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Thread: Whyte Ave/Old Strathcona Retail Discussion

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    Unhappy Whyte Ave/Old Strathcona Retail Discussion

    I mentioned in another thread that one day I'd wander down Whyte and take pictures of the vacant spaces. Well, I did that today, and I've posted them to my Flickr account because there's a nice little map there.

    I counted 19 spaces between 99st and 109st, either an empty lot (3 of them), or a retail space that could be filled (the vacant lots, like the old Esso station, likely won't be filled anytime soon). I just stuck to the Ave, and didn't check out any of the spots on the surrounding streets (there are some vacancies on a few of the streets as well).

    Check it out:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gordlac...4025942759/map

    Gord
    Last edited by Gord Lacey; 27-05-2010 at 06:28 PM.

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    It's things like this that absolutely put to shame the boosterism that says the slump is over.

    It is most certainly not.

    It may not be (God, I hope it won't be) as prolonged as the the slump between 1982 and 1996. But it's certainly still around.

    As regards physical construction, that is a perfect trailing indicator, by about two or three years.

    Let's watch very closely where we will be in a year or so.

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    It's unfortunate that so much prime space goes empty. Anyone know what the asking lease rates are? Are they reasonable? Prohibitive?

    Whyte ave really needs a relaxing trendy pub, where they don't pump the music like a nightclub. A place with a great beer and wine selection and focused heavily on modern indie music at a very reasonable volume would do well, I'd think. Have screens displaying the music videos, and have screenings of artist DVD's, and listening events for new releases. Playing local artists work would be sweet too.
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    A really "urbane" city has not only trendy/hip stuff in its retail strips, but perfectly ordinary supermarkets, department stores, appliance, furniture, and hardware shops.

    Slumps notwithstanding, perhaps the city is already big enough to have those along Whyte (and downtown) once again?

    It's a serious question. There's been enough infill in the core that I think the answer might be yes. Now if someone had the money to put where my mouth is...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    It's unfortunate that so much prime space goes empty. Anyone know what the asking lease rates are? Are they reasonable? Prohibitive?

    Whyte ave really needs a relaxing trendy pub, where they don't pump the music like a nightclub. A place with a great beer and wine selection and focused heavily on modern indie music at a very reasonable volume would do well, I'd think. Have screens displaying the music videos, and have screenings of artist DVD's, and listening events for new releases. Playing local artists work would be sweet too.
    Many of my friends are long time club owners and bartenders and such.
    Sadly 1/2 of them moved to Calgary. The potential to throw in good venues on Whyte is there easily but most of the people running the current venues do it poorly.

    I do like Empress currently. They know how to engage their clientelle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    It's unfortunate that so much prime space goes empty. Anyone know what the asking lease rates are? Are they reasonable? Prohibitive?
    I am not 100% sure, but I would bet the farm that lease rates are still high because Whyte Ave is still considered a highly desirable retail strip. Over the years several businesses have left Whyte Ave for 124 St due to better lease rates (the latest being the Scottish Imports shop). And I am guessing that some building owners are hoping to lease out to brand-name chains (the usual Gap clones).
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    Interesting collection. Don't even talk to me about the strip mall on 101st and Whyte. Dive bar, dodgy liquor store, and the best video rental place in Edmonton, and what closes down? The video store.

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    ^^I met up with some people at the Empress recently and it was way too... granola? for my liking. I actually felt like the only person there that showered. That and the place was a dump. I know that sounds superficial, but if a place is profitable, invest in your establishment.

    I get the impression that's where the "hate the rich" crowd rolls.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    ^^I met up with some people at the Empress recently and it was way too... granola? for my liking. I actually felt like the only person there that showered. That and the place was a dump. I know that sounds superficial, but if a place is profitable, invest in your establishment.

    I get the impression that's where the "hate the rich" crowd rolls.
    They started up with a thin budget so it's got that rough edge to it.
    I agree with you though. If you don't put back into your business, it gets lame fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    It's unfortunate that so much prime space goes empty. Anyone know what the asking lease rates are? Are they reasonable? Prohibitive?

    Whyte ave really needs a relaxing trendy pub, where they don't pump the music like a nightclub. A place with a great beer and wine selection and focused heavily on modern indie music at a very reasonable volume would do well, I'd think. Have screens displaying the music videos, and have screenings of artist DVD's, and listening events for new releases. Playing local artists work would be sweet too.
    I remember when the Black Dog first opened it was just that! I have not been there in years though So I could not say what the clientele or atmosphere is like now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord Lacey View Post
    I mentioned in another thread that one day I'd wander down Whyte and take pictures of the vacant spaces. Well, I did that today, and I've posted them to my Flickr account because there's a nice little map there.

    I counted 19 spaces between 99st and 109st, either an empty lot (3 of them), or a retail space that could be filled (the vacant lots, like the old Esso station, likely won't be filled anytime soon). I just stuck to the Ave, and didn't check out any of the spots on the surrounding streets (there are some vacancies on a few of the streets as well).

    Check it out:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gordlac...4025942759/map

    Gord
    Every retail street will have vacancies at some point, When I was last in Toronto in March Queen Street West had lot's of vacancies.Check out Ste Catherines in Montreal as well! So the "problem" is not unique to Whyte Avenue.

    Some posters (And you know who you are) who state that Edmonton is in the depths of some huge retail slump really are not giving the city's economy its due. Edmontons economy is still stronger than most places period.

    Those naysayers going on about how poor the economy is and that Whyte is on the decline really need to look at the Avenue in a more positive light.

    I See a very viable shopping street that is unique in Canada with its incredible mix of businesses and the variations in building styles that almost evoke an "American Graffiti" feeling of a long, straight, wide boulevard Running from the U of A east to Mill Creek Ravine and beyond.

    It's a local treasure that a relatively few vacant storefronts really do not diminish it's appeal. It's demise is very very very much a non issue.
    Each vacant storefront is a potential oppourtunity for yet another business to succeed in the future.

    Whyte Avenue of 1960 was very different from that of 1990 and different again from that of 2010. Change requires some vacancies along the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    ^^I met up with some people at the Empress recently and it was way too... granola? for my liking. I actually felt like the only person there that showered. That and the place was a dump. I know that sounds superficial, but if a place is profitable, invest in your establishment.

    I get the impression that's where the "hate the rich" crowd rolls.
    It's great on the last Thursday of every month... Beers 4 Queers!!! And it gets so busy, you can barely move.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    ^^I met up with some people at the Empress recently and it was way too... granola? for my liking. I actually felt like the only person there that showered. That and the place was a dump. I know that sounds superficial, but if a place is profitable, invest in your establishment.

    I get the impression that's where the "hate the rich" crowd rolls.
    It's great on the last Thursday of every month... Beers 4 Queers!!! And it gets so busy, you can barely move.
    Really? thanks for the tip. Would be nice to find decent place other than say "Buddies"

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    Meh,
    You're all over-reacting.

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    Ok here is how it works
    You have great crowds going to great stores
    All are happy spending sustaining dough while enjoying themselves
    The landlords start jackin the rent and leases with no improvements
    The prices go up
    The younger crowd then goes to there to hang and go to the bars in the evenings which is fine
    The group that has the bucks to sustain the area thru their purchases ask for better (???) stores and merchandise.
    The bars still do fine and start to expand
    Late night crowds rough the area up, public intimidation, violence, vandalism and theft increases
    Non commercial business' (Archs, Dentists Lawyers) start to move out due to the above
    Local restaurants start to notice decline in revenue from business lunch crowd
    The group that has the bucks to sustain the area thru their purchases feels that the area is not to their liking during the latter part of the day and quit shopping late afternoons or evenings.
    Local restaurants now start to notice decline in revenue from evening dinner crowd
    The bars still do fine and continue to expand
    Late night crowds continue to rough the area up, violence, vandalism and theft increases.
    City chooses to adopt an attitude of accommodation rather than enforcement
    Shopping continues to decline as quality local stores with unique merchandise move out due to ever increasing rents and leases, broken windows theft etc.
    The bars still do fine and continue to expand
    Empty storefronts and office space starts to become very evident as business' decide thy have had enough and choose to move elsewhere
    Area continues to decline
    The cycle continues

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    to give you an idea of lease rates:

    Varscona retail 10642-82 Ave (former Spa Club on GL photo stream)
    sqft: 2038
    basic rent: ±$29/sqft
    op cost: $9.86/sqft

    which is roughly $6600/mo in rent

    whether that's reasonable or prohibitive really depends on the type of business.

    124 street is anywhere from $50/sqft (former Lux beauty space) to $10/sqft, with an average I'd guess somewhere near $15-17 plus op.

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    Thank You !

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    great thread. this is a topic i could go on for hours about...

    with respect to trendy bar/pub along whyte. it's tough. my understanding is the COE along with AGLC has limited the number of liquor licenses (if not capped them altogether), which inhibits any new place getting a new license. and i don't blame them – it got a bit out of hand for a while.

    as for the abundance of dive nightclubs...those places require a lot less heart/soul, care/attention than a "trendy" well thought place may. problem with "trendy" places is they are only trendy as long as they stay on top of current trends. take a look at the Suede vs. Hundred situation (not say that I consider either a quality place to go, but that's my personal opinion).

    as for the "granola" Empress, that's in a completely different part of Whyte ave, a portion that the general public Whyte Ave goer wouldn't even consider (i.e. "past the tracks"). and yes, that place was built of a tight budget. and seems to be busy near every time I go... which triggers the "if it ain't broke..." in my head.

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    Blueline:

    I'd add that many of the lease agreements in place were signed in 2000-2006 and may be coming up for renewal. Landlords see that lease rates have gone up and the little independent can't swing it. Also, some LLs are overvaluing their property and have Boom pricing in their head, they signed five or more years back, and nows their chance to up the rent and make back their lost revenue increase from 2006-2008.

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    nbees, I think that's the case with at least a few of the spaces. I know Le Papier closed down because their lease came up and it was a lot higher. That space was also split in half, and the clothing store next door (East) has expanded.

    The video store on 101st and Whyte moved to 102st and 80 Ave - The Videodrome. They cited MUCH cheaper rent, and less rift-raft as the reason.

    I stopped in at a few businesses while on my walk, and they were all interested in the camera around my neck, and even more interested when I said I was snapping photos of vacant spaces on Whyte (I didn't tell them I was doing it for this thread). I also got a cupcake at the three cupcake places (Flirt, Fuss and the new Whimsical Cake Studio on 109st) and I'd have to say Flirt was the winner, hands down.

    Gord

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scarma View Post
    Interesting collection. Don't even talk to me about the strip mall on 101st and Whyte. Dive bar, dodgy liquor store, and the best video rental place in Edmonton, and what closes down? The video store.
    Hey...Just so you know the video store did not close. It changed names and moved locations to 8001-102 Street. It is now the Videodrome. Here is the website: www.thevideodrome.com.

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    Default We DO have it.

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    A really "urbane" city has not only trendy/hip stuff in its retail strips, but perfectly ordinary supermarkets, department stores, appliance, furniture, and hardware shops.

    Slumps notwithstanding, perhaps the city is already big enough to have those along Whyte (and downtown) once again?

    It's a serious question. There's been enough infill in the core that I think the answer might be yes. Now if someone had the money to put where my mouth is...
    Old Strathcona DOES have all of those things...and the one thing we don't have (a hardware store) is 15 blocks away from Whyte. The beauty of this community is that we totally have the trendy but there is so much for everyone. There are well over 600 businesses (only 36 pubs and clubs).

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    Thanks for joining the discussion, Stephen. It's nice to see some official Whyte Ave representation here.

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    Well I've been in the process of looking for a retail space and the amounts that are being asked for are outrageous. It seems most landlords continue to view the economic situation as it was in the boom time and increasing the rates more and more. The funny thing is though, as they increase they don't seem to notice more and more spaces becoming vacent. Also if it were only rent that had to be worried about then things might be ok, but in some cases there may be merchandise costs which could be anywhere from around $1000 to $5000 a month, so based off of the numbers given earlier on this thread, one business could be paying out a total of over $11 000 and that still doesn't take into account staffing as well as any other needs the business has. As a small retailer that can be tough to deal with if sales are poor. It could make breaking even difficult.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen At The OSBA View Post
    Old Strathcona DOES have all of those things...and the one thing we don't have (a hardware store) is 15 blocks away from Whyte. The beauty of this community is that we totally have the trendy but there is so much for everyone. There are well over 600 businesses (only 36 pubs and clubs).
    What you don't say, of course, is that many of the "ordinary" shops, as opposed to the trendy/hip boutiques, are actually in endless and undistinguished strip malls between 76 and Whyte along 103, 104, and 105 streets. The usual grim parking-lot experience so typical of Edmonton -- right in the heart of Strathcona. (Calling those segments of it "Old" is a sick joke.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen At The OSBA View Post
    Old Strathcona DOES have all of those things...and the one thing we don't have (a hardware store) is 15 blocks away from Whyte. The beauty of this community is that we totally have the trendy but there is so much for everyone. There are well over 600 businesses (only 36 pubs and clubs).
    What you don't say, of course, is that many of the "ordinary" shops, as opposed to the trendy/hip boutiques, are actually in endless and undistinguished strip malls between 76 and Whyte along 103, 104, and 105 streets. The usual grim parking-lot experience so typical of Edmonton -- right in the heart of Strathcona. (Calling those segments of it "Old" is a sick joke.)
    abaka you are getting "picky" again. Those two strip malls between 81st and 78th have been there since the 1960's remember the old Safeway at that location? So if anything that had been worthing saving was lost a long long time ago. As well the property next door further south along 104th used to be Turnbull Motors a rather undistinguished Plymouth/Dodge Dealership. (It didn't even have the retro-appeal of either Don Wheaton's neon or the classic looking Hugh Mcoll's Southpark sign) So while the replacement Save On Foods centre while not fantanstic at least is a tad more vital business wise than acres of new cars baking in the sun. A lot of area residents frequent those businesses on a regular basis,Afterall how many times a week do you buy a new car?

    "Old Strathcona" as a marketing brand really was only created in the late 70's to preserve what heritage buildings remained. I can remember when I was a kid Whyte was not all that stunning of a street so to me it is authentic mix of various styles (both good and bad) creating a very viable pedestrian oriented replacement for what Jasper Avenue used to be like. big stores, little stores, and everything in between.
    It feels authentic, not some pastiche disneyesque fantasy that a lot of cities have tried to recreate. There is literally something for everyone.

    If Whyte were not allowed to evolve naturally something intrinsic would be lost and all Edmontonians would be much poorer for it. I know people from Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, and Orlando who think Whyte is perhaps the coolest street in Canada, It is not a chain store magnet like Robson, or St Catherines Ouest it still has individuality, blemishes and all. A very rare find in our Global world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    It's things like this that absolutely put to shame the boosterism that says the slump is over.

    It is most certainly not.

    It may not be (God, I hope it won't be) as prolonged as the the slump between 1982 and 1996. But it's certainly still around.

    As regards physical construction, that is a perfect trailing indicator, by about two or three years.

    Let's watch very closely where we will be in a year or so.

    You are completely out to lunch if you think we have not hit bottom and are not trending up. Retail vacancy rates are not an indicator. Whyte Ave is too expensive for the restrictive parking, late vandalism and general lack of street activity during the winter months.

    Southgate's successful expansion, South Common's continued growth and the Windermere Shopping Plaza are all signs of the direction retail growth is headed in the coming years.

    It has nothing to do with the slump.

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    Face it Whyte is a very popular inner city area, limitations and all. It attracts a far more diverse clientele than any shopping centre will. People who frequent Whyte make it a special destination unless they live in the area then it is just the 'hood'

    Any other shopping centre in the city is just that, a shopping centre a to place to pick up stuff easily and with no real sense of "occasion" There are no Gaps, Zara's or Apple Stores on Whyte that is what makes it a attraction for a day/evening out.

    People have to make an effort to do Whyte, to park, take transit, walk, bike whatever. It is not a "park your car at the door and spend 6 hours in Southgate or WEM type experience nor the drive to door to door hell that is SEC and soon to be Windermere.

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    "Tere are no Gaps, Zara's or Apple Stores on Whyte that is what makes it a attraction for a day/evening out. "
    Can I add the word "Yet" ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzoidboy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    It's things like this that absolutely put to shame the boosterism that says the slump is over.

    It is most certainly not.

    It may not be (God, I hope it won't be) as prolonged as the the slump between 1982 and 1996. But it's certainly still around.

    As regards physical construction, that is a perfect trailing indicator, by about two or three years.

    Let's watch very closely where we will be in a year or so.

    You are completely out to lunch if you think we have not hit bottom and are not trending up. Retail vacancy rates are not an indicator. Whyte Ave is too expensive for the restrictive parking, late vandalism and general lack of street activity during the winter months.
    You may want to wait and see what happens when stimulus packages come to an end and interest rates begin to trend upwards before you break out the champagne. Things have a way to go yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueline View Post
    "Tere are no Gaps, Zara's or Apple Stores on Whyte that is what makes it a attraction for a day/evening out. "
    Can I add the word "Yet" ?
    There were rumours many years ago that GAP tried to secure a location somewhere along Whyte and that never amounted to anything.

    Le Chateau, American Apparel, Chapters, A&N and the everpresent coffee, fast food places are the only real chains present. The rest of Whyte is basically independent's. I suspect most major chains think of Whyte as not worth the capital since they can scoop up leases in Edmonto'n's other major retail areas with a lot less hassle. Southgate, ECC, WEM, SEC, Kingsway, and to a lesser extent Londonderry, are the "major marketplaces" for chains. Up and coming areas such as Windermere will also be on their radar before Whyte.

    Most of the other chains present such as grocery or drugstores sre to serve the local areas, So they cannot be considered a major draw for customers from across the city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzoidboy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    It's things like this that absolutely put to shame the boosterism that says the slump is over.

    It is most certainly not.

    It may not be (God, I hope it won't be) as prolonged as the the slump between 1982 and 1996. But it's certainly still around.

    As regards physical construction, that is a perfect trailing indicator, by about two or three years.

    Let's watch very closely where we will be in a year or so.

    You are completely out to lunch if you think we have not hit bottom and are not trending up. Retail vacancy rates are not an indicator. Whyte Ave is too expensive for the restrictive parking, late vandalism and general lack of street activity during the winter months.

    Southgate's successful expansion, South Common's continued growth and the Windermere Shopping Plaza are all signs of the direction retail growth is headed in the coming years.

    It has nothing to do with the slump.
    Actually, you're wrong. The demand for streetfront or 'mainstreet' retail has been increasing over the years, particularly in areas such as Whyte. Much of this is related to the increasing infill and densification of existing neighbourhoods. The increasing lease rates, foot traffic and sales volumes along Whyte are proof of this. You could add in portions of 124 Street and Jasper Ave as well.

    Many malls are dying other than the well established regional centres such as WEM, Southgate, Kingsway, etc. The smaller neighbourhood shopping malls have had to reinvent and re-tenant themselves. Many have demolished portions for higher density housing or opened retail units to the parking areas. There aren't many enclosed malls being built today nor will we see any for quite some time other than the odd one such as Balzac.

    Power centres will continue to grow as they are cheaper to develop and remain very attractive to name brand retailers. I think we'll see many of these power centres become less automobile-centric and add in more pedestrian-friendly / walkable elements.
    Last edited by ChrisD; 29-05-2010 at 10:43 AM.

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    I love Whyte Ave and the few vacancies are part of the normal turnover on a rather long street. Personally I would like to see more independent eateries, a pub (thx Chmilz) or two and 7days a week farmer's market type of thing (like Robson Public Market or Richmond Public Market in Vancouver).
    As for chain stores, I won't be surprised to see an Apple store any day, given the student demographics of the area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cal76 View Post
    I love Whyte Ave and the few vacancies are part of the normal turnover on a rather long street. Personally I would like to see more independent eateries, a pub (thx Chmilz) or two and 7days a week farmer's market type of thing (like Robson Public Market or Richmond Public Market in Vancouver).
    As for chain stores, I won't be surprised to see an Apple store any day, given the student demographics of the area.
    Apple, ten minutes away via bus/LRT/Car at Southgate , very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very unlikely.

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    I'd love to see a good burger joint on Whyte. Rodeo Burger, across from the UofA hospital is good, but we need something in the heart of Whyte (and no, the McDonalds and A&W don't count.

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    The likelyhood of major chains looking at Whyte ave is always a strong possibility. Also as lease rates continue to climb it will only be the major chains that can afford to move into the higher priced locations quickly.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darrellinyvr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen At The OSBA View Post
    Old Strathcona DOES have all of those things...and the one thing we don't have (a hardware store) is 15 blocks away from Whyte. The beauty of this community is that we totally have the trendy but there is so much for everyone. There are well over 600 businesses (only 36 pubs and clubs).
    What you don't say, of course, is that many of the "ordinary" shops, as opposed to the trendy/hip boutiques, are actually in endless and undistinguished strip malls between 76 and Whyte along 103, 104, and 105 streets. The usual grim parking-lot experience so typical of Edmonton -- right in the heart of Strathcona. (Calling those segments of it "Old" is a sick joke.)
    abaka you are getting "picky" again. Those two strip malls between 81st and 78th have been there since the 1960's remember the old Safeway at that location? So if anything that had been worthing saving was lost a long long time ago. As well the property next door further south along 104th used to be Turnbull Motors a rather undistinguished Plymouth/Dodge Dealership. (It didn't even have the retro-appeal of either Don Wheaton's neon or the classic looking Hugh Mcoll's Southpark sign) So while the replacement Save On Foods centre while not fantanstic at least is a tad more vital business wise than acres of new cars baking in the sun. A lot of area residents frequent those businesses on a regular basis,Afterall how many times a week do you buy a new car?

    "Old Strathcona" as a marketing brand really was only created in the late 70's to preserve what heritage buildings remained. I can remember when I was a kid Whyte was not all that stunning of a street so to me it is authentic mix of various styles (both good and bad) creating a very viable pedestrian oriented replacement for what Jasper Avenue used to be like. big stores, little stores, and everything in between.
    It feels authentic, not some pastiche disneyesque fantasy that a lot of cities have tried to recreate. There is literally something for everyone.

    If Whyte were not allowed to evolve naturally something intrinsic would be lost and all Edmontonians would be much poorer for it. I know people from Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, and Orlando who think Whyte is perhaps the coolest street in Canada, It is not a chain store magnet like Robson, or St Catherines Ouest it still has individuality, blemishes and all. A very rare find in our Global world.
    I didn't say a word against Whyte itself. But too much of "Old" Strathcona is strip mall, greatly expanded since 1978.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11 View Post
    The likelyhood of major chains looking at Whyte ave is always a strong possibility. Also as lease rates continue to climb it will only be the major chains that can afford to move into the higher priced locations quickly.
    Yes indeed. There are some already there ~ Le chateau, American Apparel, Starbucks, Second Cup, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisD View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11 View Post
    The likelyhood of major chains looking at Whyte ave is always a strong possibility. Also as lease rates continue to climb it will only be the major chains that can afford to move into the higher priced locations quickly.
    Yes indeed. There are some already there ~ Le chateau, American Apparel, Starbucks, Second Cup, etc.
    There is that nasty echo again! refer to post 31 ha ha ha

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    ^There are several small chains, though, and those are a different story. I'm happy to have Julio's, Cargo & James, A&N, Divine, and Gravity Pope, for instance. Le Chateau? Meh, better for the strip than the Clearnet is replaced, I guess. Big food chains like Macs, Second Cup, and Subway? Okay, but one of each is plenty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOA View Post
    ^There are several small chains, though, and those are a different story. I'm happy to have Julio's, Cargo & James, A&N, Divine, and Gravity Pope, for instance. Le Chateau? Meh, better for the strip than the Clearnet is replaced, I guess. Big food chains like Macs, Second Cup, and Subway? Okay, but one of each is plenty.
    Since A&N has been a fixture on Whyte for decades (long, long before it became a popular retail shopping street It should be considered a pioneer in that area.

    American Apparel usually tries to seek out alternative sites anyway usually store front street locations such as Whyte, Queen Street W, Robson etc , the WEM outlet is one of the few exceptions that it is located in a mall.

    Le Chateau i have always thought of as a odd branch for that company, I remember when the building was Chapmans. far more unique. It's the international chains that would ruin the Whyte "feel" If GAP, Banana Republic, Zara, Aldo, H&M and such started popping up it would reduce Whyte to how Robson, or St Catherines just another street full of global labels.
    Wisconson Street in the Georgetown Section of Washington DC is a perfect example, block after block of chains that offer nothing special though the entire area has fantastic architecture. It is still just an outdoor mall for all practical purposes.

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    ^It seems to me that it's not chains themselves that are the problem, then, but getting the "right" chains.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord Lacey View Post
    I'd love to see a good burger joint on Whyte. Rodeo Burger, across from the UofA hospital is good, but we need something in the heart of Whyte (and no, the McDonalds and A&W don't count.
    1 block east of A&W... go
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    I'm guessing you're talking about Tasty Tom's. I've been there a couple of times, but didn't really like it. The burgers were okay, didn't like the fries, and the service was so-so. I've wanted to go back a few times, but they always seem to be closed (must be going on their days off).

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    Add another space to the list - "The Laugh Shop" has closed. I take partial blame for that one, as I always meant to go, but never got around to it. Bummer.

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    Unfortunately businesses have to be very busy to be successful on Whyte otherwise they wont survive.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    some sign of good news..

    Roots is opening in the old Lulu lemon store!

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    ^Not like Lulu Lemon was a small locally owned business by any means but as time continues and the lease rates continue to increase I think Whyte ave will slowly transform from being a place for unique local businesses to an outdoor mall that will be home to more national and international chains and will be a lot more like the other shopping malls around town.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11 View Post
    ^Not like Lulu Lemon was a small locally owned business by any means but as time continues and the lease rates continue to increase I think Whyte ave will slowly transform from being a place for unique local businesses to an outdoor mall that will be home to more national and international chains and will be a lot more like the other shopping malls around town.
    Sounds a lot like what Robson St in Vancouver has become.
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    malls are pretty busy, whyte is pretty busy. seems like a good fit.

    This just means that the smaller local shops will move to places like 104th Street downtown, or maybe even 118th if they aren't afraid of sticking it out for a few years while the area turns the corner.

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    Most of the mom & pop type places that used to be on Whyte have moved to 124 St.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    we are in ecomonic recovery, then lease should be cut so many retail stores will not be out of business or move to smaller , cheaper to lease
    Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

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    ya I don't see that happening jagators63.

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    I see there's a crepe place opening in the old Le Papier space. I half-recall seeing one of them in downtown Vancouver... Something different, at least!
    "A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." - Frank Lloyd Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOA View Post
    I see there's a crepe place opening in the old Le Papier space. I half-recall seeing one of them in downtown Vancouver... Something different, at least!
    One of them??? You can't throw a rock without hitting some crepe place in Vancouver.

    I noticed that Flavours bistro has been replaced by the Pour House, couldn't tell if it's supposed to be a pub or a restaurant or what. Across the street from there is a new funky-looking place called The Red vodka bar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11 View Post
    ^Not like Lulu Lemon was a small locally owned business by any means but as time continues and the lease rates continue to increase I think Whyte ave will slowly transform from being a place for unique local businesses to an outdoor mall that will be home to more national and international chains and will be a lot more like the other shopping malls around town.
    Sounds a lot like what Robson St in Vancouver has become.
    I remember seeing Robson for the first time around Expo and it was full of ethnic shops the locals used to call it Robsonstrasse not any longer. It might as well be called "West Vancouver Mall" for all the uniqueness it has now, It just needs a roof and a waterpark.

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    Robsonstrasse was an artificial revitalization project that ultimately succeeded to the point of self-obsolescence.

    If Whyte has finally outgrown the "Old Scona" nonsense that would be great. I'm not sure whether that's happening, though. We'll see if Whyte gradually becomes Southside Edmonton Mall, or Avenue of the Nations South.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JOA View Post
    I see there's a crepe place opening in the old Le Papier space. I half-recall seeing one of them in downtown Vancouver... Something different, at least!
    One of them??? You can't throw a rock without hitting some crepe place in Vancouver.
    Dude, calm down.
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    Yeah, there are TONS of Café Crêpe in downtown Vancouver. My wife and I ate there a few times when we were there in May. I'll have to check it out and see what's going in that space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Robsonstrasse was an artificial revitalization project that ultimately succeeded to the point of self-obsolescence.

    If Whyte has finally outgrown the "Old Scona" nonsense that would be great. I'm not sure whether that's happening, though. We'll see if Whyte gradually becomes Southside Edmonton Mall, or Avenue of the Nations South.
    Huh????????

    Robson in the 70's and 80's had a very European feel due to all the independent "ethnic" stores that happened to operate on it at the time, Robsonstrasse was the local nickname coined by Vancouverites themselves and subsequently was picked up by the tourist board, so there was nothing "artificial" about it. At the time that was what Robson was about, until the chains started to move in. When it was Robsonstrasse it was just a lot of ordinary little mom and pop shops/deli's on a then unassuming street in downtown Vancouver selling bratwurst and such.

    Gastown was a "artificial revitalization" trying to recreate a "hip trendy" shopping restaurant district with provincial and federal cash.
    I politely suggest you look it up.

    I while I suspect that Strathcona will possibly lose some of it's charms in regards to a influx of some chains. I seriously doubt that it will morph into a generic retail street since Edmonton has more than enough of those choices with WEM SEC, Southgate, ECC, in relative close proximity. I really doubt your hope of a Southside Edmonton Mall on Whyte will ever come true. Edmontonians know we have a good thing in Old Strathcona.
    Last edited by NielCole; 21-06-2010 at 02:23 AM.

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    Hey, does anyone know what's filling the old Henry space next to Shoppers on 104th? I see it's been leased.
    "A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." - Frank Lloyd Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by darrellinyvr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Robsonstrasse was an artificial revitalization project that ultimately succeeded to the point of self-obsolescence.

    If Whyte has finally outgrown the "Old Scona" nonsense that would be great. I'm not sure whether that's happening, though. We'll see if Whyte gradually becomes Southside Edmonton Mall, or Avenue of the Nations South.
    Huh????????

    Robson in the 70's and 80's had a very European feel due to all the independent "ethnic" stores that happened to operate on it at the time, Robsonstrasse was the local nickname coined by Vancouverites themselves and subsequently was picked up by the tourist board, so there was nothing "artificial" about it. At the time that was what Robson was about, until the chains started to move in. When it was Robsonstrasse it was just a lot of ordinary little mom and pop shops/deli's on a then unassuming street in downtown Vancouver selling bratwurst and such.

    Gastown was a "artificial revitalization" trying to recreate a "hip trendy" shopping restaurant district with provincial and federal cash.
    I politely suggest you look it up.

    I while I suspect that Strathcona will possibly lose some of it's charms in regards to a influx of some chains. I seriously doubt that it will morph into a generic retail street since Edmonton has more than enough of those choices with WEM SEC, Southgate, ECC, in relative close proximity. I really doubt your hope of a Southside Edmonton Mall on Whyte will ever come true. Edmontonians know we have a good thing in Old Strathcona.
    i agree but not because there are other malls for major chains around. vancouver and toronto also have malls for major chains around, yet have many (but not all) urban shopping strips filled with those same chains. i think in the next few years we're really going to see a pick up in new projects around the warehouse district of downtown with new incentives, LRT, more people finding out about 104 street, jasper ave new vision, etc. with all the new buildings that will and are going in here, they will likely be filled with a good portion of chains due to the increasing prices of the area and the large amount of new buildings to fill in. the warehouse district will likely fill edmonton's market for a urban district filled mostly with chains, which will leave whyte (and in the near future, alberta avenue) with little amount of chains.
    ----

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    There is nothing wrong with "major shopping" on the street.

    We think of all these boutiques and department stores as a "mall" experience because we've basically lost the street experience of shopping -- not for funky doodads of all sorts with other hip people like ourselves -- but for ordinary everyday necessities with other normal people like ourselves. And that kind of trip is, or used to be, a big part of living in a city. (It still is, you know, in civilized countries.)

    If Whyte loses some of the doodads and gets dome of the chains back, I would only cheer. Not because the doodads are bad in any way but because there's more to life than being funky.

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    Hopefully one of the major chain stores *cough*Le Chateau*cough* on Whyte gets a bit of a cosmetic upgrade ASAP. Hell, even a paint job would be great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOA View Post
    Hey, does anyone know what's filling the old Henry space next to Shoppers on 104th? I see it's been leased.
    I'm just going to guess, something the last thing that block needs is.... and remember I'm being very sarcastic here. Since they have a small shop across the 104th in that other strip mall.



    Dollarama,

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    ^Really? I'd say the last thing that space needs is a Starbucks and a Subway. :P
    "A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." - Frank Lloyd Wright

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    Last night on the Global news they announced that Megatunes will be closing both it's Edmonton and Calgary locations. the piece reported that this was due to lack of sales in the CALGARY store.

    If that was the case, was the Strathcona branch a financially viable branch?

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    ^ There's already a separate topic on the Megatunes closure.
    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...ad.php?t=17705
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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    Hopefully one of the major chain stores *cough*Le Chateau*cough* on Whyte gets a bit of a cosmetic upgrade ASAP. Hell, even a paint job would be great.
    Damn... not quite what I was hoping for, but it looks like Le Chateau on Whyte Avenue has closed. This might have something to do with the fact that the building looks like it's about to fall over, but either way, there's another empty spot on Whyte Ave waiting for a rebuild/tenant.

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    There is a whole other thread about it, but the Roots development on Whyte and 102nd will add a lot to the street.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Transplanted_Edm View Post
    There is a whole other thread about it, but the Roots development on Whyte and 102nd will add a lot to the street.
    About what? Le Chateau vacating their space on Whyte? I searched, but didn't find anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Transplanted_Edm View Post
    There is a whole other thread about it, but the Roots development on Whyte and 102nd will add a lot to the street.
    About what? Le Chateau vacating their space on Whyte? I searched, but didn't find anything.
    By "it", I meant the Roots development that has another thread devoted to it and is adding a 3 storey building directly fronting the street (no front parking lot) to Whyte with ground level retail and other uses above.

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    Le Chateau is gone - the store is empty. It's designated as a Provincial historical propertyy, so I don't know what can be done about redeveloping it. Probably not much.
    Almost always open to debate...

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    I was suprised that Le Chateau lasted as long as they did I don't think I ever noticed anybody in there period.
    But since the building is a designated historic resource It will not be going anywhere (unless some unscrupulous developer buys it and either lets it burn or stay vacant for several years and we know who they are)
    It would nice to see Chapman Brothers back but that will not happen. Either a local business concern like the Singers open some sort of concept or a chain with some pulling power and willing to keep the building as is.

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    I'm pretty sure it needs some major work. I am sad to see Le Chateau go. It was nice to have a couple major brands on Whyte.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darrellinyvr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JOA View Post
    Hey, does anyone know what's filling the old Henry space next to Shoppers on 104th? I see it's been leased.
    I'm just going to guess, something the last thing that block needs is.... and remember I'm being very sarcastic here. Since they have a small shop across the 104th in that other strip mall.



    Dollarama,
    Bulk Barn

  77. #77

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    ^That would be awesome. Seriously! I hate going out to the boonies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    I'm pretty sure it needs some major work. I am sad to see Le Chateau go. It was nice to have a couple major brands on Whyte.
    Not argueing the point the structure need some TLC and being "listed" there would be limitations on what a new tenant/owner can do.
    I never personally thought Le Chateau was a great "fit" for Whyte it to me smacks of cheap chain store that you can find in every single mall in Canada. for brands though perhaps Gant, HellyHanson, HilfigerDenim (like the Robson Street location) something that's not so ubiqitious....

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrobertson View Post
    Bulk Barn
    Is this something you're saying IS going there, or something you HOPE to see there?

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    ^I walked past it today and didn't see anything indicative of who was moving in.
    "A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines." - Frank Lloyd Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord Lacey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zrobertson View Post
    Bulk Barn
    Is this something you're saying IS going there, or something you HOPE to see there?
    Saw the address listed as a location 'coming soon' in one of their paper ads.

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    ^ Bulk Barn's website also mentions a location coming soon in the "South Side Shopper's Plaza" at 104th St. and 81st Ave. I think this refers to the space where that clothing store (think it was called "Henry") used to be.

    To me it makes zero sense for Bulk Barn to be in the Le Chateau location.

  83. #83

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    ^Read up a bit, everyone's been referring to that location.

    Quote Originally Posted by zrobertson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by darrellinyvr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JOA View Post
    Hey, does anyone know what's filling the old Henry space next to Shoppers on 104th? I see it's been leased.
    I'm just going to guess, something the last thing that block needs is.... and remember I'm being very sarcastic here. Since they have a small shop across the 104th in that other strip mall.



    Dollarama,
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    Well then, that's one less reason to drive out to SEC! Thanks for the info guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by darrellinyvr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    Robsonstrasse was an artificial revitalization project that ultimately succeeded to the point of self-obsolescence.

    If Whyte has finally outgrown the "Old Scona" nonsense that would be great. I'm not sure whether that's happening, though. We'll see if Whyte gradually becomes Southside Edmonton Mall, or Avenue of the Nations South.
    Huh????????

    Robson in the 70's and 80's had a very European feel due to all the independent "ethnic" stores that happened to operate on it at the time, Robsonstrasse was the local nickname coined by Vancouverites themselves and subsequently was picked up by the tourist board, so there was nothing "artificial" about it. At the time that was what Robson was about, until the chains started to move in. When it was Robsonstrasse it was just a lot of ordinary little mom and pop shops/deli's on a then unassuming street in downtown Vancouver selling bratwurst and such.

    Gastown was a "artificial revitalization" trying to recreate a "hip trendy" shopping restaurant district with provincial and federal cash.
    I politely suggest you look it up.

    I while I suspect that Strathcona will possibly lose some of it's charms in regards to a influx of some chains. I seriously doubt that it will morph into a generic retail street since Edmonton has more than enough of those choices with WEM SEC, Southgate, ECC, in relative close proximity. I really doubt your hope of a Southside Edmonton Mall on Whyte will ever come true. Edmontonians know we have a good thing in Old Strathcona.
    robson was the "german" street in town - there were a few german places and they all moved out - i remember the old grocery store Galloways, and the old starbucks and a chain called S. Oliver other than that i missed the time of it being the german area for the city - now its all japanese or korean on west robson and east robson with more arabic places popping in and A&W - two just opened on robson in the last month

    I like robson its not bad as it is - most cities have a street like it - you have the "mom and pop" at the ends - the chains in the middle and it works well

    vancouver has many other streets - 4th, main street, commercial drive, denman, south granville, 41st etc. - chains are slowly moving into west 4th and south granville
    Last edited by SpongeG; 23-10-2010 at 04:49 AM.

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    Bride on a Budget (East Whyte) is moving.

    Looks like there may be something going into the old Paint Spot space (I was across the street, so I can't confirm - does anyone know?).

  87. #87
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    I called the Bulk Barn head office and was told their new location (just off Whyte) will open on Nov 19, however, walking past the place today I spoke to a craftsman who said it'd be Nov 26 (or something like that), so who knows...

  88. #88
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    Permanent Records to be opened by former Megatunes staff

    Permanent Records, located at 8126 Gateway Blvd., just off Whyte Avenue, will open toward the end of November, but a date has yet to be set. (Their phone number, however, will be 780-988-2112, an awesome nod to one of Canada's classic bands, Rush.)
    The owners -- Clint Anderson, Dave Gawdynuk and musician Mike McDonald -- used to work at Megatunes, which shut its doors in August. "Customers at our old store were strongly requesting that we continue in some form or fashion," says McDonald.
    Read more: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/enter...#ixzz14FSgmsiY
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  89. #89
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    Another independent shop on Whyte Ave is closing.
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/...570/story.html
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  90. #90
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    Yup, gf is sad as she liked this store.
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  91. #91

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    When is the old Esso Station going to be built on?
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  92. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Another independent shop on Whyte Ave is closing.
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/...570/story.html
    This apparently mirrors a national trend:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...rticle1829009/

    Without meaning to say anything negative specifically about Nokomis, in general Canadians don't do retail well. We haven't embraced the concept of 'customer is always right' as well as the US has.

  93. #93
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    I'm begining to fear that the independents on Whyte Avenue are begining to fail or move elsewhere (such as 124th Street) for lower rents etc leaving Whtye to morph into Edmonton's version of Queen Street West or Robson. which both once were funky shopping streets lined with one-off local shops catering to a eclectic clientele. Now Robson and Queen West are chock a block with chain stores that are no different than the local mall aside from being outside. Whyte seems tobe progressing in that direction. Other examples from south of the border Georgetown in Washington D.C. or Melrose in L.A both once great shopping areas with unique stores now overrun with "upscale" chains like Kenneth Cole etc etc etc. I would not be suprised if in a few years Whyte will have a GAP, Club Monaco, Banana Republic, etc etc etc joining the chains already on Whyte such as Roots, Lush, Lululemon, Chapters, American Apparel, Starbucks, They have begun the "malling of Whyte"

  94. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by Transplanted_Edm View Post
    Without meaning to say anything negative specifically about Nokomis, in general Canadians don't do retail well. We haven't embraced the concept of 'customer is always right' as well as the US has.
    I don't think they're any more inclined to say "the customer is always right", but they do a heck of a better job making you feel like you're important, and also making it easy to pay.

    It must be a Canadian thing, being arrogantly talked down to by some hipster and then forced to stand in a ridiculously long line to make a simple purchase. I've never understood why it takes so damn long to make payment at so many of our stores.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  95. #95

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    I find the big difference in lines is due to the massive amount of interac purchasers in Canada. The extra 30 seconds adds up.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  96. #96

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    ^Debit taking a long time is a myth. People fumble with cash just the same. The long lines are due to a lack of staff/tills, unnecessary value-added questioning (addresses, rewards cards, etc).

    The Bay is a great example of how a store doesn't work. They have one place to pay, never staffed by more than one person with just barely enough English to acknowledge you. Since there's no staff to be found on the floor, cashiers are often also doing all customer service, plus they take returns. 10 customers in the entire department store can lead to a 15 minute wait or longer just to pay. It's ridiculous and has nothing to do with a debit card.

    Personally speaking, I pay for my Tim's at the drive through on debit much faster than most people count out their stupid fistful of nickels and pocket lint.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    ^Debit taking a long time is a myth. People fumble with cash just the same. The long lines are due to a lack of staff/tills, unnecessary value-added questioning (addresses, rewards cards, etc).

    The Bay is a great example of how a store doesn't work. They have one place to pay, never staffed by more than one person with just barely enough English to acknowledge you. Since there's no staff to be found on the floor, cashiers are often also doing all customer service, plus they take returns. 10 customers in the entire department store can lead to a 15 minute wait or longer just to pay. It's ridiculous and has nothing to do with a debit card.
    The Bay is also an excellent example of that value-added questioning you mentioned previously. Imagine if you will, one line at one customer service desk, with two staff members in the middle of a weekday. One is tied up with some bizarre situation with a bunch of women that I never did figure out, leaving just one to deal with the growing lineup of customers ready to pay. I'm next in line with my $15 photo frames, when the cashier asks the woman about to pay for her purchase if she wants to sign up for an HBC credit card.

    ...and she says yes.

    The next ten minutes was spent standing at the front of the line while the cashier and the customer filled out paper forms that would be faxed into head office for approval.

    For one thing, who says "yes" to a credit card that carries an interest rate that would be considered extortion in most countries (and in fact are probably worse than those offered by payday loans which are regulated now)? And for another, paper forms? Fax for approval? We flew remote controlled robotic skateboards to Mars; what's with this paper and fax crap? It wouldn't cost them much to set up a little computer kiosk next to the service desk with a basic web form that goes straight to head office for customers to use to apply for this card without the help of the cashier, certainly not when weighed against the cashier's wasted time and the frustrated and growing lineup of customers.

    Oops, that was pretty off-topic. But I guess I needed to get that out.
    Strathcona City Separatist

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    ^As long as you feel better now! Not good to keep it bottle up inside.

    Back to Vacant spaces..
    My antidepressent drug of choice is running. Cheaper with less side effects!

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    Quote Originally Posted by darrellinyvr View Post
    I'm begining to fear that the independents on Whyte Avenue are begining to fail or move elsewhere (such as 124th Street) for lower rents etc leaving Whtye to morph into Edmonton's version of Queen Street West or Robson. which both once were funky shopping streets lined with one-off local shops catering to a eclectic clientele. Now Robson and Queen West are chock a block with chain stores that are no different than the local mall aside from being outside. Whyte seems tobe progressing in that direction. Other examples from south of the border Georgetown in Washington D.C. or Melrose in L.A both once great shopping areas with unique stores now overrun with "upscale" chains like Kenneth Cole etc etc etc. I would not be suprised if in a few years Whyte will have a GAP, Club Monaco, Banana Republic, etc etc etc joining the chains already on Whyte such as Roots, Lush, Lululemon, Chapters, American Apparel, Starbucks, They have begun the "malling of Whyte"
    Except one of the chains, Le Chateau, has also left Whyte. I think the rents are just getting to be too high, so we'll either see the rents come down, or business close.

    One other things to note is that East-Whyte seems to be doing well. Fewer vacancies can be found there, and with the new Organic Roots building going up, it could be a positive sign for that part of the Ave.

  100. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    When is the old Esso Station going to be built on?
    Probably after the 30 or so vacant spaces in erect buildings fill up.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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