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  • 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, 04:28 PM.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

  • #2
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      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.
      "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

      Comment


      • #4
        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...

        Comment


        • #5
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            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).
            “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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            • #7
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                ^^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

                Comment


                • #9
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by etownboarder View Post
                          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"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Meh,
                            You're all over-reacting.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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
                              Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

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