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The Chatham Arch Question, Part I: Why, in Older, Formerly Crowded Districts, Is Density Still a Dirty Word?

The Chatham Arch Question, Part I: Why, in Older, Formerly Crowded Districts, Is Density Still a Dirty Word?
It almost goes without saying: in some Indy neighborhoods, when a developer proposes a new project, a certain contingent immediately assembles to oppose it. We probably all know which neighborhoods these are. While an article that calls these opponents to the carpet will seem unfair (and, at least on an urban advocacy blog like this, all too commonplace), I hope I can at least offer a little bit of nuance and balance to the investigation, while still making the fundamental claim that the proposal in question is a good one—which, in turn, means that opposing it is, in my opinion, not a very good idea...
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The Marietta Progresses and Raises New Questions About Mass Ave Infill.

The Marietta Progresses and Raises New Questions About Mass Ave Infill.
A few years ago, I reported on what might at the time have seen like a pretty run-of-the-mill transaction: the Marott Center downtown getting sold by its law-firm owners to a company known as Gershman Partners. It was a long-established, smartly preserved building along Massachusetts Avenue that survived from its heyday. And at the end of 2013, it changed hands.   No big deal, right? The crux of the matter is that a the law partners who had refurbished and then owned Marott Center for years turned the property over to real estate interests. At that point in time, Marott was just an office building...
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PODCAST: What are we going to do about all these dead malls?

PODCAST: What are we going to do about all these dead malls?
This latest post–a podcast actually–is already over a week old, which would make it pretty stale by blogosphere terms, except that it’s particularly relevant for Urban Indy, in the wake of all the closures at the Circle Centre Mall (the most recent of which seems to be Abercrombie and Fitch, though I wouldn’t hold my breath for yet another closure before February). At any rate, this latest podcast has Aaron Renn of The Urbanophile interviewing me about my experience with this formerly ironclad retail typology.  No new malls have been built in a decade, and virtually all...
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City Market (Again): Maximizing the Tenant Potential.

City Market (Again): Maximizing the Tenant Potential.
I first featured the plight of the City Market on my personal blog, American Dirt, back in 2009, when it was in dire straits, just as it had been for many years. Decades, even. It was a pretty grim place: most of the perimeter simply offered unnecessary seating, the central vendor stalls were only-half full, and the ambiance of the market was cavernous and sterile, even during the peak lunch hour. I specifically interviewed local businesses for their opinions on City Market—successful operations like Moody’s Meats and Goose the Market—but neither one had much positive to say: the former business...
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The Case in Greenwood: Why America Deserves Its Retail Blight.

The Case in Greenwood: Why America Deserves Its Retail Blight.
The local media thoroughly covered the City of Greenwood’s announcement that it had finally secured a developer for the site at the southeast corner of the I-65/County Line Road interchange—a tract where numerous proposals had come to light, most prominently featuring a Cabela’s. But, time and time again, none had materialized…part of the aftermath of the sour economy. Well, as of October 28, Gershman Partners announced its plans to develop the tract into over 700,000 square feet of retail. The announcement did not include any primary anchor tenants, suggesting that at this point it remains a...
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