Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Plan for Fountain Square

The Enquirer has a heavy coverage of the Plan for Fountain Square. It will be formally issue to City Council later on today.

I like the idea, but I am torn on this being the real way to bring back downtown. I think this signals that Main Street and the Riverfront are not going to be the focus of the City for now. The Riverfront has not taken off and will likely stay what it is, an occasional used area, mostly for special summer/fall events. Main Street loses big here, and without support from the city, it will lose out. Fountain Square will cater to the Suburbanite who now may stay downtown after the baseball game. That is fine, but will it do anything to increase people moving to the city? It just makes a few Suburbanites feel like they are adventurous because they went to Fountain Square, oh the danger that brings.

1 comment:

  1. There is something missing from the plan: people!

    Someone must have got caught up on that movie that said: If you build it, they will come.

    I think that the thought that fountain square will draw throngs to the city has some holes. I live three miles from the square and the only time I visit it is for a protest of one type or another. If the protest would have been assembled in the west end, I would have went there.

    I have visited a lot of squares, common,, greens and parks and the main attraction is the people. For a lot less money, they could simply level what they have and pave it then allow the people use it as they wish. It would help to include the fifth street space (eliminate that section of fifth street)and put some benches there of course.

    And they going to pay for the job with increased parking fees? The number one complaint about going downtown is the parking. If the city should do anything, they should be providing free parking like people find in the burbs.

    What was stopping the building owner from having all those cute little shops around the north and east sides? Do they need a $42MM renovation to knock out some walls? I would think that they could charge lower rents if they didn't have to invest so much as they are claiming. And less rents should mean lower overhead which would be reflected in their prices; -- skip that -- I almost forgot we are talking the USA where it is good business practice never to leave any money on the table and charge as much as possible -- then go bankrupt in two years.

    When that square was renovated the last time some german-born schoolteacher suggested that the square should just have trees and benches as are common in Europe. Then let the people socialize and relax and watch people. Gee we could have saved a lot of money.

    It does look better that what they have now, but at what price? And will it be any better without people?

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