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Main Street Retail

We work with towns, cities, local merchants, and commercial developers to redevelop and revitalize old main streets and design new mixed-use centers with the characteristics of authentic town centers. While the most "green" building is the one that is already standing, and can be rehabbed, the same is true for our older main streets and neighborhoods.

Developing new or revitalized old main streets require a command of retail market forces, traffic planning, housing and business integration, and public place making. Successful retail development hinges on a matrix of physical design patterns that can make or break a business or a retail district.

Vibrant main streets are increasingly attractive to customers as an alternative to the isolation of Internet marketing and suburban auto-oriented commercial development. Also convenience shopping is more important than ever in a time of increased commutes and busy schedules. Main streets are pleasant walking and strolling environments, conveniently close to home, or easy to "park and walk". The details of local and regional circulation, on-street parking and mid-block garages, shop front design, sidewalks width, tree placement, and housing proximity all coalesce to make a main street a place where people will continually want to shop, play, work, and live.

This Service in Practice:

The Seabrook Café and Bistro was designed in collaboration with BC&J Architects (architect of record). We began by establishing the retail building type as a parapet shop front. We perched the bistro on a patio terrace to view out to the ocean over Front Avenue, the Amphitheater and wooded bluffs.