Saturday, October 27, 2007

If you build it - will they come?

Late last week on Lander's blog, a topic came up that I had been planning a post on. Earlier in the week, I had taken my son to the pediatricians office located on Golden Foothill Parkway, just South of 50 and White Rock. I counted at least 14 different signs between the office space/warehouse for lease, buildings for sale and commercial property for sale.

When I first moved here, I had assumed it was newly developed (thus explaining the high vacancy rates). One year later, the picture doesn't seem to have changed much. In fact I think there are more signs up now.

On the retail side, in the last month I have now seen two businesses close their doors in the new Town Center just up the street from the commercial development. To make matters worse they are building more retail by the new Target, and hadn't even filled up the existing retail space in the rest of the Town Center. Not to mention the large retail development going up across the street. One exit up at Bidwell they are putting in a new mall (okay, so I will admit, it will be nice not to drive 30-40 minutes to get to a nice mall), and what looks to be additional retail. And of course there is the partially vacant shopping center off Fransisco in EDH with the new Safeway.

I don't see how the local demographics can support all this retail. I have got to assume that these projects were planned years ago, cause it just doesn't seem to make sense now. I also have to assume that they didn't realize that everyone and their brother were also planning to build. Especially since there doesn't seem to be anyone taking up residency in the existing retail or commercial properties. Although I do believe the mall tenants have already been signed on.

Short rant - I don't like the new trend where these planned developments put all the retail space right up next to the freeway entrance, and all the housing after that. It creates lots of unnecessary congestion as the homeowners and the shoppers get intermingled. I saw a map of the proposed development for Folsom South of 50, and it follows this exact layout. Sigh.

Folsom Mall Layout....see below. If you want the .pdf you can e-mail me. Its much easier to read the store names.


Cmyst said...

BT, I'm assuming the mall will be the construction right off 50/E.Bidwell. What's going on just a bit further up with all those crazy little hills and roads between them?

I think that Folsom's gain will be EDH's loss, though, and probably Roseville's, too. You're right, all they're doing is moving shoppers around on a chessboard.

buying time said...

Sadly no, from the diagram it looks like the mall is bounded by broadstone parkway, iron point and bidwell. So I am presuming the construction right off 50 is something else.

Once I found out there was going to be a mall off has killed much of my desire to live in the Folsom Empire Ranch area. The associated traffic is going to be just awful.

Sippn said...

Yea, its between the freeway and Home Depot on the west side, the far west side (not shown) is the new Kaiser Hospital complex.

Reading through the stores on the map looks like upscale, and a Whole Foods! one of my favorite places but I would take a Nugget like the one going into El Dorado Hills becasue they're even better.

If you can keep the gangstas out - which they probably will. I can see Folsom with real police handling that.

PeonInChief said...

In fact, you're right. There's way more retail than can be supported. Prop 13 makes it much more profitable for local governments to support development of retail and commercial space over residential development. Retail brings in sales taxes and commercial development requires fewer services (parks, community centers etc.) than residential development.

And since only the most expensive housing pays for the services required to support it, cities prefer it to entry-level housing. And builders prefer move-up housing because it is more profitable (in the same way that a Toyota Sequoia is more profitable than a Camry).

And that's why we have the "planned" communities we have.

Patient Renter said...

I completely agree that we're way overbuilt with commercial crap as it is, and the demographics definately can't support it all. Folsom, for example, has almost every corporate/chain retail store/restaurant humanly imaginable. It's insane.

I noticed the other day they're well under way with construction of the first promenade building. Looks like it might be the Barnes N Noble?

I am thinking it'll probably not be a desirable place to live once the thing is finished and the traffic ensues.

Sacto EJ said...

The only shop that my wife could think of that would be missing (among common chain stores) is Pottery Barn.

Ruth's Chris!! Yummy!