Our community has great challenges before us. The solutions are going to take some creative thinking and planning. This is exciting, however, because we have the opportunity to do new things that have never been tried before, or at least tried here before. Experimental territory. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?
I recently read an article in the Business Journal about the retail apocalypse. This time, I heard a much different perspective, one that wasn't all doom and gloom. Mr. Anthony Cafaro Jr., of Cafaro Co. which owns notable properties such as the Eastwood and Millcreek Malls, explained that what we are experiencing now with retail is less of an apocalypse and more of a correction. He's right. We are experiencing a paradigm shift. (I'll cover more on this in another post).
What does this have to do with Greenville? There was a particular part in the article that caught my imagination.
"Additionally, opening day at Eastwood Field this year marks the 20th season for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. The team recently committed for another 15 years. If every developer had an opportunity to have a minor league baseball stadium, or some type of sport facility as part of their mall complex, they would sign up tomorrow,” he says."
Again, what does this have to do with Greenville? Although we do not have a mall that might be experiencing some major shifts in retail culture and we do not have a minor league sports team, we can use Carafo's concept of multi-purpose use to our advantage.
I read the article with downtown Greenville already in mind and as I was mulling over what it would mean for us to have a multi-purpose downtown the pool soon surfaced. Imagine a pool/recreation facility in or near our downtown spaces. It could potentially transform the way we interact with our shops and restaurants. It could be the unique addition to attract more visitors, and better yet, new residents. Having this addition of recreation/entertainment could be leveraged by downtown businesses to increase foot-traffic and even boost sales.
Click on the highlighted areas on the map below to see the potential of each spot.
Let me know your thoughts! Comment below