Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Discuss items in the urban core outside of Downtown as described above. Everything in the core including the east side (18th & Vine area), Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Valentine, Waldo, 39th street, & the entire midtown area.

Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Keep it as is - almost entirely as a shopping/restaurant mall district.
11
19%
Mix things up just a little more such as adding neighborhood amenities, broader nightlife, lighter eats.
27
47%
Needs more drastic change with less mall focus, pedestrian only street.
14
24%
Don't care.
5
9%
Other
1
2%
 
Total votes: 58

mean
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 10739
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 9:00 am
Location: Historic Northeast

Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by mean » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:50 pm

I don't know. Maybe there's not one. Maybe CVS and Walgreens killed them all already. I'm just saying it would be preferable, and if there's really a large demand, which I don't doubt, I have to think people would be happy to pay plaza convenience premiums on those bandaids to help cover the rent.

Chris Stritzel
Pad site
Pad site
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:27 pm
Location: St. Louis/Kansas City
Contact:

Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by Chris Stritzel » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:35 pm

Crazy idea, but I think Country Club Plaza could lose some streets going through it. Preferably Nichols Road, Pennsylvania and Central (47th has to stay, it is common sense the same with Broadway) Make it more Pedestrian Friendly. This way, you can have a safer atmosphere with more "small shops" in the area where the street is while promoting outdoor seating for nightlife and what not.

WoodDraw
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1297
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:53 pm

Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by WoodDraw » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:29 pm

mean wrote:I don't know. Maybe there's not one. Maybe CVS and Walgreens killed them all already. I'm just saying it would be preferable, and if there's really a large demand, which I don't doubt, I have to think people would be happy to pay plaza convenience premiums on those bandaids to help cover the rent.
I'm skeptical of the whole idea. The plaza needs a lot more than a drug store to change the neighborhood. I've always found it to be very car centric anyway. Are the local residents really begging for this? I'd expect the opposite really.

earthling
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4555
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:15 pm

Not a drug store as a catch all solution, but it is desired by those who live on N and W ends as well as hotel visitors (S end has a CVS over off Main). I used to walk to the Plaza drugstore often when it had one (and market). The reality is that those who live around Plaza do treat it as a pedestrian scale neighborhood and most any pedestrian neighborhood in US with as much shopping as Plaza has will also have a drugstore and market. It's very very odd that Plaza doesn't have these. Highwoods didn't acknowledge the surrounding neighborhood and didn't care. They just wanted to convert Plaza to an office park with shops/restaurants.

Back on the Nichols Rd pedestrian only conversion... With shopping districts struggling to compete with online, creating 'experiences' is their ammo. It would be a new thing to visit on the Plaza, especially if changing function every couple years to keep it fresh. Plaza residents would probably spend more time on Plaza if it had this depending on function.

The votes are increasing. Was expecting 'keeping as a mall' to lead but looks like most want moving away from mall at least to some degree.

aknowledgeableperson
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12247
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:31 pm

Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by aknowledgeableperson » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:44 pm

Any one know the space rent for retail on the Plaza? This was not a distressed property when sold so I would assume the new owner is looking for a decent return on investment. And that may mean more of the same. Don't fix it if it isn't broken.

User avatar
smh
Broadway Square
Broadway Square
Posts: 2966
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:40 pm
Location: Central Loop

Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by smh » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:57 pm

WoodDraw wrote:What's a locally owned drugstorethat can afford plaza rents?
FTFY.

User avatar
smh
Broadway Square
Broadway Square
Posts: 2966
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:40 pm
Location: Central Loop

Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by smh » Tue Jul 11, 2017 1:59 pm

I'd like to see Nichols pedestrianized b/c it only runs about 4 blocks and doesn't connect anything at present. Add kiosks in the middle of the street to take up some of the space--use them to germinate new retailers.

earthling
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4555
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:00 am

aknowledgeableperson wrote:And that may mean more of the same. Don't fix it if it isn't broken.
They could probably get by continuing basically as a mall but if the poll reflects the metro, they could probably attract a lot more of the metro more often if mixing things up more (outside of just shops/restaurants). I live between Plaza/Westport, a little closer to Plaza, yet go to Westport sometimes 2-3 times a week and Plaza maybe once every two months. It's becoming a bore to many.

Looks like they are heading towards local when possible, which is a good step but so far still just retail/restaurants and no sign yet catering to neighborhood.

earthling
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4555
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:18 am

smh wrote:I'd like to see Nichols pedestrianized b/c it only runs about 4 blocks and doesn't connect anything at present. Add kiosks in the middle of the street to take up some of the space--use them to germinate new retailers.
They could make two blocks permanent and another block changed up every few years to keep things fresh. I might move these to original post.

For those who don't want major changes, how about this...

Imagine this with more fountains...
Image

Image

There is a CVS with tasteful signage in background...
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
smh
Broadway Square
Broadway Square
Posts: 2966
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:40 pm
Location: Central Loop

Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by smh » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:01 am

earthling wrote:
smh wrote:I'd like to see Nichols pedestrianized b/c it only runs about 4 blocks and doesn't connect anything at present. Add kiosks in the middle of the street to take up some of the space--use them to germinate new retailers.
They could make two blocks permanent and another block changed up every few years to keep things fresh. I might move these to original post.
I like the sound of this. The good news too is that closing the street down for a trial of this idea is as simple as putting out some cones and bringing in a couple of street vendors for a weekend or two.

earthling
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4555
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:06 am

^Good idea, I'll add that to original post if you don't mind with credit. They may need it to be Plaza restaurants as the vendors depending on contracts, and many already have stands that they use for Plaza Art Fair. They could maybe trial it every or certain weekends through summer.

earthling
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4555
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:30 pm

About 40 votes so far with over half preferring a bit more mixed up than just retail/restaurants. Doesn't look like too many want something as drastic as changing Nichols Rd to a pedestrian only street, would think it would be a huge long term boost. Take a look at the pics again above, most still don't want that?

Will be sending this thread link to Plaza owners in about a week giving time for any more ideas (and the those who like to knock down the ideas, which is good as it helps hash things out).

I've slightly changed poll definitions with more clarity, can always re-vote but still fundamentally the same.

flyingember
One Park Place
One Park Place
Posts: 6832
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:54 am

Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by flyingember » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:19 am

earthling wrote:About 40 votes so far with over half preferring a bit more mixed up than just retail/restaurants. Doesn't look like too many want something as drastic as changing Nichols Rd to a pedestrian only street, would think it would be a huge long term boost. Take a look at the pics again above, most still don't want that?

Will be sending this thread link to Plaza owners in about a week giving time for any more ideas (and the those who like to knock down the ideas, which is good as it helps hash things out).

I've slightly changed poll definitions with more clarity, can always re-vote but still fundamentally the same.
It's not a bad idea but there's better places than the plaza to focus money on such a drastic makeover.

earthling
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4555
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:34 am

Like what, targeting a run-of-the-mill Nike store? Adding some local biz should help but The Plaza could use a makeover with broader appeal than just a shopping/restaurant district.

kcjak
Valencia Place
Valencia Place
Posts: 1913
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:02 pm

Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by kcjak » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:48 am

Just curious - what sort of things would have broader appeal than just a shopping/restaurant district?

I also like the idea of turning Nicholls Rd into a pedestrian mall, but think people would be livid that a couple dozen parking spaces would disappear. I wish they would find a way to put a real plaza or at least a park on top of the parking garage behind Starbucks/Topsy's.

earthling
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4555
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:59 am

As described in the first post, broader nightlife such as swanky-leaning music clubs, performance theatre, comedy club, neighborhood amenities, etc. Most in the burbs probably just want shopping/eats but it wouldn't hurt to give up a dozen of the 100 or so retail spots to more variety.

The Plaza has massive free parking garages that are never nearly filled except for major events, including 4 large along Nichols Rd. The Nichols Rd parking is only a couple dozen spots. The Plaza could also use some digital parking signage that shows number of available garage spots.

flyingember
One Park Place
One Park Place
Posts: 6832
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:54 am

Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by flyingember » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:15 am

Why can't these things be in the neighborhoods? Why do people have to go to the plaza for neighborhood amenities?

A comedy club or music club isn't a bad idea but why must this be on the plaza?

If we want to discourage car use on the plaza and get more ped use a concentration of activities isn't the way to do it. Spread out the destinations so people want to walk there.

And many plaza garages are at capacity on a regular basis. I would say there's 20% capacity you can count on being free. I know of three garages to avoid weekday at 3pm.

earthling
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4555
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:32 am

The bigger question is why is the Plaza so focused on these two areas when other high end urbanized leaning shopping districts around country have a solid mix of everything (re: Michigan Ave in Chicago), including serving the nearby residents. Am not suggesting taking away half of the shopping, just a dozen of the ~100 retail spots for a broader mix. Would suburban people not go to Plaza if it had broader options they personally don't care about? It really can attract a broader range. I live off the Plaza and only go a few times a year. Would go more often if it had neighborhood amenities and broader nightlife. And it used to just before Nichols sold it - you seem to imply it's a mistake and the neighborhood around it doesn't matter, one of the densest parts of the metro. A broader mix would be great for hotel visitors too.

flyingember
One Park Place
One Park Place
Posts: 6832
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:54 am

Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by flyingember » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:31 am

Michigan Avenue shopping has an entire mall the size of the plaza just in one building and the shopping district is closer to if you had a two block shopping district from 31st to 47th St in KC. It's not an apples to apples example.

The question you haven't answered is why does one specific shopping center need to change to fit what you need? Why can't an expansion of services be in surrounding areas?

What's so wrong about what the plaza is today that is must be everything for all people?

earthling
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4555
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:03 pm

^Apparently over 65% in this poll think it needs to be more than it is. And it indeed can be much much better than it is. Better is subjective though and some are fine with what it is. The bigger question is, why desire it to target those two things when it can broaden out? And cutting down on some retail could provide opportunity for downtown to expand retail.

Post Reply