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sean mcdaniel

but sam does Target add any more charm to downtown than a cheesecake factory or crate and barrel?

yes, Target offers a bit more in what people might call "practical" merchandise. But does it really provide anything — other than more choice — that Macy's, Saks and Jos. Banks don't put on the shelves? And if a Target opens downtown, won't it just be a matter of reshuffling the limited shopping pool?

one of the problems with the planning downtown is that the masterminds behind the plans can't seem to figure out what downtown should be — a "real" neighborhood teeming with residents and the businesses associated with a real neighborhood or a regional entertainment destination with theaters, sports venues, trendy restaurants and shops (you know, cheesecake factories and crate and barrels) museums, conventions centers and other attractions that don't really fit into the real neighborhood scenario.

As much as I think downtown can be a successful neighborhood, I don't think it can be a big-time entertainment center at the same time. The entertainment venues will eat up too much space and drive up rental costs to the point that only big box retailers can afford space in the city, which means a smaller, independent merchant won't be able to compete.

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