Comment 13183

By Genghis (anonymous) | Posted October 21, 2007 at 15:01:30

"What I don't understand is why anyone would support building these structures at all. I don't know anybody who enjoys going to the Meadowlands or Wal-Mart or really, any big box location.

I do, however, know lots of people who tolerate the conditions in these concrete expanses because the prices are good and the selection is wide.

Are city planners really so different from the rest of us? Are the "architects" who create these buildings so different, too? Or does everyone pretty much just accept that low prices and wide variety have to go along with mind-numbing parking lots, insane traffic, no way to walk from A to B, and a generally unpleasant shopping experience?

The marketplaces in the poor nations I have visited, like Cuba or (not as poor), Mexico, are infinitely more enjoyable to shop in than our big box developments. And yet, for some reason, in our rich nation, we seem incapable of building a plaza that anyone actually wants to be in.

I really don't think that the people who build these things, the people that own them, or the people who work in them, actually like anything about them besides the dollars and cents they generate. I really, truly don't understand why they keep building them this way."

>Well, I am not a Big Box supporter per say but I do believe they serve a purpose in the de facto sprawl we have.Bad design begets bad design.

Downtown stores, if given the same prices as bigbox centres would thrive perhaps,butwhen I go to any downtown city it is not to shop for my"supplies" that BB places provide.I go downtown to socialize,Entertainment, browse and yes shop but in a casual way.

A good example of a bad example is Brantford.A Sears store and shopping mall right on the main street= abandoned main street boarded up.Tried to marry the mall with the core and ended up with a sorry mess.

Big box stores are rightfully out in the urban sprawl where no downtown exists nor can exist.I am not against them per say, but where they are located and designed.Can you imagine all the traffic if all the BB stores and all the cars around them tried to get into the city and shop..even if the malls were designed in a perfect pedestrian way?Ugh The fact is not everyone can live in the city, and with the best use of space in the suburbs where land is cheaper,lots of parking with lots of variety is the cheapest form of delivery of products and services.. garden hose style.Not my bag( moved from suburb sprawl to Hamilton City to get away from it)or eclectic mix but consumers keep going to them.

A big box is simply the shopping mall of inner suburbia from the 70s take one more step to the fringes.Ugly perhaps,but not necessarily inneficient for the poorly laid outlying areas.I would really ( and do really hate to see) Sears appliance shops,Bell Mobility,Outback, etc downtown on the high street.The "franchising" of the city core is worse than the BB centre itself.

The downtown shopping experience is more of a social thing than a " go get my supplies thing".When I need supplies the BB will do..unpleasant as it is but it is 1 trip,less gas, less time,less parking hassle( once I am parked)all my needs are met, I then go home.I do not shop at BB's because of price. it is because of convenience believe it or not.I hate shopping Wal mart and the like because of their predatory business practices.

Keep building BB centres by all means when and where necessary( the market will decide).Just let the local governments zone them WAY outside city centres.There is a reason they do not survive in downtown cores even if he space was available.They suck as a downtown shopping experience.

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