Walkability: Pedestrian Retail Prospers

The Wall Street Journal: “Despite a glut in U.S. retail space, some developers are building more, just not in the form of malls but alongside new homes in smaller chunks than before. The target clientele: younger and even some older Americans who are looking for cheaper housing in the suburbs but favor areas with urban trappings such as restaurants, offices and shops … The focus is on a design that is pedestrian-centric, where residents would have to walk only short distances to get to the grocery store, shops or the gym.”

“In Fort Worth, Texas, residents at the RiverVue Apartments, a new 375-multifamily-unit rental complex, need only a minute to walk to a Whole Foods in the next building. Other shops and restaurants such as REI, Sur La Table, Piattello Italian Kitchen and Taco Diner are also within walking distance.”

“Some retail property owners are constructing residential units or offices in or next to their enclosed malls or open-air shopping centers, or in some cases on top of street-fronting retail stores. Along with additions such as medical offices and hotels, a built-in shopper base helps support foot traffic to the stores and restaurants. Office workers and out-of-town hotel guests might also find it convenient to have food and entertainment options nearby.”

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