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Gateway Park/Sportsworld Retail Area
(08-14-2015, 11:06 AM)Markster Wrote:
(08-14-2015, 10:47 AM)MidTowner Wrote: Is that true about public transit? Thinking of the Burlington Ikea, there's one Burlington Transit bus that passes on Plains somewhat frequently, but doesn't have a stop right in front of Ikea but anyway would be separated from Ikea by their huge parking lot.

Um, yeah. I can see no evidence that they locate for public transit.
They have however, in Toronto and Ottawa, managed to score locations where subways and LRTs were (or are going to be) built.

IKEA's North York store offers a free shuttle bus between it and the Leslie subway station. An IKEA here could offer a similar shuttle from the LRT southern terminus until phase 2 runs the LRT direct to the store.
(08-13-2015, 09:05 AM)DHLawrence Wrote: A lot of those closures can be chalked up to conditions beyond the area itself. PetSmart acquired SuperPet and ended up with a surplus of stores in the area; with a former SuperPet on Hespeler Road and a PetSmart on Fairway Road, one of them had to give. Staples is down to change in market trends; people are buying their tech online more and more nowadays. Same with Future Shop (which is now a Value Village, and not an empty building like the lead photo suggests). If they hadn't closed it two years ago, they would have closed this spring. Marble Slab was probably a case of over-expansion; I think they've pulled out of a lot of places that opened at once. There was talk of Home Depot closing or becoming a warehouse for the other stores a while back, but they put a lot of money into the place so it looks like they're here to stay.

The Sportsworld people made a mistake in removing the mini-golf when the rest of the park closed. If they'd left that they'd have a guaranteed moneymaker.

What the area really needs is a grocery store. Right now there isn't one between the Stanley Park Zehrs and the Zehrs on Holiday Inn Drive (or the No Frills at King and Bishop), and  Costco doesn't count.

Regarding the stores that have vacated their (often purpose-built) spaces and sometimes relocated elsewhere, it has each been a case of an "A" level tenant being replaced with either a "B" or "C" level tenant. Take Value Village occupying the former Future Shop, Mothers Pizza taking the former Kelseys, or Smitty's taking PetsMart and doing very minor renovations (little more than a new paint job with a different colour). If this area was still a prime regional retail area, you would have seen the big and new retail lands this Region has got repurposing these buildings, such as Farm Boy, Teppermans Furniture, Marshals or Mastermind Toys. Instead, these stores chose other more prime locations to open.

Also, when you look at the relocations (i.e. PetsMart, FutureShop (then), Staples), they would have analyzed all of the stores in the market/trade area, and closed the least profitable or relocated to an area with greater market share. If these former locations in Gateway were doing so well, don't you think the corporate head offices would have chosen to keep them open and close the locations on Fairway Road, Hespeler Road or Sunrise? I highly doubt it.

I'm with you though on the developer who bought the Sportsworld property - they should have kept the mini-golf. Definitely would have been a better bet on this area.

I really think the City of Kitchener should study this area further, possibly with a new secondary plan to make it more mixed use. A transit station (GO, aBRT, future LRT) could be a significant component. If nothing is eventually done, I think we will continue to see stores leave/relocate and landlords continue to struggle to fill vacancies or find tenants.
It seems to me that the LRT stop will be on the other side of the expressway. 

This is going to be a very inconvenient location for everyone.
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
I think it's meant to serve the Cherry Blossom/Maple Grove commercial developments more than Sportsworld. Even knowing that I still think it's a mistake. They've made passengers accustomed to changing buses right at Sportsworld and now they're suddenly going to change it.
You do realize the cost of having the tracks cross over the highway?
Two words: Shuttle bus. Wouldn't cost much, in the larger scheme of things, (for Sportsworld) to run a free customer/employee shuttle (or pair of shuttles) all day between the LRT stop and a few key Sportsworld locations.

That might free up enough parking, too, to put in a mini-golf course!
I never said going to Sportsworld was realistic, but being even the station this short a distance away is going to have an effect.
New update: the former Staples is shedding its red for blue. The 'for lease' signs are still up, so it's probably just a way to make it look less brand-specific.

The sign and website for 4505 King (across from Tu-Lane) are still active, but there's been zero development on the property; I won't be holding my breath.
So what's the solution here? How do you fix this area, because it's clearly not working.
(08-18-2015, 11:38 AM)Spokes Wrote: So what's the solution here?  How do you fix this area, because it's clearly not working.

Develop the hell out of it. This would be a great place to build many towers for people who are 401 commuters. This would bring density and make the development viable.
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