001 because it "didn't bring back any retail," as the city had hoped, said Christine M. Burdick president of Tampa Downtown Partnership. Buffalo, which has trolley service on its mall on Main Street, is currently reintroducing cars after finding that shoppers avoided stores that were cut off from traffic. "It takes a leap of faith to go somewhere nearby, pay to park, and then walk to someplace you haven't been yet," said Deborah Chernoff, Buffalo's planning director. "All the cities are dealing with the reality of how people actually behave." Downtown Crossing is not even a full pedestrian mall. Because Washington Street, its main thoroughfare, is open to commercial traffic, pedestrians mostly stick to the sidewalks, avoiding the cabs and police cruisers that often ply the route. After dark on a recent weeknight, just after 8:30 p.m., Downtown Crossing resembled a film noir scene, its deserted rain-slick streets glistening with the reflections of neon signs from a shuttered liquor store and a discount jewelry shop. The few pedestrians who hurried by were mostly teenagers and office workers descending into the subway or headed to the bustle on Tremont Street. They walked purposefully, scurrying past darkened store after darkened store with metal gates pulled shut. The only cars were a police cruiser that rumbled past, an idling garbage truck, and the occassional taxi. Yet some say the mall should stay. The developer Ronald M. Druker, who owns buildings on Washington Street, said he has "vivid memories of the conflict between cars and pedestrians," before the mall was built. "If you insinuated cars and trucks on a normal basis into that area, it would not enliven it," he said. "It would create the same problems that it created 30 years ago when we got rid of them." But others, particularly the shop owners struggling to survive the recession say they are eager to try just about anything that would bring back business. "Downtown Crossing definitely needs something - that's for sure," said Harry Gigian owner since 1970 of Harry Gigian Co. jewelers on Washington Street, which has seen a sharp dropoff in sales. "Nobody comes downtown anymore." De mon côté, j'adore les rues piétonnières européennes. Par contre, dans la plupart des cas, plusieurs des éléments qui font leur succès là bas ne sont pas réunis de ce côté ci de l'Altantique: - Bien qu'animées à certains moments de la journée ou de l'année, nos rues principales sont plutôt tranquilles la majorité du temps (les matins, les journées froides d'hiver, etc) - la présence d'itinérants, plus nombreux ici - il n'y a pas de "point focal", de destinations, ou point d'attraction majeure à chaque bout de nos rues qui ont le potentiel de devenir piétonnières. Par contre, il est très agréable de se promener dans la foule, l'été, sur une rue sans traffic automobile. Un compromis: avoir des rues piétonnières temporaires? par exemple, fermer Ste-Catherine les vendredis, samedis et dimanches de l'été, de midi à minuit? Bon, on ouvre les lignes! Les amateurs d'urbanisme, bonjour!