Looking for new ideas about a next generation retail center?

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By Roger Snodgrass

Looking for new ideas about a next generation retail center?

Face it, most of us don’t have the foggiest notion about what’s going on in the realm of post-meltdown shopping centers.

Much less do we know what the odds are that anything is going to work for very long.

Having been shopping-deprived for most of its existence has been at best a mixed blessing for Los Alamos, but one of the things it has not provided is a well-developed, experienced nose for how to create a vibrant retail environment for the future.

For the copycat past, yes.

The current plans and ideas are all based on a slightly spiffed up version of old shopping centers, anchored by a retail concept that was a big success two or three decades ago.

Essentially, the debate now is between whether to try a really ancient idea, a classic big box, or merely a medieval one, a whozit’s, good-enough big-box.

Very little is heard about the profound changes that are upon us and what they might mean for such a major and sensitive investment.

It turns out the International Council on Shopping Centers held its annual convention earlier this year in the midst of a crisis that some participants shrugged off and glossed over. But at least a few designers and architects took the changes very seriously.

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