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Why do developers say their projects are "bringing back main street?" For the same reason laundry detergent manufacturers put "new and improved" on the front of their bottles. They think it'll help them sell.

The only way to have an actual "main street" business district is to, well, have a main street. With lots of people living nearby who can get there conveniently. You know -- density. As long as we keep hollowing out cities, "main street" developments like the Waterfront will be nothing but theme parks paying homage to the fifties, when lots of people walked to the grocery store.

Over and over again, I see people preferring image (easy to create and sustain) to substance (more permanent, but harder to create). That's why they like the Waterfront and go there, but only if it offers cheap goods.

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