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The Sad State of Retail at 7th/Spring

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, June 01, 2007, at 05:48PM
Cutting off Spring Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Reading through this week's Downtown News I got a little upset when I saw this story about an adult video store at 7th/Spring. It wasn't that it's a bad piece (it isn't), it was that I had been meaning to write about the same topic for a couple weeks now and hadn't done so.

In short, the article tells about a video game / adult DVD shop that opened a few weeks back in the Bartlett Building's corner retail space. Residents of the building are upset, having been sold on the idea of more upscale tenants downstairs. Controversial developer Barry Shy tells the Downtown News that he didn't know what the shop sold, and that he now wants it out.

The article doesn't even touch on what I think is the even larger wrong: the shop's layout completely turns its back on Spring street. That corner space has the bulk of its windows on Spring, but the DVD shop chose to face them with the backside of its solid shelving units. The shop eschews its Spring street side in favor of the smaller entrance on 7th street.

Regardless of what product the shop sells, no decent landlord should allow a tenant to make his or her building look trashy. Yet that's exactly what the current setup does to the Bartlett.

It doesn't help that the building's neighboring space on Spring has been shuttered for perhaps a year now. Months ago there was a bit of activity as banners were hung for Raspado Xpress, a Mexican fruit drink chain. No further signs of life followed, until just a few days ago when people were at work inside and the banners vanished. Hopefully that means the shop will be opening soon, not that a potential tenant has backed out.

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