Friday, February 19, 2010

Rumor, Inuendo, and Hope

Many of you have seen this.

Could a store like Urban Outfitters be coming to our scruffy little city? Are we hip enough, or rather are they hip enough for us?

Besides a grocery store, what stores would be a good fit for downtown Knoxville?

Any thoughts?



Flory just put this up. Looks like this thing could really happen. What a fantastic retail anchor to draw in more people to downtown.


Anonymous said...

i've heard about a grocery store opening up where magpies was in the old city...

Anonymous said...

If we must go corporate, American Apparel or Trader Joe would be nice.

Anonymous said...

i fucking hate hipsters.

Holly G said...

whoa nelly. as a knoxvillian living in seattle (urban outfitter land) to me as sweet as urban outfitters is, they're overpriced, which makes me wonder how they'd do in knox. i think trader joe's on the other hand would be bear-hugged by ktown! xo knox

Greg said...

Yeah, Knoxville could really do without Amer Appar and Urban Outfitters, but Trader Joes would be SO awesome.

cmp said...

I'm all about the Trader Joe's. FYI, you can go to their website and request a location.

kate s. said...

i think a great bookstore with lots of different floors (and reading nooks) maybe combined with a (not-starbucks) coffee shop.

Aria said...

I think an Urban Outfitters - despite the fact that a good number of other businesses would be better/more fitting - is better than nothing, if not only for the reason that it would bring more college students into downtown.

As a student at UT that spends a lot of time downtown, I've noticed a real disconnect between the University/the strip and downtown. I have a friend (a junior) that told me just today that she's never been to the Old City.

I guess what I'm saying is, it would be a good way to bring in an influx of potential customers to nearby businesses - people that have been here all along, but had less of an incentive to participate in the local market.

Wax S. said...

Plus, having a major corporate retail chain interested in downtown shows that their market research for the area thinks it can work. A store like UO doesn't open unless they've done their homework.

Just like a mall, a commercial district needs high-profile "anchors" to cement it in place. Whether you shop there or not, a store of this caliber is great news for Market Square, and Downtown Knoxville (which is why the city and business district are ponying up almost three quarters of a mil for one store).

Now, if we could get the Arby's to stay open past 6:30 we'd have something.

ck said...

I totally agree with Wax. It's not about if you like UO clothes (or hate the people who shop there...), it's important that another large anchor is investing in downtown. Mast General was a good start, but we need more like it.

And the city's money is going for facade improvements of the entire Arnstein building, which will eventually have more than just ground floor retail in it. Whether it's offices (which other rumors seem to indicate) or more lofts, that's more people downtown eating, shopping, hanging out. Looks like a real critical mass might be reached in a few years.

Wax S. said...

How about an apothecary? We may need a Kuhlman's, or rather a CVS or Walgreens. The closest is the Walgreens on the strip with the nightmare parking situation.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know what 'urban outfitters' is, so I took a long look at their website.

I started with the mens' clothes. They apparently choose their models (and clothing items for sale) by pulling random homeless people out of dumpsters, thrashing them soundly, and photographing them on the spot.

I guess I'm just old.

But nevertheless, I applaud every effort to bring businesses downtown, and I hope they enjoy success.

And I LOVE I just 'discovered' it a few days ago and I have enjoyed reading the archives. Keep up the great work.

The Modern Gal said...

Wax: Amen on the Arbys. I don't know why they close so dang early.

Art Wagner said...

As several others have said, it doesn't really matter whether you personally are a potential UrbanOutfitters customer as long as you understand what a retailer like that will do for downtown synergism. One thing leads to another--more shoppers mean more retailers are then attracted.

I do agree with the commenter who stated that there was a disconnect with the UT campus. 25,000+ students, 18-25, a trolley ride or walk away, are what UO is looking for.

B said...

The following is a shameless plug, but a good one at that:

You know what would be cool? To see the Arnstien before it's converted into an Urban Outfitters.

OMG! You can!

On Friday, March 19, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Knox Heritage members will tour the Arnstein Building, 505 Market Street, and the Daylight Building on Union Avenue near Walnut Street.

How does one become a member?

Call 523-8008 or go to