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Canalside: Quick Fix for Retail Minded

While on a recent trip to Costa Rica I couldn’t help but admire the simple way that some retail outlets were set up and run. When closed for the night the garage doors were rolled down and locked, which was such an easy way to protect the merchandise. Then, in the morning the merchants would arrive, roll up the doors, display merchandise out front in order to attract attention, and then wait for the customers to walk past. They appeared to be as proud of these storefronts as their competitors just down the street occupying expensive build-outs. They swept their sidewalks, interacted with passersby… to tell you the truth, we never even walked into the more permanent-looking storefronts, opting to stick with the ones that looked more down to earth and ‘local’.

As Canalside and other waterfront destinations continue to flourish, I would think that these types of storefronts would do quite well. I understand that they are not very glamorous… but that’s OK. I’m not talking about permanent solutions here, rather short term ways to get retailers set up in incubator-acting environments. To take it a step further, initial retail at Canalside could also look like this (remember The Shanty). We’re not talking about investing millions of dollars to get retailers set up to do business. Plus, we’d be offering amenities to waterfront visitors sooner rather than later. These kiosks can be built to look attractive… even historic. We’ve already identified old photos of the waterfront where there were small shack-looking buildings intermixed with larger structures. It’s the same sort of idea as Clinton’s Dish… just geared towards retail.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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