Sunday, June 24, 2007

Square Retail

Downtown is a tough sell

"Even some supporters of the Harrison Square project don’t see the downtown development fitting into their own business plans. They include Sweetwater Sound Inc., Vera Bradley Designs Inc., The Casa Restaurant Group, Biaggi’s and Belmont Beverage."

"Some other local retailers and restaurateurs are definitely intrigued by – though not committed to – the project. They include Cookie Cottage, Rustic Hutch, Jophiel and Hungry Howie’s Pizza."

"Jason Freier, chief executive of Hardball Capital, isn’t surprised or alarmed by the fact that business leaders are expanding according to their own individual strategies."

"Barry Real Estate is busily preparing floor plans to show to prospective tenants. Freier imagines restaurants will be an important part of the development, which is expected to have south-facing floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the baseball park’s concourse. Diners could people-watch before games and enjoy the view of the field on non-game days, he said."

"Although malls, shopping centers and other retail developments often include a significant number of national retail chains, Freier hopes Harrison Square will include a significant local presence as well."

"Sure, some Fort Wayne Wizards fans will want to grab a bite before 7 p.m. games, but downtown workers and people attending events at Grand Wayne Center also eat lunch five days a week, the attorney said."

"The goal with Harrison Square is to attract people to downtown Fort Wayne on evenings and weekends throughout the year."

"Freier, one of the developers, plans to sign a Fort Wayne real estate company to lease the space because he believes those professionals are most in tune with the local market."

“The purpose of the Harrison Square project is to be able to showcase the types of things that make the area unique,” Bodecker said. “That’s the type of thing that would connect well with people coming in for the convention center and the library and the ballpark.”


Dave MacDonald said...

Perhaps they haven't yet found a vision for downtown development they can support. I humbly submit the following for consideration:


Scott said...

Looks great. Wonderful ideas.

Joe said...

Yes great ideas Dave. Hopefully we can get some more development on the Northwest part of downtown, too. In my opinion it is the ugliest part, you've got the Sunbeam factory and a bunch of other industrial buildings. The new printing press building is a start, but hopefully there can be some riverfront development or beautification projects in this area.

Scott said...

While the Sunbeam factory might be ugly, it does give off an intoxicating smell to downtown. Maybe a new facade would do the trick.