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Thursday, May 15, 2008

The retail over-saturation problem

When can you tell enough is enough? Is there any hope for our nation if there isn't constant growth? These are the questions I find myself asking when I read stories like this.

Cincinnati Mills, one of the largest retail centers in the region, has seen store after store shutter. This comes after millions of dollars of reinvestment into a massive mall sandwiched in between two others along a mall interstate of sorts.

It really makes you wonder (at least me), do we really need all of this retail space. The same can even be said for urban environments where seemingly every new renovation project, in a mixed-use built area, seems to call for street-level retail with residential or office space above. I suggest that we return the area, where Cincinnati Mills sits, to a natural state. That is obviously an extreme proposal, but at the very least tear down that mall (said in my best Ronald Reagan voice) for some other/better use.

This region is growing much slower than our retail space is expanding...and it seems obvious that the retail locally (and nationally) can not sustain itself by the free market alone. It seems to me that the best alternative would be to let struggling retail space ride off into the sunset. This would allow for values to rise at other retail locations, and we could begin the process of ridding ourselves of our excessive retail space...and who knows, maybe even our over-consumerism.

4 comments:

Radarman said...

Forest Fair Mall, which became Cincinnati Mills, was a disaster from the beginning. George Herscu (sp?}, the developer, was an Australian who was overextended financially even before he started the project in the 80s. It was another case of lenders pouring money in without visiting the site or the surrounding blue-collar area. Three of the anchors were old New York stores that the developer had bought up on the cheap. I agree with blowing it up.

5chw4r7z said...

Cooltownstudios explained this phenomena, the huge investment firms look at 10 million dollar projects as too tiny, they are floating on so much cash they have to invest in huge projects to hopefully get the return they need.
As a matter of fact they actively advocate against human-scale investment to satisfy their trillion dollar investments in huge projects.

Cin Twin1 said...

I went to the Biggs today at Cincinnati Mills since I work across the highway to check out the liquidation sales. There was a sign near the entrace that said "We Are Hiring". I agree, tear it down and make me a walking/joking park I can go to at lunch.

taestell said...

The saddest part about the mall dying is that, since its renovation a few years ago, it is possibly the nicest looking mall in the area as well as the largest. I can see why specialty stores wouldn't stay alive out there: it's too far from the city, too far from rich suburbs, and too close to Northgate Mall. Some people have suggested turning it into an office park or something similar, but I don't think the area would support it. A large park would be great in that space, with large grassy areas, nice trees, bike trails, maybe baseball and soccer fields...

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