Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ed McMahon (no, not that one) weighs in...

...on factors that are driving a change in retail construction:

For more than 50 years retailers have favored the commercial strip: a linear pattern of retail businesses strung along major roadways characterized by massive parking lots, big signs, box-like buildings and a total dependence on automobiles for access and circulation.

For years planners have tried to contain and improve the strip. Now they are getting help from consumers and the marketplace. The era of strip development is coming to an end. Evolving consumer behavior, changing demographics, high priced gasoline, internet shopping — are all pointing to a new paradigm for commercial development.

Commercial strips are not going to disappear overnight. But it is becoming increasingly clear that strip retail is retail for the last century. The future belongs to town centers, main streets and mixed use development. 

McMahon, a well-respected commentator on development issues, goes on to describe several interesting reasons why this change is happening and is unlikely to be reversed.

Read the entire article, here.

Chad Emerson

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