Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Company rehabs decrepit mall in San Antonio - ideas for our region? Previous Next
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Username: Digitalvision

Post Number: 723
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - 5:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I post this here because I think this video shows what could happen with a good public/private partnership and a re-use of existing spaces.

They talk about what the keys are for business development, including power costs, access to people, etc.

http://www.fastcompany.tv/vide o/rackspace-tears-new-headquarters

As much as I'm not a fan of malls per se, I love the concept of adaptive re-use of existing structures and that could be applied here.

Key takeaways:

- It cost half as much to rehab instead of build new

- They recycle as much as they can, and gave whatever Habitat for Humanities and the like whatever they wanted

- The city worked with them for a very good deal on leasing

- Rackspace has multiple datacenters across the country (we have solid ground.. maybe we could get one from another company with a tax abatement to offset our crazy property tax laws?) We also have half the year where there would be much cheaper cooling costs (San Antonio doesn't have a winter like we do).

- They had to convince 1,400 people to move there and they didn't want to go due to security concerns.

The initial focus groups were rowdy and were against the idea because the feeling that the town disrespected them, their cars would be broken into, etc. It was in a bad part of town, an inner ring suburb, oddly enough.

- The mayor of the town went to Rackspace to get the deal done and collaborated with the big city mayor to get the job done. The mayor also put a police substation on the property to allay their concerns.

- They're keeping things like the escalators

(Message edited by digitalvision on April 09, 2008)
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Username: Gaz

Post Number: 58
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - 6:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Renovations are good, but some of the malls across the country are dangerous, and the renovations don't necessarily drive out the criminals and bring in good customers. Along with mall renovations, it wouldn't hurt to bring in decent security.
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Username: Digitalvision

Post Number: 724
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - 7:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Should of been clearer - they converted the mall from retail into their corporate headquarters.
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Username: Onthe405

Post Number: 42
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - 11:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Two fine examples of how Los Angeles, a city unfairly generalized as "in a constant state of tear down in order to re-invent itself", helped to facilitate re use of two iconic former department stores:

The 1939 Art Moderne former May Company store was annexed & restored by LACMA (LA Co Museum of Art).

The original store:
http://jacketmagazine.com/30/p x/palm05.jpg

And today:
http://you-are-here.com/buildi ng/may.html

Years of tacky shortcut remodels of the stunning Art Deco masterpiece Bullocks Wilshire store were undone by the Southwestern Law School across the street. It was meticulously restored to its original 1920s grandeur and incorporated into the campus. Part of it is the Law Library, the former "Tea Room" is the refectory, and other rooms are rented out for functions/filming/etc (room detail shown in first link):

http://www.gallagrafix.com/bul locks_full.htm
http://www.swlaw.edu/campus/bu ilding

Ironically, the Mid-Wilshire area is now in a renaissance. Increasingly, young people & start-up companies are looking for alternatives to the pricey Westside and in another few years it probably could've supported the buildings as stores again
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Username: Gibran

Post Number: 2290
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2008 - 11:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

in Oklahoma City they converted a mall for state agencies and some related offices ...it made many programs accessable, and the vendors that wanted to do business also located near mall... a school was placed into one area as well as a call center..the result was a boom to the surrounding neighborhood....restuarants and small business...it took about three years to fill but now it also houses SSDI offices etc..and is a hub for community

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