So last week, we discussed why the plan to revitalize the old Charlestowne Mall, renamed, The Quad St. Charles, won't work. And I want to thank capable DH reporter Jim Fuller for hosting a generally cogent conversation on the topic on his facebook page.
As usual, I found myself in the vast minority as most of contestants, including former St. Charles Mayor Sue Klinkhamer, thought this new retail endeavor was the best thing since sliced bread. But in all the debate, nobody, not even Sue, addressed my main contention.
The development team can
consist of the best minds in the country and their redevelopment
blueprint can be a stroke of sheer genius, but it doesn't matter because
the basic premise is completely flawed. So to repeat myself, and
staying withing that venerable high school debate team format; Resolved,
American shopping malls are dying and will soon become extinct.
1. Malls were conceived and born as a result of President Eisenhower's Interstate system push. This new level of mobility led directly to the one-stop shopping concept. But gas was 26 cents a gallon in the 50's and even if you adjust it for inflation, it comes to $1.75. Right now we're paying four bucks a pop and the real driving season hasn't even started.
2. The whole point of obtaining a driver's license was to avail yourself of the freedom to meet your friends at the mall. But now I've heard it from dozens of parents, "My kid doesn't care if he learns to drive or not." Beyond school, teenagers rarely get together anymore. My youngest son regularly "meets" with his friends on Skype, playing Minecraft, and on various video game networks. And once high schoolers aren't conditioned to go to the mall, they won't do it as adults either.To read the rest, please go to TheFirstWard: http://thefirstward.net/2014/04/23/mauled-by-a-mall-part-two/