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Birmingham Metro Area For Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the West Midlands.



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Old March 12th, 2007, 04:28 PM   #21
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nice list, very promising!
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Old March 12th, 2007, 07:40 PM   #22
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They are fitting out the unit under the Orion tower as we speak, have peeked in but no indication of what it might be yet!!
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Old March 12th, 2007, 08:49 PM   #23
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They are fitting out the unit under the Orion tower as we speak, have peeked in but no indication of what it might be yet!!
Lemme guess what that will be... a Magnet / Moben style interior fitted kitchens / bathrooms thing? All these new apartments in the city come with fitted kitchens and bathrooms anyway dont they?
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Old March 12th, 2007, 08:57 PM   #24
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I walk past on the way to work everyday so will see what I can make out over the coming weeks!
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:23 PM   #25
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Just had another look at the property listings, pretty much half the shops on Corporation Street are closing... Theres gotta be a way to turn this around, maybe if John Lewis was located in Martinue Galleries where Virgin used to be it'd help Corp. Street a lot?
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:37 PM   #26
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Not being funny here but most if not all UK cities would swap their retail state for ours. There is a huge waiting list for the Bull Ring, the empty units are only there because their tenants have gone bust and cannot be re-let until the administrators have done there bit.

I would agree that Brum needs more independant stores and rents could be lower to support this, but high rents are a sign and sympton of a succesful city centre, not a disapointing one.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:41 PM   #27
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Not being funny here but most if not all UK cities would swap their retail state for ours. There is a huge waiting list for the Bull Ring, the empty units are only there because their tenants have gone bust and cannot be re-let until the administrators have done there bit.

I would agree that Brum needs more independant stores and rents could be lower to support this, but high rents are a sign and sympton of a succesful city centre, not a disapointing one.
Yeah the Bullring has done wonders for the city, i loved it when it opened was in there 4 days of the first week! Thought it was amazing and its still pretty smart. Just a shame things aren't spreading out like they have in London to pretty much every street - guess thats the lack of actual residents in the Corporation street area.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:46 PM   #28
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I think the rebirth of the old C&A/ Beatties store can only help Corporation Street.

One of the main problems I have with the road is that there is so many bus stops and people waiting at them it is hard to get down especially at weekends!
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:48 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by hammerb24 View Post
Not being funny here but most if not all UK cities would swap their retail state for ours. There is a huge waiting list for the Bull Ring, the empty units are only there because their tenants have gone bust and cannot be re-let until the administrators have done there bit.

I would agree that Brum needs more independant stores and rents could be lower to support this, but high rents are a sign and sympton of a succesful city centre, not a disapointing one.
I made a similar comment and agree.

However, high rents do not indicate a successful centre - Coventry's rents are very high, but the city centre is rubbish.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 09:58 PM   #30
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I made a similar comment and agree.

However, high rents do not indicate a successful centre - Coventry's rents are very high, but the city centre is rubbish.
Yes quite the reason why it is 'rubbish' and it'll stay that way till someone lowers them! Leamington is comparitively quite cheap.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 10:35 PM   #31
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The Bullring and its vacant shops is a special case - it is all to do with legalities and not because of lack of interest.

Generally I think retail in Brum city centre is pretty healthy - certainly healthier than most places.

I think the internet's impact on shopping is overstated in most cases. Yes you can order from Tesco, but you order food you like. Similarly with music, you can have a listen online then buy the CD or download the tracks. However, music stores are still pretty popular. The internet is not very good at the same things catalogues aren't very good at - touchy-feely-try-on stuff (clothes, furniture etc) so it is interesting that Brum's 2 largest retail-led schemes are fashion (Bullring) and homewares (MG).

The Parkinson report highlights the lack of independent retailers, be they music, clothes, antiques, furniture, food or whatever, and the council needs to address that - whether that is my lowering rates on small premises and increasing them on larger or via subsidy/tax breaks for standalone stores. He identifies Digbeth and the JQ as suitable places for this.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #32
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Parkinson is spot-on with his comments on retail and Birmingham's lack of 'grit' - i.e. independent traders that give a place character.

I too think the impact of the internet may be overstated - people will never, for example, really take to buying clothes or things for the home online. CDs, DVDs and books... yes - but even having said that, two shops I went into yesterday that seemed to be doing very well are Swordfish and Tempest. Long may they last.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 10:47 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bel Ludovic View Post
Parkinson is spot-on with his comments on retail and Birmingham's lack of 'grit' - i.e. independent traders that give a place character.

I too think the impact of the internet may be overstated - people will never, for example, really take to buying clothes or things for the home online. CDs, DVDs and books... yes - but even having said that, two shops I went into yesterday that seemed to be doing very well are Swordfish and Tempest. Long may they last.
It's the same everywhere.
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Old March 13th, 2007, 01:04 AM   #34
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I dont think we will see the death of DVD as someone said above. Every now and then we move formats. Next ones are High Definition DVD and sometimes you just want to see whats on offer and flick through, a bit like books.

Despite the internet surprising numbers of people still shop at hmv and virgin etc even though the difference can be well over 80%. I think we will just see transition and variation like someone said with new takes on traditional stores. I went into Tesco other day and you could buy Thornton's chocolates. Definitely interesting times ahead.

If you look at Oxford Street, there are surprising level of crap stores, like our reduced clothes shops as well as the big stores. They are just finishing a new primark near Baker Street junction.

I think following on from other comments and Prof Parkinsons report we could do well at developing niche quarters or zones. Bullring is supposed to be mainstream fashion. Pavillions is classed as between Mailbox and Bullring and then you have Mailbox at top end. In London, Tottenham court road good for bookshops as well as Angel. Other areas good for adult shops. Some good for quirkyness - Camden etc.
Brum is moving this way with Martineau Galleries aiming for more home ware as opposed to fashion of Bullring.

I think with some encouragement we could get some nice little areas. Jewellery quarter obviously for jewellry, but bullring for fashion mainstream, Great Western for antiques collectables and some books.

It can be disappointing seeing empty units but like with the bullring, once the admin side done its full steam ahead and lots of retailers are looking at brum to set up shops. The G star Raw jeans shop is supposed to be highest grossing one in world.

I think what we are seeing is the disjointed city with different areas and places competing and not being joined. Once we get Prof Parkinsons plan we should get neighbourhoods, grit, specialist shops and mainstream.

Who needs alchohol at the moment to have fun , the elixir of Brum does the job for free
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Old March 13th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #35
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Within the city centre I'd like to see a Waitrose, Hoopers, Fortnum & Mason, Liberty, Fenwick, Heal's...and oh yeah Harrods, Bloomingdales and Macy's. Is that asking too much?
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Old March 13th, 2007, 01:56 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bel Ludovic View Post
Parkinson is spot-on with his comments on retail and Birmingham's lack of 'grit' - i.e. independent traders that give a place character.
.
Yeah I thought it was suprisingly good overall. I',m I the only one though who thought his criticisms of the Hippodrome and gay areas contracted his comments of over development and lack of grit?
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Old March 13th, 2007, 02:33 AM   #37
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Quote:
"I don't really bother with the city centre these days."
and...

Quote:
"Im not saying High Street Retailing is going to be dead in the next 20 years, but all these expansion plans in the CC could fall flat on their faces if people simply stay away."
Hmm, I think the answer to this quandary can be found closer to home, i.e in some of the comments posted on this thread, like the ones above?

If our own Brummy 'natives' don't support our C/C, then how do we expect others from around the region/country to do so?
Simple logic really.

We get the city centre we deserve people. 'Use it or, er, lose it'
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Old March 13th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GI_Chris View Post
I think the rebirth of the old C&A/ Beatties store can only help Corporation Street.

One of the main problems I have with the road is that there is so many bus stops and people waiting at them it is hard to get down especially at weekends!
The thing which could affect Corporation St. the most, would be removing the buses. Large crowds of people hanging around the shopfronts on the Beatties / Martineau Place side of the road do not make the shops appear welcoming. Infact, I can see that some people would feel quite intimidated by it.

I also feel like I'm taking my life in my hands every time I try and cross Corp. St. thanks to our suicidal bus drivers! Pedestrianising it would make a HUGE difference to the environment on there, but that won't be possible due to the Metro (If it ever gets built)

Hopefully, if the metro does get built along there, the stops can be moved further away from the shopfronts, and it will feel safer with slower moving trams instead of buses driven by wannabe Nigel Mansells!

Boy, do we need a few bus stations located around the city core!
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Old March 13th, 2007, 10:43 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Glide View Post
and...



Hmm, I think the answer to this quandary can be found closer to home, i.e in some of the comments posted on this thread, like the ones above?

If our own Brummy 'natives' don't support our C/C, then how do we expect others from around the region/country to do so?
Simple logic really.

We get the city centre we deserve people. 'Use it or, er, lose it'

very true, and my original comments you quoted sound like an oxymoron. But from a personal stand point I just don't like the City Centre; I don't like the noise and the congestion and the expense and the time spent wandering around shops trying to find the best bargains etc.

I will add that I'm now in my 40s and very much a middle-aged git, and my tolerance to such things as CC shopping isn't as it was. Perhaps the ethos of the CC is very much keyed to the younger generation, because personally I don't have the time, patience or inclination anymore
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Old March 13th, 2007, 12:05 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blahblah View Post
The thing which could affect Corporation St. the most, would be removing the buses. Large crowds of people hanging around the shopfronts on the Beatties / Martineau Place side of the road do not make the shops appear welcoming. Infact, I can see that some people would feel quite intimidated by it.

I also feel like I'm taking my life in my hands every time I try and cross Corp. St. thanks to our suicidal bus drivers! Pedestrianising it would make a HUGE difference to the environment on there, but that won't be possible due to the Metro (If it ever gets built)

Hopefully, if the metro does get built along there, the stops can be moved further away from the shopfronts, and it will feel safer with slower moving trams instead of buses driven by wannabe Nigel Mansells!

Boy, do we need a few bus stations located around the city core!
I agree, they need to go. I see an ambulance down their quite often because someone has been clipped by a bus or hackney carriage.
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