Monday, January 01, 2007

displacement: a definition

New Years seems appropriate for an alcohol related post. Just a classic example of displacement. I recently noticed that the state store in Shadyside on Craig, one block east of Aiken, has closed down. Seems a pretty clear result of the new state store opening at the Eastside development just up the street. I am a little curious what other changes we may see near there.

On a bigger scale, worth a note is this minor bit of business news the other day that the not-small Pittsburgh Mills mall has shifted ownership to its minority partner. I have noticed past news stories questioning the sustanability of the Pittsburgh Mills mall. Here I repeat a post from a few months ago:

So I note this story by Jon Delano:Pittsburgh Mills' Future Could Be In Doubt. The full timeline of the Pittsburgh Mills project is included in Mike Yeoman's: Pittsburgh Mills muscles its way into landscape. Brings to mind: Allegheny Center Mall. Which remarkably is not included here: http://www.deadmalls.com/ but overall it makes you think, how many development projects are driven more by inertia than anything else.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess rule #1 is don't let the object of subsidy fail. Pittsburgh Mills or Allegheny Center, failure up front is very visible.
But retail development is a regional zero sum game, so success in one place comes at the expense of another. This is not always as obvious. The success of suburban regional malls came at the expense of the city. Efforts to make the city more retail-competitive are portrayed as more noble - reduce sprawl, jobs for the poor, amenities for the creative class - but if you aren't careful they can still just be an intra-regional competition for limited retail facilities.
Substitutions occur within the city as well. Home Depot changed the landscape of building supply and paint stores. Subsidies for Whole Foods set off a chain reaction of cascading subsidies for Giant Eagle, Shop N Save, the East End Food Coop, and so on. After spending millions of public economic development dollars, the result is one net new store. And it is doing so well you have to wonder why it needed subsidies to begin with.
So now a premium state store is supporting Whole Foods competitive position. How long will it take for something to shift Giant Eagle's way, at additional public expense? Is retail musical chairs the best use of economic development money?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 9:32:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

true.. who remembers the Keystone Plumbing in East Liberty. Wheelers Paints has survived longer than I expected but did trade down its location, which made way for Trader Vic's.

but Allegheny Center mall failed pretty completely as a mall as have may publicly supported projects. and most suburban malls were put in place with little of what we would consider subsidies in the current meaning of the term. Lots of different issues in that.

The whole Craig st. corridor is a topic unto itself. The displacement issues are obvious but there are lots of other interesting things as well. Remember when the Food Gallery tried to be the upscale food retailer in the region with that location on Centre and another in Fox Chapel only to fail and be bought out by Giant Eagle. Why can that same location now seemingly support an upscale Giant Eagle and not far away a WHole Foods and a Trader Vics.

but it was crazy there for a time when from Center and Craig out to the East Liberty Mall you had 3 Giant Eagles, Shop and Save and a Whole Foods.. TV's only came after at least the one GE closed so you cant say they are all there at the same time. Funny how the first to close was the supermarket closest to the Hill though.

My prediction.. somebody tries to make the Shakespeare St. lots and location into residential development in one form or another.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Amos_thePokerCat said...

Isn't there still an Orange Julius at the ACM staffed entirely by zombies?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 4:30:00 PM  
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