The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

Why is everyone so concerned with upscale? Part 2

Cudahy, Development, Retail, Restaurant, Packard Plaza

"It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.”  - Robert Green Ingersoll


Now that you have been hired as the new economic development director, you can get down to work.


You need to compile as list of places that you think might fit in Cudahy and have a need.


You take a quick glance at the previous administration’s retail market analyst as a guideline for what the survey said might work in Cudahy, while remembering it is not gospel.


You take a quick look at your very inexpensive subscription to Value Retail News, a publication of the International Council of Shopping Centers, for ideas and inspiration.


You make a chart with three categories.  Upscale, middle of the road and economical outlet malls (the outlet mall would work so very well as a visitors’ destination) making Cudahy the center of the gravitation.


You brainstorm knowing that there are no wrong answers or ideas during that time.


You come up with Polo Ralph Lauren, Liz Claiborne, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, Lane Bryant, Dress Barn, Nine West, Wilson's Leather, Bass, Van Heusen, OshKosh and Carter's.


You think about how the need for an outlet mall may need a tourist attraction nearby, so you remember that your friend emailed you an idea.  See you lean and take ideas from friends and residents in the area.


You open up your email to read, “Tourism” Instant tourism if Cudahy bought this.  I have $2.35 in my pocket to donate.


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You think that could be money well spent, but maybe Cudahy is not big enough for that idea, so you move on.  But you remember that nothing is wrong while brainstorming.


You move back to your list and think, what if I could get a Cudahy Hard Rock Café as an upscale restaurant?  Would that fit in Cudahy?


You have to keep reminding yourself that there needs to be something for everyone and Cudahy is NOT a gated neighborhood with video surveillance cameras and a call box at the entrance.  Even the "well-to-do" like a good bargain, don't they?  Things have to fit just perfect like a jig-saw-puzzle.  You cannot force a piece that doesn’t fit just because you wish or want it to.


You look at a sign on your wall that reads, Use the “KISS” system and below that, a cue of mixed-use development works most of the time if it is retail/restaurant space and the other half split between office and residential uses with some smaller boutique-type stores sprinkled in as well.


You get an email from a Cudahy resident that has as the subject line, “Some residents of Cudahy don't want a store that will attract certain "kinds of people" to their area.  We want the "right kind" of customers.”  You wonder what “attract certain "kinds of people" to their area” means.  You think to yourself that troublemakers never come from upper-class homes either... only out of 'poor' households.  That's logical.  No it isn’t!  Crime strikes and comes from all walks of life.


You send off a reply email asking them for more details and clarifications, since you know that part of your job is listening and responding to the public and people that live in the area might have a good pulse of what the City of Cudahy needs or doesn’t need.  You listen to all keeping an open mind.  You do not want to be so open-minded your brain falls out though.


You look at your list that includes resident suggestions and give each one the same scrutiny of location, architecture, traffic, parking, storm water control that every other proposal gets.  Comments about the "right kind" of customer, whatever that means are not on the list though and we expect every resident and visitor to behave themselves.  After all that would be a police matter.


You have learned from the people in the past that waiting for the perfect business, the perfect place, and the perfect opportunity will not happen.  You know that you have to make the best choice at that time and sometimes a mistake could happen.  You keep in mind that even a diamond has flaws!


You fully understand that while waiting for the perfect fit of the unique business that is nowhere else nearby to be found, those empty lots are doing nothing for the taxpayers that are paying your salary, and sometimes, you do settle.  That doesn’t mean you settle for the bottom of the barrel, but your second, third, forth, fifth, sixth or maybe even your seventh choice.  And who knows, it might just turn out to be the best decision in the long run.


You remember what makes you go to places to eat for you and your family.  When you dine out and drive across town to Bay View at a place called Three Brothers, Mama Mia's is in West Allis, Benji's Deli is in Shorewood, Jimmy's Grotto in Waukesha, or Organ Piper Pizza is in Greenfield.  Each of these establishments is unique and offers something that isn't replicated anywhere else, which makes them all worth driving to.  Each of them could work at any place, any city.  They are unique and small.  They don’t require much from the city, but they have to have a reason to come to Cudahy.


You understand that sometimes people don’t want unique, but want a favorite, a good old standby, a fast place that is economical while being good.  You know that places like McDonald's, there is nothing unique about them.  Yet people go in droves.  Over billions and billions served.  So many that McDonald's no longer keeps track.  Some days people want a Ponza Rotta from Jimmy's Grotto in Waukesha and sometimes they want a Big Mac from McDonald's.  Getting the right mix to make most people happy on any given day is what you strive for!


You know that not every trip has to be special!


You have been versed and comprehend that the city makes the place- the place doesn't make the city.  There are nice Wal-Mart’s, and trashy Wal-Mart’s.  There are nice K-marts and trashy K-marts.  The community makes the store what it is, not vice versa.


You identify that having a mundane McDonald's or Wal-Mart in Cudahy, that they are not destinations, will not bring in visitors, most cities have them, but that they keep Cudahy dollars in Cudahy which would have left!  That they have people come spend money there and when people are patronizing retailers in their fair town, pumping dollars into the local economy, those big fat cat evil corporations might then believe they should keep their Cudahy locations open, paying thousands of dollars in taxes to keep Cudahy's schools, parks, and emergency services funded.

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