The Community Land Use and Economics Group is a small, specialized consulting firm that helps community leaders create economically vibrant downtowns and neighborhood commercial centers. We work with local and state governments, nonprofit organizations, business improvement districts, developers, planning firms, and other civic leaders to develop practical and innovative economic development strategies, cultivate independent businesses, identify regulatory and financial barriers, attract new investment, and make solid, forward-looking decisions about the economic uses of older, historic and traditional commercial districts.
February 12, 2015
A pop-up restaurant in Detroit -- called "POP" -- brings in a new chef and new cuisine every week. POP is located in an event space of an existing bar. The chef pays nothing to use the kitchen, and the bar benefits from the foodie crowds.
February 11, 2015
If your community is considering starting a cooperative grocery store, the National Cooperative Grocer's Association has put together a $10 million loan fund.
February 4, 2015
Amazon is in talks to buy some Radio Shack stores -- partly to enter the brick-and-mortar retail sales channel, partly to "showroom" its electronics merchandise. Radio Shack has locations in many traditional business districts and downtowns. It's not yet clear if (some of) these will be part of Amazon's plans.
January 14, 2015
Instacart, a San Francisco start-up, is partnering with local grocery stores and independent couriers in a new online grocery venture.
January 13, 2015
High architecture; plastic bricks.
January 12, 2015
The inevitable result of building more retail space than consumer spending can support is coming home to roost, at the shopping mall.
December 30, 2014
For past and present, just drag the slider bar right and left.
December 15, 2014
Luxury living ... on the shopping mall parking lot.
December 9, 2014
More from the connected city: Bike paths that illuminate as you ride, and traffic lights that change as you approach.
December 4, 2014
Here's what the chain retailers will be up to this coming year.
November 26, 2014
A data analytics firm is using satellite images of big-box store parking lots to predict retail sales.
November 21, 2014
Zappos dips its toe in bricks-and-mortar, Vegas style: This store has a restaurant, movie screen, and a sledding hill with real snow(!). Oh, and shoes.
November 17, 2014
From the "Downtowns Knew This Already" department, the International Council of Shopping Centers says malls benefit from "local flavor" in their tenant mixes.
November 8, 2014
Urban augmented reality: A new Time Traveler phone/tablet app allows visitors to layer a visual history of the Berlin Wall over the scene while standing at the site today. At CLUE Group, we've been talking about how this technology could be used to experience a historic downtown.
October 29, 2014
Wow, Philadelphia - What a crazy bad idea!
October 20, 2014
A great demographic shift favoring US cities: Eschewing suburbs, young college grads are choosing to live in urban centers more than at any time in recent decades.
October 6, 2014
What should you do with old phone booths? Charge phones, of course.
September 2, 2014
American teens don't hang out at shopping malls anymore. They eat in restaurants instead.
August 30, 2014
Dollar General has agreed to double the number of stores it will close (from 750 to 1,500) in order to satisfy antitrust regulators in its bid to buy Family Dollar. This could mean lots of Dollar Store vacancies downtown.
August 29, 2014
Millennials shop for groceries much more frequently than their parents' generation, according to a new report by the Food Marketing Institute - and they're shopping for fresher food, from smaller stores.
August 19, 2014
Much has been written about the implications for household earnings in the scramble to dominate the small-box, modest-means market - but we haven't seen much yet about how the dollar store is essentially an urban store, adaptable to smaller market catchment areas than big-box behemoths.
August 14, 2014
Lowering the barriers to open pop-up stores - and lowering vacancy rates (hat tip to Alexander Balloon and Historic Tacony Revitalization).
August 8, 2014
From crowdfunding to community foundations, civic leaders are exploring alternatives to government funding, whether because of cutbacks or because of the desire for greater local control. Here's one that doesn't seem to work too well, though.
August 6, 2014
Can Google street view detect or measure gentrification?
August 1, 2014
Cool idea: An indie bookstore in Reading, Pennsylvania accepts book donations from house-downsizing members of a 55+ community, giving credits for the donated books (which it re-sells) to a local elementary school library, which in turn redeems the credits for new books it needs.
July 30, 2014
A stunning fact from former Department of Labor Secretary Robert Reich: "Just six Walmart heirs have more wealth than the bottom 42 percent of Americans combined (up from 30 percent in 2007)."
July 29, 2014
Does your commercial district have a business succession planning program in place?
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