Today I am posing a simple question. Where should all the new retail development go in Duluth? A recent study shows that the Miller Hill Mall area by 2020 is expected to need almost 200,000 square feet of additional retail. That's just retail. The Duluth area as a whole is expected to need almost twice that. So I ask this simple question. Where should it all go? Obviously there are multiple pockets of retail development within our city, but as we look towards future growth, which ones of those should grow, and which ones do you hope to see either maintain their current level or diminish in size?
Going back to the early 2000's the idea of retail development in Garfield Avenue was given a very high priority. The city sees that are as a prime area for future retail growth and development, yet almost 10 years after that idea was published we have yet to see any sign of progress. It most likely is due to the fact that we entered a major recession, but at the same time, Duluth as a whole seems to want to keep it's retail level at a minimum, while somehow causing growth in it's residential sectors. The original plan for Garfield Avenue was to rid the area of the current train tracks (or shrink their size drastically) and then add entry and exit ramps that would feed directly into the new development (and Garfield Avenue) from both 535 and 35. The idea pitched for the site was a retail development of 200,000 or more square feet to face 35. The main tenant being pitched for the site was either a Super Target or a Super Walmart, their store would then be flanked by mid sized to small sized retail. Yet this plan has seemed to vanish from thin air, hopefully one day getting ready for a come back. This is just one story and one area of planned development.
What are your thoughts? Take the poll and post a comment!