Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How to Revitalize Collin Creek Mall

And, at the same time, how downtown Richardson can learn from our northern neighbor.

The Dallas Morning News endorses Harry LaRosiliere for Plano mayor. Several sentences in the News' editorial are relevant to Richardson, too, but I'll focus on just one:
To counteract loss of retail to northern suburbs, [LaRosiliere] says, the stagnating Collin Creek Mall area needs a makeover and should be re-established as a destination, perhaps through a bond vote and a public-private partnership that opens up the creek and connects with downtown.
Does that sound familiar? It should. After the jump, a flashback to a blog post here from last October.

Compare LaRosiliere's comments in The Dallas Morning News to what I had to say last October about Richardson's decision to bury the Floyd Branch of Cottonwood Creek in downtown Richardson:
I'm reminded of the huge concrete culverts that disappear under the ground just south of Plano's Collin Creek Mall. Follow along. Bury the creek itself. Build a big mall where the creek used to flow. Name it Collin Creek Mall. Build an artificial waterway inside the mall. Then, if that's not enough, to top off the irony, bury even the artificial waterway, too, a decade or two later, to make room for a Starbucks kiosk.

Congratulations, Richardson. By burying the Floyd Branch Creek, you are catching up to 1980s Plano. You probably won't have to wait 30 years like Plano did to discover that today's shoppers prefer more natural shopping districts like Watters Creek in Allen, which features "a large creekside village green, interactive public art, a variety of retail options, restaurants featuring al fresco dining and water views, and office space and residential lofts."
Source: The Wheel.
I like how Harry LaRosiliere thinks. At the same time that Richardson is emulating 1980s Plano by burying a creek, LaRosiliere shows the way for Plano to jump from the 1980s to the 21st century by restoring a creek. Does Plano share LaRosiliere's vision? We'll find out in the election. Is there any chance that LaRosiliere's thinking can rub off on Richardson's mayoral candidates? We can hope.

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