Monday, September 7, 2015

Increased Density Spurs Retail Revival

The wedge that cleaves Richardson politics is development. On one side are those who want to see the city stop the construction of apartments and do something to breath life back into dying shopping centers. On the other side are those who rally behind multi-use developments like CityLine and Palisades with their apartments, offices and retail. It turns out that maybe, just maybe, the key to reversing the decline of older retail in Richardson is the success of new multi-use developments.


According to a marketing story in Bisnow (a commercial real estate news website):
Major developments like the $1.5B mixed-use CityLine are attracting activity on a smaller scale surrounding these mammoth projects and turning Richardson's Telecom Corridor into a retail hot spot.

Weitzman Group's Joey Keffler tells us he's seeing the entire market reborn, particularly the Telecom Corridor. Retailers are starving to get back into Richardson, and the goal of shopping center owners is to make sure they have a place to land. These smaller centers are meeting the needs of retailers who want to serve an affluent, growing population with food, service and medical concepts.
Source: Source.
OK, the piece reads like a bit of boosterism by a real estate agent, but it does support the theory that luring big employers to Richardson and building the residential density to support their workforce are keys to reviving older retail.

The article describes not CityLine or Palisades, but the redevelopment of Campbell Way, an old shopping center that had seen better days even before Half Price Books moved south to Richardson Heights. Now, with a big re-do, the shopping center is ready to cash in on the "affluent, growing population" that is the result of developments like Palisades to its immediate north and CityLine farther north.

Could it be that what Richardson's aging shopping centers needed was the kind of high density, business and multi-family developments now taking place? The spillover effects of such development might turn out to be real, to be large, and to be beneficial to the rest of Richardson.

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