Where are there unique shopping areas?

Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 07:57 AM
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Where are there unique shopping areas?

I know this isn't strictly travel related but...does anybody know where there are new, really interesting shopping areas or malls (not really indoor malls though)? My town is always building these ugly strip mall plazas with no trees etc and I just want to be able to point to some designs that are a little (or a lot!) more innovative, attractive, environmentally friendly, or perhaps pedestrian friendly. THANKS!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 08:05 AM
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Like, in the whole world?
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 08:09 AM
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Whether it'll become the prototype for new shopping center development I'm not sure, but the Easton Town Center in Columbus is certainly unique. It's a retail/entertainment complex that takes the concept of a mall and essentially turns it into a "town center/main street" type layout.

In terms of the strip mall plazas, the reality of retail is that at the end of the day, what people really care about is price/selection. Being an aethestic nightmare hasn't really hurt Wal-Mart's success.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 08:09 AM
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Tx maybe just in the US? This is the US Board after all. This sounds like a recent post from our friend traveldis...


Outdoor shopping areas? Madison Avenue, Rodeo Drive...
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 08:10 AM
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Does it have to be new? Boulder, CO has a nice pedestrian mall shopping area.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 08:17 AM
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Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica. Santana Row, San José. Fashion Island, Newport Beach. These are also not particularly new, but offer a somewhat nicer shopping experience than your usual strip mall or indoor monolith.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 08:23 AM
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I tend to prefer lots of little shops in an old-town atmosphere yet I have to admit that I like what they did with the newest mall in Tampa called International Plaza. Tampa's weather is so hot and humid that we really need indoor malls -- but they are soooo mall-ish. International Plaza is the best of an indoor mall (2 floors of great shops) with an outdoor mall food area that has a tropical ambiance. The restaurants are real restaurants, not just a food court, and they meander along outdoor paths with palm trees. There are about 8 full restaurants located at the mall, in addition to the indoor pizza, ice cream, etc. food court. They could have elaborated a bit more on the tropical ambiance part, IMHO, but the restaurants help to open up the mall to the outdoors and give it a less confining feel. The mall is sort of a semi-circle around the restaurants. This mall is packed with people even in the after hours because of these restaurants and the court yards.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 08:32 AM
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A development is underway that will transform the Lake Taneycomo waterfront in downtown Branson, MO into a unique shopping and restaurant district and provide the community with a convention and exhibition center. The waterfront redevelopment will include a boardwalk along Lake Taneycomo, retail, restaurants and commercial space, town square with amphitheater, central water feature with fountains, major outdoor sporting goods store, 300 room convention center hotel and a multi-screen movie theater complex. Portions of the project may be open in 2005.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 10:59 AM
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Horton Plaza in downtown/Gaslamp District San Diego.
Old Sep 4th, 2004, 05:19 AM
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Well, it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but they must have done something right with the Forum Shops at Ceasars' Palace in Las Vegas, and they are currently expanding it once again. I recently saw some statistics which shows it has the highest sales per square foot by far of any shopping area in the US. And they started the idea of the sky domes with changing sunsets and clouds.

I sat in on a lot of planning sessions for the revival of our Naples, Florida Fifth Avenue. Interesting ideas by successful planner Andres Duany (spelling?). Don't make it a pedestrian only area! Do allow parking along the street, but make it free. Add convenient parking garages but keep them back a block. Bring awnings forward from buildings and vary the facades of the buildings. You need a major reason for people to spend a minimum of 4 to 5 hours or it won't work -- so it has to have more than just shops. That's how the city came to give our community theatre a spot of land right in the middle by closing a side street so we could build our new community theatre. If people are going to see a play and have dinner, they pass that time period and shop as well. Now what was a tired and half-vacant business street has become a vibrant and lively social center of shops, restaurants, and entertainment. It can be done.
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Old Sep 4th, 2004, 07:19 AM
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The magnificent mile (Michigan Ave) and the downtown loop area of Chicago and also the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City!!!
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