Friday, July 5, 2013

North Hills developments

I read in a Tribune-Review article about Dick's Sporting Goods opening a new store in a new development in McCandless Township. This new complex will comprise a series of residential, retail, and office uses in what is presumed to be a live-work-and-play neighborhood. I'm not sure if this will be a T.N.D., or a traditional neighborhood development, or if it will be a typical auto-centric suburban community. However, Dick's might be vacating an existing store in a fading shopping center, one that I could see reemerging as a hybrid mall or even a traditional neighborhood development.

This post, I will focus mainly on the Northway Mall, the failing shopping complex where Dick's is currently located. The aforementioned article mentions how the mall was recently acquired and how the purchaser wants to renovate the mall and incorporate an adjacent abandoned school into this development. I have yet to see any formal proposal from LRC, the company that bought the mall and school, but I would think that the best use for this mall would be a hybrid neotraditional, or main-street shopping center.

Northway Shops apparently started out as an out-door strip mall. I suppose they could remove the enclosure and develop other shops around the existing structure(s). A neotraditional development would have the store fronts facing the main streets with parking available in the rears of the structures, or in the middle depending on the orientation of the street grid.  I would also suggest that residential units be constructed above the ground-level retail units.  This would maximize the density of the neighborhood and enhance the traditional neighborhood feel.

To view the article, here is the link: