Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Journal Sentinel Editorial Board Praises Norquist For Grand Avenue Proposal

I enjoyed seeing the short Saturday editorial below, a) because it's a good idea, and b) because I can remember some years ago when the editorial board (the members have changed) blasted Norquist for not showing "leadership" as the Grand Avenue was losing tenants. (I was working for Norquist at the time.)

Anyway: Things change, so let's change the Grand Avenue, again, as Norquist suggests.

Here's the piece:

Former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist has an interesting idea for The Shops of Grand Avenue, the once highly touted mall that was supposed to turn around downtown by rejuvenating it as the shopping mecca it once was. Basically, the idea is to tear it apart. Stop calling it a mall, he says. Break it up and have shops open their doors on the street level. That's certainly a concept worth exploring. Milwaukee is hardly the only place where the downtown mall concept has failed, Norquist pointed out to us this week. Some shopping centers are holding their own - Wauwatosa's Mayfair Mall, for example - but many others across the country have fallen on hard times. It just doesn't work anymore, Norquist said. Abandon that concept for the Grand Avenue. Look to a Target or Walmart for downtown, he said. Develop more office space in the facility, perhaps even housing. And stop calling it a mall. Maybe that will help revive downtown west of the river.


Anonymous said...

A Target or WalMart need one thing to operate - customers. Downtown is not the eastside. There's not year-round population in downtown in sufficient numbers. Parking and navigating downtown is a pain, not to mention to parking tickets issued like candy.

I give the former mayor credit for thinking out of the box. But replacing the Grand is a tough nut to crack.

Paul Trotter said...

Make Wisconsin avenue downtown between the river and the beginning of Marquette something like what they have in Madison. Walmart/ Target- No! Develop more housing. Consider a spur of the trolley to run down the middle in later years. Get the busses and cars out of there.

Hey James- can you dump the secret word business at the bottom and develop a more user friendly blog. Just saying...
Finally found the FB. share access at the top. I've been oblivious to it. Thanks for your very unique blogs.

James Rowen said...

Not following the user-friemdly and "business" threads. Sorry.

JB said...

Paul apparently doesn't like having to add a secret word in order to post. (The word verification feature)

James Rowen said...

Talk to Google.