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For What it's Worth

I think Portland is a Barometer for the insane rampant thieving, homeless, store closing, drug use, crime ridden filth that is taking place in the US…..besides the usual Detroit, Dayton, Cleveland bunch. If Portland tips over so will every other “safe” US City they thought they had
 
Small Alberta towns were initially sustained by agricultural endeavors and then in more recent decades by oil and gas exploration. Here is an article on what may come next...
 
I think Portland is a Barometer for the insane rampant thieving, homeless, store closing, drug use, crime ridden filth that is taking place in the US…..besides the usual Detroit, Dayton, Cleveland bunch. If Portland tips over so will every other “safe” US City they thought they had
Both San Fransisco and Portland in my opinion have beautiful downtowns with a lot of potential. I haven't been to Portland for a long time, but more recently San Fransisco and even pre COVID did see the problems.

It is grimy, dirty and run down. It particularly seems to be a downtown where there are mostly the rich and the very poor and not much between, probably in part because of very expensive office and residential space.

I don't know what the answers are for them, but I hope they can somehow fix it. I also hope we do not go down the path they have and I feel we are better positioned not too.
 
whatsUpWithAlberta-newsletterTitle-04262023_4.jpg
The National Post has launched a new newsletter about Alberta. It's aptly titled "What's up with Alberta?" The mission is to help Albertans further understand the place they live, and bring Alberta news to a wider public interested in Canada's most dynamic province. This subscriber-exclusive will be sent out Tuesday and Thursday evening, and feature news and analysis from the best writers at the National Post, Calgary Herald and Edmonton Journal. Please check it out, sign up and tell all your friends.
 
So here's the dirt... Ordering online is killing Retail and hybrid work is killing Office demand.
We have got to find ways to buck this trend. Here is my list:
1. Work towards hybrid retail solutions where retail displays are much more compact and related to "style and function" with remote delivery enabled from much less expensive warehouse locations (Amazon does this from its online presence for sales); add in situ entertainment at retail locations to engage customers (including gaming and XR potentials as well as "in person" events); encourage small, local retail operational unions whereby these unions negotiate with landlords for space consumption and lease rates, and, alternatively, gang together for collective website endeavors to promote self-images as individual pages within the context of a collective web presence -- these could be multi-layered (e.g. Area Representation (downtown Edmonton), Street Representation (104th Street), Building Representation (Milner Building) and then finally individual Retail Store Representation (Saucy Ballz & Finger Piez Eatery) whereby search engines are ordered to hit on any one of the layered Landing Pages with cross references to the other Pages.
2. Kill the trend for demising spaces in Retail components of Mixed Use Buildings -- encourage developers to standardize exterior door and window sizes so that there is complete exchangeability of locations of one versus the other.
3. Kill the Zoning trend that separates Office Functions from Residential Functions from Retail Functions from Service Functions from Hospitality and Entertainment functions (there are plenty of Building Code restrictions for adjacent spaces without codifying them in Zone categories as well. This alone would be a boon for buildings like the Empire Building, the Milner Building and the CN tower -- all looking for ways to reimagine themselves.
4. Similar to Point 3. above, allow Professional Offices to have a Residential Component so that Professionals can live and work at their office. I for one would consider working in a downtown tower if I could have my residence there as well. Klaus Hoffman (my first and only employer after post-secondary graduation) bought property on an acreage just east of Sherwood Park and on it built a residence with a large common workspace for employees. In the "Art District" in Los Angeles many loft buildings allow artists to live and work "in residence".
Add more ideas to this if you are so inclined...
 
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