Q&A: EMPTY RETAIL
Q: What can the city do to fill empty spaces?
Filling empty retail space is a top priority in Clayton. Not only are we not generating sales tax when properties are vacant, but we are not providing the “walk” that make city blocks interesting.
Long-term, our city needs to encourage higher density residential living in our downtown area, which will create a greater natural demand, resulting in the need for more shops to open because of increased foot traffic 24-7 that will frequent those stores and services.
Right now, we can work to solidify partnerships to promote Clayton as the destination:
- Performing Arts: We can partner with small theater groups, music producers and property owners to bring performing arts to Clayton.
- Meeting Destination: We can bring together hotel sales professionals, retailers, restaurant owners and meeting planners to create special offerings that attract groups to meet in Clayton.
- Parking: We can more effectively communicate where public parking is with wayfinding signage and by offering a mobile app with maps. We can also work with garage owners to promote the fact that parking in Clayton is free after 5 pm and all weekend, every weekend.
Q: What am I doing to address empty store fronts?
I recently initiated a Buy Local movement in Clayton. This is a NOW activity that impacts the current retailers and immediately bolsters our city’s sales tax revenue.
YOU can make a real and significant difference by BUYING LOCAL! When you shop at one of our many retail establishments, your purchase directly affects the ability of that business owner to stay open in Clayton and contributes to the sales tax pool for the city. You can actually do a lot to help address empty store fronts by ensuring that we retain current businesses.
I also proposed that the city offer a smart phone app to show where public parking is located.
“Clayton Shoppers” at the Designing Block.