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Mom and Pop Among the Chains

To wrap up retail week, we’re posting a brief video from a recent MAS panel on retail diversity. On Wednesday, Michael Ewing described how he worked with the MTA to bring local NY retailers into Grand Central, which contributed to its revitalization during the 1990s. A few of the local retailers eventually became chains of their own. The case of Grand Central is interesting in light of the retail plans for Moynihan Station. After all, the Draft Scope for the project describes a retail development of 1.1 million SF on the current site of Madison Square Garden and future site of Moynihan East. That's about nine times the size of the retail in Grand Central. We're concerned that too much mall will prevent the development of a monumental and spacious new train station and the lack of detailed plans for the station certainly raises a lot of questions. Will we see a mix of local/chain similar to Grand Central? How much big-box will it include? Will it allow for a railway station that works?

Among the topics addressed by the panel:

Why is the number of chains increasing in New York?

What is the impact of chain stores on a community?

How can we improve retail diversity?

The relationship between affordable products and retail diversity

The video was taken at an MAS Continuing Legal Education panel entitled “Mom and Pop Among the Chains: Law, Policy and Urban Retail Diversity.”

The panel included Vicki Weiner of the Pratt Center for Community Development, Michael Ewing of Williams Jackson Ewing, John Shapiro of Phillips Preiss Shapiro Associates, and Michael Berne of MJB Consulting.


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