Wednesday, July 08, 2009

'Spoofer' hits homer with flea market pitch

"The Spoofer" maybe meant it tongue-in-cheek, but it's a great idea:

One of the comments on the "Recreating Rome" posting, (scroll down to after 11 PM July 6) about how to enliven the Fourth Street-Graham Street-West Trade Street vicinity uptown, came from someone calling herself/himself "The Spoofer," who said:

"The solution is rather simple: Get city council to declare that area a 24/7 flea market and yard sale mecca. Citizens should be told that the space around those streets would be available for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents would be allowed to bring their own card tables any time they wish, and sell all that junk that Charlotteans spend most Saturdays driving from neighborhood to neighborhood to buy. Voila! Instant retail in center city without spending millions of taxpayer monies to alter infrastructure or to subsidize businesses.
It could turn into another Anderson Jockey Lot, only bigger. And talk about activity! There’s nothing more active than a gigantic city yard sale district. Tourists would flock there for bargains.

"Those pocketing cash at the end of the day from their efforts would no doubt spend part of it on uptown attractions or dining, further boosting center cityism. The only drawback would be the futility of trying to impose a system of sales or use tax on the vendors so that government could grow bigger from the proceeds. Gee, maybe that’s not a drawback after all."

I think it's a fabulous idea. Michael Smith (CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners) , I hope you're reading. It's akin to architect Murray Whisnant's idea a few years back (in the pre-EpiCentre era) to take the old civic center building, knock out its side walls and turn it into "the agora" – a farmers and flea market for anyone who wanted to sell there.

Seriously, small-scale retail begets larger-scale retail. And I'd love it if I didn't have to drive all the way up to the Metrolina Expo for a good flea-market experience.

Kudos to The Spoofer. (But your idea to flood uptown – see comment at 8:36 PM – for a lake is somewhat less workable, dontcha think?)

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like the idea

Anonymous said...

better idea than building a carnival cruise styled adult chuckie cheese downtown. O wait we already did that

Anonymous said...

Charlotte always wants to be a world-class city,and many world-class cities have such areas. London has several, which are now tourist sites.

Anonymous said...

we need a minority owner to oversee this....so it will be a huge success

Anonymous said...

Dont CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA

Anonymous said...

how about a HARRAHS uptown casino complete with a highrise hotel and POKER tournaments and proffesional players.

Anonymous said...

Okay heres one 1000 story tower much like the world trade center downtown with an observation deck up top with a five star food place on the top you could see atlanta from the top.

Anonymous said...

It’s interesting to me that when de facto markets spring up in parking lots in East Charlotte it’s pejoratively called “the barrio” but when others do the same thing in Uptown, it’s the next big thing.

Anonymous said...

I still say the HARRAHS and Wynn casinos would draw a huge crowd and no church members unless you have a note from your MINISTER or RABBI or priest.

Anonymous said...

OKAY here it is folks a Huge staue of BILLY GRAHAM about 100 ffet tall or more in downtown with a park thats safe . LOOK no sin with gambling so we can have both CASINO and BILLY statue.

Anonymous said...

Okay lets talk aboutthat Real OLD red building that sits empty in uptown How about a VAUDVILLE show like the 1900s with fur floors of dining and Plays on stage like the old days One floor with old time ragtime music and southern jazz like lousiana and another floor with vaudville acts and another with plays and oprah singers. Hows that NO CHARGE for this from my company.

Anonymous said...

How about a professional baseball stadium near or in downtown . all the Yankees can watch our Hometeams play and in warm weather also

Jumper said...

With the farmers market folded in to the flea market, I hope. Now we're getting somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Lets face it the ROMANS had an arena downtown that they had lions and fights and such we need a BASEBALL professional downtown and a backer. Okay how about cutting a river through downtown Charlotte much like we have in cinncinatti or Baton rouge cut a river though the side of it and flood all the property for a OHIO river look alike.

Anonymous said...

These are the funniest comments I have raed in a while - I like the idea of a 1,000 story tower that overlooks Atlanta

Anonymous said...

you seee, unfortunately this won't work. It's too simple for charlotte. It doesn't require rezonings, huge corporate donations, cronyism, or increased taxes. Community growth without miracle grow? Not in charlotte.

Anonymous said...

It only takes ten minutes to drive to Metrolina Expo from downtown, it's free parking, and it's a huge selection of flea market and many other things. They also have a farmer's market every monthly show. It's only $3 to get in, and they give away $500 shopping sprees every month. Not a bad trade for a ten minute drive.

Cato said...

I put the chance of Michael Smith putting the clout of the CCCP behind an uptown flea market right up there with the probability of McClatchey selling at $10/share this time next year.

Anonymous said...

I think a flea market would go over a lot better in this economy than upscale boutiques and services. That may not fit CCP's model for uptown, but it is doable and makes more sense. Everybody has a great time at flea markets and farmers' markets. It would draw a lot of people into center city. Maybe entice many to live there.

It should be bigger and better than Metrolina Expo. Maybe CCP and the C of C could get parking lot owners to work out a free parking system. If you have, say, at least $25 in purchase receipts at the end of the day from the market, you could get a ticket validated.

Maybe let Metro focus on large items and the uptown market on smaller items that can be easily transported, even on the bus or light rail.

Anonymous said...

What a stupid blog.