Comment 13937

By Josh (registered) | Posted November 12, 2007 at 17:17:43

I see good points and bad points - in the end only time will tell if this has a tangible benefit or detriment to the area. I think today's Centre Mall is an eye-soar, isn't exactly pedestrian friendly as is, and more to the point isn't economically viable as a mall any longer. It's true, this will not improve the facade of ailing Barton and is a step in the wrong direction in terms of making the area a destination for the type of shopping we should be encouraging in East Hamilton. But it may draw people to the neighbourhood and bolster the shops on Ottawa. I agree with the general consensus that the new developments will likely be big-corporate box stores - not the preferred choice I agree. But as long they won't be the type of businesses that will compete directly with the existing shops on Ottawa, I think I'd approve of the change from mall to box stores. I think when we're talking about what to do with a defunct mall we can't view economically viable box stores as a total loss - what should be ensured however is which specific box stores are given license. I believe the merchandise of the stores will determine the impact on the neighbourhood - good or bad - and must support the existing retail mix of the area, rather than competing directly with it.

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