Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Downtown Retail Study Completed

STUDY HIGHLIGHTS: Click Here To View Full Study
• The best locations for downtown retail are on Lady Street from Main Street to Huger Street and on Main Street from Gervais Street to Laurel Street.
• The city needs more sites suited for retail. Only 28 percent of the building spaces on Main Street house retail. On Lady Street, it’s 19 percent.
• Main Street has too many fake facades, tinted windows and unattractive signs. All turn off shoppers.
• There are too many empty lots and parking lots between buildings on Lady Street. The report called it “gap-toothed.”
• Lady Street needs more in-fill development, but it should push toward Main rather than Huger.
• The city should provide forgivable loans and other incentives to entice retailers downtown and building owners to improve properties.
• Lady and Main streets should be better connected by streetscaping and an easier crossing at Assembly Street.
• Downtown needs more retailers that appeal to middle- and upper-income shoppers, such as bistros, delis and shops that sell prepared foods, books, stationery, apparel and home furnishings.
• The Vista should continue as an arts district.
• Downtown must attract shoppers from the suburbs until there are enough downtown residents, employees and travelers to support strong retail.


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