Chain stores in urban areas


This is Savannah.  CVS on Bull Street, just off Wright Square.  I’m in no way advocating chain stores in downtowns.  To the contrary, cities that have them show me a lack of concern about local economy and lasting resilience.

That said, IF corporate chain stores are going to be tolerated, they should contribute to the urban fabric.  Too often, they are merely suburban replications in urban areas.   At least in this case, there is a multi-story building and no surface parking in sight.

To justify this urban design arrangement, people will say, “yeah, but this is in a dense urban area with lots of foot traffic.”  I counter with the argument that only tightly textured urban areas are sustainable – look to history, those are the only types of living arrangements that have lasted – and thus even if one doesn’t exist now, we should be in the act of creating them.  We should not surrender to the mindset of “oh well, that’s the way it goes.”

I can’t comment on the current economic viability of the upper floor but I assume that the building was built to a solid standard.  This means that there is always the option of utilizing it, which obviously isn’t the case in suburban situations.

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