Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Retail In Downtown Charlotte

When many of us think of retail, the thoughts of Miracle on 34th Street is brought to mind, with Macy's and Gimble's huge multi-floor department stores battling each other. Those days are gone for Charlotte. In the past, our versions were Ivey's and Belk's along with others.

During the urban renewal years, many old buildings, both storefronts as well as commercial buildings were torn down in the name of progress. Merchants also changed their models to have preprogrammed stores to plop into a suburban mall full of ample parking. Today's environment has also built parking garages to surround suburban malls.

As I identify trends currently taking place that will affect our property values, I am finding that there is indeed retail in downtown Charlotte, sometimes in plain view, we just don't notice it. The old Ivey's Department Store building, now Ivey's Townhomes, is a living example of thriving retail. Many of us walk by Ivey's everyday without realizing that the second floor has an expanded retail presents (see insert).

Sure. We see the fast food restaurants, along with the secured entrance for the townhomes, but who knew that there was a "Dollar Store" doing a great business on things we all use everyday?

Everything from a barber shop to a chiropractor, and all the spaces are filled.

If you haven't shopped there, stop in when you walk buy. While you won't be walking out with a major department store bag, you will probably have your hands full. Give it a try.

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