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  #61  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2019, 12:24 AM
Fryguy Fryguy is offline
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I better see a 24 story tower built from view of my office.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2019, 1:39 AM
krondog krondog is online now
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Originally Posted by JACKinBeantown View Post
The lack of retail is astounding.
This. I'm from SA but I've been living in Berlin for quite some time now and let me tell you, there's nothing worse than living on the ground floor where people walking by can see inside. Having no retail on the ground floor in a location like that is mindboggling.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2019, 1:32 PM
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This. I'm from SA but I've been living in Berlin for quite some time now and let me tell you, there's nothing worse than living on the ground floor where people walking by can see inside. Having no retail on the ground floor in a location like that is mindboggling.
I don't mean this as a slight (and I hope nobody takes it that way) but I think many (not all) people in San Antonio just don't have enough experience with urban living to understand such things. I lived in New York for 18 years, you live in Berlin, and there are others who have lived in other places, as well as those in SA who do understand. But ground level retail in an urban setting is sooooo important. It creates community, it gives dwellers immediate access to shopping, dining, etc., it gives residents the privacy you mentioned, it makes it safer (thieves can much more easily break into a ground floor home than one on the second floor or above), it lessens the need for driving which lessens traffic and pollution. I have such a hard time with a large residential building such as this in a dense urban setting and no retail. Such poor planning.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2019, 2:57 PM
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sirkingwilliam sirkingwilliam is offline
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Originally Posted by JACKinBeantown View Post
I don't mean this as a slight (and I hope nobody takes it that way) but I think many (not all) people in San Antonio just don't have enough experience with urban living to understand such things. I lived in New York for 18 years, you live in Berlin, and there are others who have lived in other places, as well as those in SA who do understand. But ground level retail in an urban setting is sooooo important. It creates community, it gives dwellers immediate access to shopping, dining, etc., it gives residents the privacy you mentioned, it makes it safer (thieves can much more easily break into a ground floor home than one on the second floor or above), it lessens the need for driving which lessens traffic and pollution. I have such a hard time with a large residential building such as this in a dense urban setting and no retail. Such poor planning.
I’m not sure why you’re trying to position this on the citizens of San Antonio. They’re not developing these projects nor are these projects being developing via their feedback. I think we can all agree that retail is important in an urban setting, but myself nor anyone on here is developing these projects. Obviously the people developing these projects for whatever reason decided not to include retail in their residential projects.

We get it, you really like it, you’re the first to cheer or jeer a residential project if it does or doesn’t have retail. But again, non of us nor any average San Antonian is developing these projects. There’s no need to beat the dead horse over something none of us have control over.

You want ground floor retail in an urban residential development, take a loan out, find investors. Build what you want yourself, otherwise we’re all here just commentating on developments we have zero control over.

Basically, there’s no need to generalize or try and speak for an entire populace over something they have no control over.
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  #65  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2019, 3:02 PM
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Originally Posted by sirkingwilliam View Post
I’m not sure why you’re trying to position this on the citizens of San Antonio. They’re not developing these projects nor are these projects being developing via their feedback. I think we can all agree that retail is important in an urban setting, but myself nor anyone on here is developing these projects. Obviously the people developing these projects for whatever reason decided not to include retail in their residential projects.

We get it, you really like it, you’re the first to cheer or jeer a residential project if it does or doesn’t have retail. But again, non of us nor any average San Antonian is developing these projects. There’s no need to beat the dead horse over something none of us have control over.

You want ground floor retail in an urban residential development, take a loan out, find investors. Build what you want yourself, otherwise we’re all here just commentating on developments we have zero control over.

Basically, there’s no need to generalize or try and speak for an entire populace over something they have no control over.
Are you absolutely positive that nobody reading these threads has any sway over the design of a project in San Antonio, or that they won't in the future, or that they don't ever talk to somebody who does? If so, please explain.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2019, 4:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JACKinBeantown View Post
Are you absolutely positive that nobody reading these threads has any sway over the design of a project in San Antonio, or that they won't in the future, or that they don't ever talk to somebody who does? If so, please explain.
I can’t tell you who is on this board or reads these posts or monitors these threads. But I can’t tell you none of the people who post here regularly do nor was the comment I quoted and responded to directed at them. You made a gross generalization about something no one you directed towards has any control over.

Also, as I’ve stated before, you’re smart enough to know a developer is only going to build a project that maximizes their ROI. If they think replacing residential units with retail will get them the best ROI, then they will. You seem to live in a world where you think developers in SA or in general don’t do their due diligence and are just completely against ground floor retail for the sake of it.

Bottom line, you keep preaching to the choir with a case of instant amnesia because you then repeat the same rhetoric in the same thread or in a different thread on a different date.

I don’t mean to come off as mean or rude, but I’m not a fan of beating this dead horse. Just my two pennies.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2019, 6:12 PM
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Originally Posted by sirkingwilliam View Post
I can’t tell you who is on this board or reads these posts or monitors these threads. But I can’t tell you none of the people who post here regularly do nor was the comment I quoted and responded to directed at them. You made a gross generalization about something no one you directed towards has any control over.

Also, as I’ve stated before, you’re smart enough to know a developer is only going to build a project that maximizes their ROI. If they think replacing residential units with retail will get them the best ROI, then they will. You seem to live in a world where you think developers in SA or in general don’t do their due diligence and are just completely against ground floor retail for the sake of it.

Bottom line, you keep preaching to the choir with a case of instant amnesia because you then repeat the same rhetoric in the same thread or in a different thread on a different date.

I don’t mean to come off as mean or rude, but I’m not a fan of beating this dead horse. Just my two pennies.
I respect your opinion. Thanks for the compliment. You are obviously an intelligent person too.

If you re-read the very first sentence of my post you'll see that I very specifically made the point of not generalizing about people and expressed the sentiment that I hoped nobody would be offended. Apparently you were, and for that I am sorry.

So we obviously agree about the importance of retail in urban residentials. I'd say that the two of us are among the elder statesmen on this forum, along with others. As such, I feel it is my responsibility to sometimes lay out our shared belief to younger members the value of retail. If one young person comes away with the message, then it is worth it. If you don't want to read it, then don't read it. For what it's worth, since I first began speaking about retail in this way a couple years ago, I have noticed that others who had previously disagreed, or at least didn't vocally agree, have since done so. So it seems as though it has been having a positive effect.

If you were to look through every post I've made on this forum, you'll see that the percentage of times I speak of retail is actually very low. I'm not asking you to do that... I'm just making the point.

This will be the last I say about it in this series of replies. I hope you have a nice day.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2019, 6:16 PM
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I can see where you're coming from with developers wanting to maximize their ROI, but in my opinion it's very shortsighted - especially in terms of how the city is on a push of creating a more urban downtown. I can see, however, that once that area really starts becoming more dense with residential - the apartments will stop leasing out the bottom floor and transform it into retail.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2019, 6:39 PM
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Originally Posted by krondog View Post
I can see where you're coming from with developers wanting to maximize their ROI, but in my opinion it's very shortsighted - especially in terms of how the city is on a push of creating a more urban downtown. I can see, however, that once that area really starts becoming more dense with residential - the apartments will stop leasing out the bottom floor and transform it into retail.
I agree, but I’m not a developer. I’d love every urban multi family residential development have retail, but I have no control over what developers do. I can only be happy that the urban core is seeing residential growth. Eventually, it’ll be automatic that developers put retail into their residential developments.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2019, 7:40 PM
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Come on Jack?!? Really? "Many people in SA just dont have..... revermind... not even worth commenting on.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2019, 8:27 PM
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Maybe they will retrofit retail at some point. Hell, maybe in twenty years they'll knock that whole stupid building down and build a tower.
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  #72  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2019, 9:41 PM
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I work in development. I agree that in terms of activating space, successful ground floor retail is better than residential. But I also think that successful ground floor residential is better than vacant storefronts.

There is retail space up the road at Vistana that has been vacant for 10 years, and has literally never been occupied, despite a ton of foot traffic and activity from market square and Santa Rosa nearby. The Vistana restaurant space that faces Houston St has had at least 3 tenants open and close in the last 10 years, and these are spaces with lots more traffic than there is on Flores at Encore.

Look at the retail a block up next to the courthouse: a non-brand convenience store, a mom and pop restaurant, a little law office space. There is tons of traffic right there and they can’t even get a Subway or Starbucks to look at them (though as that site is redeveloped, we may see more).

What retailer are you imagining will go in Encore? Everyone wants a hip little coffee/juice bar (but local, not a chain!) that charges $2/drink instead of $5/drink and allows people to sit and have free WiFi and free community yoga all day. Guess what? I’d like that too. But that’s a unicorn.

So I can agree with you that it would be great to have a city with density that can support tons of street retail, and still understand that we don’t, and why it doesn’t make sense in this location.

I feel like we’ve had this conversation before, so sorry if I’m repeating myself.
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  #73  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2019, 6:16 AM
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Spot on Txdev, but some out there might think "us po-dung folk from san antone are too busy fussin with granny clampett's secret elixir to be concerning ourselves with such matters!"
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  #74  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2019, 1:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Txdev View Post
I work in development. I agree that in terms of activating space, successful ground floor retail is better than residential. But I also think that successful ground floor residential is better than vacant storefronts.

There is retail space up the road at Vistana that has been vacant for 10 years, and has literally never been occupied, despite a ton of foot traffic and activity from market square and Santa Rosa nearby. The Vistana restaurant space that faces Houston St has had at least 3 tenants open and close in the last 10 years, and these are spaces with lots more traffic than there is on Flores at Encore.

Look at the retail a block up next to the courthouse: a non-brand convenience store, a mom and pop restaurant, a little law office space. There is tons of traffic right there and they can’t even get a Subway or Starbucks to look at them (though as that site is redeveloped, we may see more).

What retailer are you imagining will go in Encore? Everyone wants a hip little coffee/juice bar (but local, not a chain!) that charges $2/drink instead of $5/drink and allows people to sit and have free WiFi and free community yoga all day. Guess what? I’d like that too. But that’s a unicorn.

So I can agree with you that it would be great to have a city with density that can support tons of street retail, and still understand that we don’t, and why it doesn’t make sense in this location.

I feel like we’ve had this conversation before, so sorry if I’m repeating myself.
Thank you for the professional opinion.

A non-brand convenience store, a mom and pop restaurant, a little law office space is perfect (in theory... I don't know those specific places you're talking about). I'd rather have a mom and pop restaurant than another Starbucks... their coffee tastes burnt and skunky anyway IMO.

Question: If a residential is built for ground floor apartments, how difficult is it to convert to retail years later? What about plumbing for a restaurant with a kitchen, restrooms, etc? What about getting the necessary zoning changes?
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  #75  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2019, 6:48 PM
krondog krondog is online now
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Originally Posted by JACKinBeantown View Post

Question: If a residential is built for ground floor apartments, how difficult is it to convert to retail years later? What about plumbing for a restaurant with a kitchen, restrooms, etc? What about getting the necessary zoning changes?
It's doable as you can always cut a trench into the slab for plumbing. Hard part is lobby/elevator access so upstairs tenants can get up without going through retail or restaurant, it would have to be thought through. As for zoning changes, it's hard but doable - but normally in urban/downtown settings the zoning designation allows both.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2019, 2:56 AM
mklunder13 mklunder13 is offline
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I think something that is being overlooked here is some entrepreneurial attitude towards placemaking and activating space in a creative way. There are many little hubs of local business and retail through out much less dense areas of Austin that are thriving. San Antonio needs to start creating and activating spaces, whether those spaces be retail or small start ups or whatever it may be, and they need to start thinking outside the box themselves instead of waiting around for someone else to do it. There are so many young and creative people in SA but end up leaving because they can't identify their lives with what SA can offer. The rise of the creative class has been a thing for a very long time, but its something SA is still lacking; building a city that all generations can enjoy.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2019, 2:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mklunder13 View Post
I think something that is being overlooked here is some entrepreneurial attitude towards placemaking and activating space in a creative way. There are many little hubs of local business and retail through out much less dense areas of Austin that are thriving. San Antonio needs to start creating and activating spaces, whether those spaces be retail or small start ups or whatever it may be, and they need to start thinking outside the box themselves instead of waiting around for someone else to do it. There are so many young and creative people in SA but end up leaving because they can't identify their lives with what SA can offer. The rise of the creative class has been a thing for a very long time, but its something SA is still lacking; building a city that all generations can enjoy.
Very good point.
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