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There's a lot of stores people have mentioned here that I'd like to see come to the city and should do well; Muji, Habitat, Zara certainly being ones that I'd use or at least go into.

As for a Harvey Nichol's or another big department store to kickstart the development of EPS, I still think that the redevelopment of Monument Mall and Zavvi makes complete sense. I was looking in there yesterday and there's nothing there that couldn't easily be relocated - into a number of very well located, vacant properties of stores that have shut or moved into the Eldon Square extension. And the location, at the junction onto Pilgrim St, would be perfect for all involved.

I also think that the Pearl Assurance House building, on the other corner (over Vision Express) could also be redeveloped as a bit store, although that would need demolition and rebuilding, not just a gut out and refit.
 

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I'm not sure what they'll do short term, but long term I can't see more than one or two of them surviving - along with a number of jobs. It just makes financial sense, why bother merging with another bank if you can't make gains from streamlining? And for the same reason I think we'll see the C&G branch go in the next few years and maybe even Halifax branches plus the Bank of Scotland branch on (I think) Grey St. Again, surely it just makes sense?
 

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I don't want 'public' realm where only consumers or potential consumers are welcomed; I don't want to be 'policed' by private security guards hired by private companies who are not accountable to democratic scrutiny. I don't want 'nice' plasticised Stepford urban settings and especially not at the price of individual liberty. The alternative to Liverpool One is not one that is full of "winos, scallies and beggars hassling you the whole time ... vandalised to buggery and infested with swarms of smackheads and yobs"; it is a city - a polis - open to all and decently policed. It is a city where the lounger and the tramp can pass through as much as the shopper or business-person, where teenagers aren't segregated, marginalised and desocialised. A city is, or should be, the summation of modern civilisation, not a machine to enable the rich to treat the rest of us as milch cows and to exclude those who won't or can't play along.
Thirded (if that's even a phrase/word)
 

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I think the BID scheme is a good one, to a point. As has been said, the businesses in the city centre are primarily concentrated on making money/a profit. However I'm sure many do care about the state of the street outside their door, although the competitive side of things means that they won't invest in cleaning the street etc unless everyone else does. The BID scheme therefore is great.

However as Wilf says, whose interests will these guys serve? If we have tramps, a quickly multiplying charver class, hooligans etc, that's part of society. We shouldn't accept it, we should address it, not pretend it isn't there by brushing it under the carpet. And activities such as protesting is a vital part of a healthy society and shouldn't be banned because it makes the grazing cattle shoppers stop and pull their head out of the trough for a second...

And I appreciate that Greg isn't necessarily pro-privatisation of public space and is simply making a point, but this privatisation must be opposed at every turn.
 

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I agree that it probably doesn't help Grainger St become a high-end retail location, but we really shouldn't gentrify the Grainger Market for any reason. It's a vibrant and historical market and it caters for a lot of sections of society that can't really shop elsewhere. It would be perfect for the use you mention, but I personally couldn't bear to see it killed off like that.

I do however think that we need an area in the city that is focused towards providing space for the sort of independent little shops and designers that you seem to suggest. And I still think that East Pilgrim St would be the perfect place, but it just doesn't look like happening now...
 

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Wilf's right if you ask me.

The question is, how do you attract high-end cafes, galleries, shops etc instead of the low-grade ones? You can't simply do it through planning - if you create a policy that allows food outlets etc in an area there's nothing to stop a "Munchies" popping up where you were expecting a "Cafe Royal".

I know that putting anchor stores into areas is one solution and it can really work. Shoppers don't like having to walk from one part of the centre to another to go to the shops they like, they like them to be clustered. If they're clustered with food outlets, bars, services etc that they also like, all the better. However the question remains, how do you persuade people looking for high-end retail that they want to do this kind of shopping on Grainger and Grey St?

My view, for what it's worth, is that you'll struggle to get people with a lot of money to spend on expensive clothes and goods to do so somewhere where there is traffic, particularly traffic often at a stand-still and belching out pollution and noise, as is the case on a lot of Grainger St. People want to be able to walk slowly, with plenty of personal space, and chat to the people they're shopping with. Not be jostled and hurried by the large number of charvers you tend to find on the traffic-filled section of Grainger St, particularly because of the number of bus stops on it.

Look at the streets that the likes of Vivienne Westwood have placed themselves on. Next to a theatre, beautiful architecture, very little traffic and very few people on the street to barge past you.
 

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Along with Eisenegger... their sister store selling sports gear.
I remember when I first came to Newcastle, in my first week here, going and buying a fleece/jumper from there. I was so chuffed to have been so lucky to have caught their sale...

:lol:

Joking aside though, Grainger Town is haemmoraging shops now. The council desperately needs to do something. Then again, I think a lot of the blame lies with the Eldon Square extension, as good an idea as it was when it was made. You can't just demolish it or mothball it until retail recovers.
 

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Greg, I'm not blaming the council at all - this is down to the economy, not poor management - and I don't have all the answers. But the Grainger Town Partnership might simply need to be brought out of retirement as currently there's an over supply of shop units and those in the Grainger Town are currently the least appealing, hence people are either shutting down or relocating from there to Eldon Square etc.

The council, when all's said and done, is probably the only body that can do anything to stop the slide.
 

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Is Peacocks essentially another cheap-n-cheerful clothes store? Great, we're reeeeeally short of those...

I think I must be the only person that doesn't know Urban Outfitters. I'm a little sheltered I think!

And as for pasties etc, you really can't beat Thomas the Baker's from Yorkshire. Their food, as bakery chain fare goes, is excellent.
 

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Let's not all jump on Greg too much here - he doesn't make all of the decisions and I don't for a second believe that many of these things are easy. For starters, there has to be a reason that so many of the upper floors in the Grainger Town haven't been used. Maybe with the buildings being listed it's prohibitively difficult to insulate the upper floors to an acceptable level, along with putting in the services etc. There has to be a reason as we're talking about existing, solid buildings in good locations.

Besides, Greg comes on here to chat about things just as much as anyone else. Let's not spoil it for him. I'm as guilty as anyone, but let's give him a break.
 

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Has anyone tried the new pretzel bar next to the information desk in Eldon Square, near to the first entrance into Boots? Not exactly like those you'd get from a stand in New York, but not far off either! Delicious!
 

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Well maybe we'd be better off without the likes of Peacocks moving into the Grainger Town - maybe having the whole place empty out will allow the area to reinvent itself a bit... I'd be happy to see more offices, studios etc move into Grainger Street if the area is going to be so fragile as a retail location...
 

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Hahaha, I've seen (the?) one that is/was in Antwerp...

I was walking along a long, stunning crescent of baroque (I think) buildings with shops on the ground floors. Each building has a flagpole outside of it with the colours of the business on the ground floor. Half way along I noticed one flag in the distance had an orange and blue flag. I thought it was really funny that some business there had the same colours as Gregg's...

I nearly cried when I realised that it was Gregg's! There was a steady stream of Belgians, in a city with some of the most amazing food I've eaten, stuffing their faces with pasties! Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a bit of Gregg's, but seriously, surely they have better options?!
 

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To be honest Geordie Jon it's not that much of an improvement on what was there... I honestly think it's offensively bland, the whole lot of it. It's not quite on the scale of Liverpool One, but it's not a small, one-off plot. It's a huge site, slap bang in the centre of a regional capital. They could have done much, much better than this without damaging their profit margins.

As I've said before, for starters if you're not going to have windows, don't pretend you are... However I do think that the developers should have been forced to have windows, as much as they might want a load of blind, windowless boxes.

At the end of the day, you get the city you deserve. We've had huge amounts of development in Newcastle over the past ten years or so and very little of it has added much to the city and the streetscape. We're happily letting private companies' profits come before the quality of our city and therefore diluting it. Future generations really won't thank us for many of these developments.
 
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