Filling so much empty ground-floor space may require cities to rethink what brings people downtown. It may force officials to change how they regulate buildings, and property owners to shift how they profit from them.
“May”? The NYT are just hedging hard on this. Cities will have to rethink how downtowns function, officials will have to change how buildings are regulated, property owners will have to shift how they profit from them, businesses will have to adapt to a different customer base.
Fhima and other community members who make their living downtown see firsthand how the absence of thousands of Target (NYSE:TGT) workers at the retailer’s Nicollet Mall headquarters impacts the city’s overall vibrancy. From shops and restaurants to public transportation and property values, downtown Minneapolis is struggling without a strong, consistent daytime population there to support it.
At the end of the article they actually have a section titled “What Target can do about”. Newsflash: they en’t doing shit. They just held their third auction to clear own office equipment. Even if they wanted to bring everyone back they don’t even have the furniture to put those people in.
Cities at large could make an effort to populate downtowns with small businesses, small/medium size landbastards, and change zoning to allow for living in skyscrapers. But that takes political capital no one wants to spend.
A lot of people would love to live downtown. Hell, a lot of people already do, but if they want basic necessities they need to get them delivered, or worse, drive out to the suburbs to get them.