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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another retailer gives up on the Pearl

Adidas joins Eddie Bauer and Puma in bidding farewell to Fake New York. Pretty soon it may be as forlorn over there as in SoWhat. Go by streetcar!

Comments (16)

Wow, that's big. Their North American HQ is here in Portland, though I don't see that lasting long. I think they'll be moving in with Reebok back in Mass in the very new future. Still closing that store is huge with Nike here in town. Puma had too much square footage for the business they did. They needed a smaller store than what they had. How long before Nike opens a new store down there? They're already on a month to month lease with their current location and have been looking to move for some time now.

Everyone should ask themselves if they think things are better off now than 5 years ago downtown. Sure, there has been an economic downturn, but this is only a piece of the problem. 5 years ago, downtown was cleaner, safer and had many more options for shopping and entertainment. It was an amazing place, something I showed off to friends from out of town. A jewel really. I used to go there daily. I used to spend a lot of money downtown. I go once every 2 to 3 months now, and spend very little. The same goes for most people I associate with.

There was once upon a time:

Fareless square
Construction-free streets
Cheap parking
few homeless
free Sunday parking
a diversity of businesses
less bicycle centric irritation for cars.

Of course now we get to have a much needed bicycle lane on the Morrison Bridge, streets with total traffic lanes removed for bikes, bike boxes, shut down businesses, higher parking fees, fees on Sunday and no more fareless square. Gee, things are so much better, huh? I love going downtown and visiting the street kids. Well, we can look forward to more with stronger pro-camping laws coming in the future. And hopefully congestion tolls will kill the last remaining businesses. At least there are many abandoned businesses that have large alcoves for homeless to sleep.

Really, doesn't it make you sick? If it doesn't, you're either not a Portland native, or you need your head examined.

To be fair (since I stopped by to get some cheap Adidas), an employee said they planned to open a lifestyle store downtown later. I can't help but thinking the rent (I am gussing something around $20K/month) didn't discourage them from not renewing their lease.

There's gonna be a lot more stores going dark there once the leases are up and people realize what that being in the Pearl is not worth $50/sqft.

Downtown is losing retailers also since it is mostly a switchyard for trains with no parking.

Who knows - Even Samdy just might learn something if they took a drive out of downtown.

The Pearl sucked a lot of life out of downtown.

Jack, sadly the Planners and Pols didn't think of that.

I'll bet they did -- they just didn't care. Goldschmidt told Vera to jump, and she said "How high?"

Now is time for the Manhattanites to buy what of downtown they don't already own.

23rd is worse. That creepy landlord that rules half or more of 23rd threw Music Millennium to the wolves....He thought it would be leased right away. WRONG. That hole is growing cobwebs now. Nobody will pay his ridiculous ransom. Music Millennium was fantastic for the strip and neighborhood. They took that spot before 23rd was even hot. Now look at 23rd.. FOR LEASE signs hanging sideways now. That ass deserves his karma. I know what Terry Currier (owner of MM) was put through. HELL is best to describe. It will be interesting to see what happens. These landlords are in a FANTASY land with gigantic jumbo rents that shops just can't support. I hope every dollar goes to his heart surgeon.

Remember when some city "Design Commission" said that an Apple store would be too ugly for what was easily the ugliest building on 23rd.

Now it's a FedEx.

Great job. Keep Portland Weird. (h/t to Austin, TX)

Won't it be shocking to learn that the new light rail transit mall flops?

The parking situation downtown is a complete joke, and construction has made things so much worse. I'm normally pro-downtown, but it really is laughable to try to get from Point A to Point B downtown these days. It's a complete maze of blocked lanes, bike lanes that prohibit turns, closed streets from construction, etc. Yes, yes, if you plan your route in advance and know exactly where to turn, you can do it. If you don't--and most tourists and people who live downtown do not--then you quickly get frustrated and annoyed.

Jack you quoted the American Prospect in the previous post, I was wondering (actually before I saw that) if you caught the "Gentrification Hangover" article from the same issue:

In San Francisco, any project that gets a loan from the city has to sell its land to the city in exchange and then lease it back. Local officials came up with the idea because they were sick of pouring billions of public dollars into affordable housing only to see developers reap huge windfalls down the road. "If we don't do something for permanent affordability now, we're doomed to replace the units we've lost," says Olson Lee, who masterminded San Francisco's land-lease program. "We learned from our experiences. We asked: What can we do differently?"

"it really is laughable to try to get from Point A to Point B downtown these days. It's a complete maze of blocked lanes, bike lanes that prohibit turns, closed streets from construction, etc."
I believe this was a factor in the mess we had last week after a little wet snow. That wasn't much of a test of the system to demonstrate how we have totally screwed up downtown.

The business I work for is on W. Burnside. I advise shoppers to approach us from 405 through the Pearl rather than coming in through downtown. Even if it means they must take I-5 north and cross the Fremont Bridge.

And there are different rates and times for meters depending upon where you are in in the downtown area. It takes a long time to describe the options. Safer to park in a SmartPark garage.

And the streetcar? The last three times I rode it from NW 23rd not one person approached the fare box and - as usual - there were absolutely no inspectors. Some of these people might have had transfers or passes, but surely not all. Why Tri-Met continues the charade of making the middle fareless and the ends paid is beyond me. Nobody pays. And now they are planning to put in a streetcar to Lake freaking Oswego - tooling by the Waverly Country Club, Military Road mansions and Bishop's Close. I'm sure alllll those folks will be taking the streetcar.

Cheeses wept.

Tom, I agree with you. In many cases you have to drive 4 to 6 blocks more to go just 1 block from your present position. Most of these circuitous routes are caused by no left or right turn signs, bike lanes that don't allow vehicle turns and trolley and light rail lines.

When you add snow, ice to the already created congestion from the above you get chaos. There is also the aspect of the mix of light rail/trolley/buses with their inability sometimes to traverse the snow/ice conditions. When they fail, with no way of getting out of the way, then there is no solution to disperse vehicle traffic.

There is also the situations where bike lanes(SW Stark) have narrowed the typical downtown streets with parking on both sides down to just ONE vehicle lane-for buses as well as cars. When either can't negotiate the snow/ice, then that whole street fails for many blocks and beyond.

When you combine these newly created one lane streets created from a public street that is normally 40 ft wide with previous two or more traffic lanes, then you have situations like; a double parked service van, UPS truck, a semi truck unloading pallets of stock, a TriMet bus unloading a handicap person needing 5 minutes of time, a cab loading four passengers and all their luggage, or a car stopped to unload grandma in a wheelchair, then you have created CHAOS and a backup that takes minimally 10-15 minutes to clear out.

Portland's Traffic Planners haven't considered the obvious in all the traffic devices they have contrived. Now the question is: Will they learn from it and rectify it?

These planners will never learn. It will take a regime change to get rid of this myopic stupidity. That will happen.

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