July 21, 2005

Ideas For Better Store Sitings

Two socially responsible investment groups have published a report advising major retailers on community-friendly ways to locate, design, build and run their stores.

Outside the Box: Guidelines For Retail Store Sitingsincludes suggestions on preserving cultural heritage, so as not to ruin the ambiance of a historic town center; and smart growth concepts, such as trying to site near public transit, providing safe pedestrian and bicycling environments (I'd add appealing walking and cycling environments); and working to mitigate traffic impact. The report was authored by analysts at Christian Brothers Investment Services and Domini Social Investments LLC in New York.

In one example

...a 2004 plan for a 203,000-square-foot Wal-Mart store in Monona, Wisconsin, featured 600 underground parking spaces that city officials believed would make better use of land, while keeping shoppers warm. Site owner Continental Properties also agreed to pay the city for a full traffic impact
study and traffic-related improvements, transportation for the elderly to and from the store site, and a reduction in storm-water runoff from the site by 20 percent from the current level. Following the agreement, the City Council rejected a proposed moratorium on big-box development.

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