I’ve heard people remark about the large number of vacant spaces on the Downtown Mall recently, something we haven’t seen much of since about fifteen years ago. Henry Graff reports for NBC-29 that the real estate might be empty, but it’s spoken for. Only 3% of all Downtown Mall spaces are vacant, while everything else that looks shut down is undergoing renovations or have leases pending.
3 thoughts on “Downtown’s Empty Storefronts Not So Empty”
… and 49.9% of it is owned by Coran Capshaw!
“There are a lot of rumors flying around about what new businesses will be coming to the mall but no officials are going on the record about any of the rumors.” Seeing is believing.
“But the city isn’t waiting for the dust to settle. Charlottesville is cutting through the red tape of development by putting new zoning laws in place to make it easier to have a business on the mall.” I noticed that the city fathers are reticent on this rallying point, too. Sorry, the days that I believe anything coming out of city hall or thse welfare recipients are long over.
I still think the Downtown Mall is going through hard times. I thought it was even before this economic downturn. Those 3 huge buildings next to Wachovia are a huge drain on the mall and an eyesore. Plus there are many other empty buildings. I’ll believe they all have great new tenants coming when I see it.
The mall is a wonderful entertainment destination – plays, movies, bands, and tons of food. But I don’t think this is enough. In order to be a vibrant area, it needs to have shopping (clothes), services (dentists), hardware-type store, etc. I know this won’t be popular, but we need some chain clothing stores. I think a mix of chains and boutiques is the healthiest mix, like Barracks Road. Very few locals think of downtown as a shopping area. Especially for men.
Similar malls in Burlington, VT and Boulder, CO do have chain stores and the malls are more vibrant than ours. I’ll go to the mall for more than food if I can find a GAP.
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