Monday, November 03, 2008

Random Observations, 11/3/08

Workers were performing what appeared to be some exterior cleaning at The 411. It looked like one of the dingy panels under one of the windows was being scrubbed to reveal the bright blue color under layers of dirt.

The Chinese restaurant in the first floor of The 411 is moving to a vacant retail space in the parking garage at 1120 Locust. It's an odd semi-subterranean space last occupied by the "City Cafe and Market." Chinese restaurants generally seem to be pretty resilient and able to succeed in strange locations, so I'm sure this one will do well in its new home.

Work continues on the exterior of 1015 Locust, and it appears that the white sections are going to be painted black, giving the facade an all-black appearance. Should be an improvement.

There is an Athlete's Foot store in the first floor retail space in the Globe Building on Tucker. I'm not sure when it opened, but it must have opened fairly recently, as I don't recall seeing it before.

The usually meticulously maintained plantings in front of the Renaissance Hotel are looking a bit shabby. Many planters are missing plants, and some of the plants look like someone tried to rip them out, with exposed roots. I hope this isn't an indication of the hotel's financial problems.

The building that housed Creepy Crawl and most recently Gus's Fashions is getting a facelift. It looks like the facade is being skimmed with stucco. I'm interested to see the final product. I believe a vet's office will be opening in the building.

From what I can tell, no progress is being made at the burnt-out Copia space.

There appears to be some sort of build-out taking place in the former Baseline Gallery space in the Vanguard Lofts at 1110 Washington. There's no indication as to who the tenant is though. Looks like there's some sort of refrigerator case by the window.

The Old Post Office Plaza is rapidly changing. A large steel frame has been erected at the northern end of the plaza - looks like the framework for the video screen. Lots of large trees have been brought in for planting at the eastern end, and small plants and shrubs are waiting to be planted at the western end.

Doesn't look like much is going on in the Left Bank Books space, but it's sounding like they're still on track for an opening later this month.

I really hope the Roberts Brothers reconsider their plans to demolish 917 and 923 Locust. These buildings add more to the streetscape than meets the eye at first glance, and their loss - especially at the expense of a driveway for their planned hotel - will really detract from an area that is just now starting to get stronger. I still question the need for another hotel in the first place, but that's another story.

City Pet Supply is now open in the Tudor Building at 1915. It's a great little store with everything a pet lover could want. I hope downtown's pet owning population gives them plenty of business.

With all of the development that's taken place downtown in the last few years, I'm surprised that HRI hasn't been able to lease the 2,000+ sf first floor retail space at the northwestern corner of the Merchandise Mart. It's a great space in a great location.

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