Containing Community & Commerce

I love watching the changing face of retail...
over my 45 years of involvement with the industry, 
I've seen many 're-inventions' and new concepts rolled out.
Some fail, some succeed.
But I am always wondering 'What's NEXT?' for retail.

I recently had the chance to see a concept that has every reason
to become a successful way to create shopping experiences all over the globe...
is probably one of the most unique retail spaces I've seen.
Located on Fremont Street, just a few blocks away from a neon-lit tourist mecca of casinos,
 it's an open-air shopping center and entertainment venue  
that was built in 2013 from 43 re-purposed shipping containers
and 41 locally manufactured Xtreme cubes to create individual retail spaces. 

Situated on three levels,
the center offers wide open spaces along with retail and food service space:

The shops range from boutiques offering a variety of apparel, jewelry and accessories 
to art galleries, home d├ęcor and fixtures, 
and a barbershop housed in a retired boxcar and caboose. 

The park also includes restaurants and bars with indoor and outdoor seating, 
a park and raised stage for entertainment, and spots for a quick treat - 
including cupcakes, an old-fashioned candy shop, a gourmet popcorn store, and more.
In all, there are 39 retailers located within the complex.
At first glance, it's a cool industrial vibe.
On second thought, it's a brilliant way to re-purpose shipping containers - 
which too often simply rust away to nothing in salvage yards.

I wonder how many of these centers of commerce and community
could be created in areas around the globe, in virtually any economic setting,
to offer cost-effective venues for merchants, artisans, growers and makers? 
Include service providers - hair, nails, tanning, massage, urgent care, pet grooming - 
and you've another group of small businesses to serve.

We're in the midst of National Small Business Week
and I can imagine that this creative and economical kind of structure
could have a far-reaching effect on small businesses in communities everywhere.
What are your thoughts?
Would YOU embrace this in your community? Would YOU rent space like this?

information for this post was gathered from this source

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