You Can't Get There From Here!

By
Real Estate Agent with Novella Real Estate

NordstromEver wonder why things happen the way they do? I am always amazed at certain things.  For instance our new Light Rail line just opened last week.  The service is running well, but...

The Light Rail goes by the Park Meadows Mall.  It's one of the area's most popular malls, people come from miles around to visit.  The Light Rail has a stop at the County Line Station, it's even on the same side of the interstate as the mall, but you can't get to the mail from this stop.

I was poking around at the County Line Light Rail Station taking a few photos.    While I was there and despite the multiple signs indicating there was no access from this station to the mall, two young women asked me, "how do I get to the Mall?"

This problem has been widely discussed in the media.  The funniest accounting came from the Denver Post:

I stood on the platform looking a Nordstrom.  To get there, I would have to cross the train tracks, climb a chain-link fence, drop 25 feet straight down onto the road, cross four lanes of traffic, scramble over a grassy berm and traverse the parking lot to the mall.

The fall alone would have killed me.

Diane Carman ~ Denver Post Staff Columnist

Most ask why?

Why have a public transportation system that doesn't take the public to where it wants to go?  The answer is complex. The people at RTD approached the former owner of the mall 6 years ago. They had a plan to build a pedestrian access to the Mall.  At the time the powers that be at the mall, declined the access, siting a fear that commuters would use the Mall lot to park, instead of shop.  At the time having public transportation to the Mall was not a big deal.  There were also funding issues. At original discussions, Park Meadows was not part of the RTD district.  There was no money to pay for the bridge. 

That was six years ago.  Now the Light Rail project has been completed "ahead of time and under budget." There is money leftover and the new owner of Park Meadows Mall is working with RTD to get the bridge built.  The solution is at least a year away.

In the meantime, ATTENTION PARK MEADOWS SHOPPERS exit at Dry Creek or Lincoln and take the bus to  the Mall. 

Lone Tree Real Estate

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Rainmaker
453,100
Derek and Mariana Wagner
The Artisan Group- Keller Williams Premier Realty - Colorado Springs, CO
The Artisan Group - Colorado Springs REALTORS®

No way!

Maybe Denver DOES have a little No-Logic-in-planning mindset like Colorado Springs does! That is sad.

Nov 24, 2006 05:06 PM #1
Rainmaker
206,374
Chris Tesch
RE/MAX Bryan-College Station - College Station, TX
College Station, Texas Real Estate
Wow, I've been pretty desperate to shop before, but....  I thought we had the patent on intellegance impaired city planners here, it sounds like we need to take second position!
Nov 24, 2006 05:50 PM #2
Rainer
133,324
Boomer Jack Boardman & Carl McIntyre, the Codgers
Noted Curmudgeons - Saint Paul, MN

Fortunately, the owners of the mega Mall of America were not so short-sighted. When our first, long debated, light rail system (from downtown Minneapolis to the Mall by way of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport) was in the design stage, the Mall became a destination point. Ridership to date has well-exceeded expectations.

Jay Merton

Nov 24, 2006 07:42 PM #3
Rainmaker
169,239
Linda Davis
RE/MAX Home Team - Gales Ferry, CT

The site of Nordstroms makes me giddy!  Gotta love that store especially for their incredable service (although personally I prefer Chicos.) 

I grew up in the Pittsburgh area and we had a bridge to no where.  I have a feeling every city has its story.

Nov 24, 2006 10:23 PM #4
Rainmaker
614,321
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS
Part of it may go back to the perception that only poor people ride a bus, and that wasn't the clientele that the mall wanted to attract. Boy, what an archaic mentality! And definitely Not Green.
Nov 24, 2006 11:55 PM #5
Rainmaker
585,597
Dena Stevens Coriz
Rocky Mountain Realty - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004
Well said Sharon! The powers that be weren't thinking at all, because they are going to the mall in their own cars. However, it will be interesting to see if hindsight is 20/20.
Nov 25, 2006 01:01 AM #6
Rainer
111,661
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
Nordstrom, the only place that can entice me to get out and shop for no reason lol. Does sound like they missed the boat, although I'm sure they have a reason which sounded plausible at the time lol.  One thing about a rail system - stops can be added! But missing out on a designation stop like Nordstrom does not compute :-)
Nov 25, 2006 01:26 AM #7
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Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
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Kristal....  it kills me that common sense is sometimes overridden by the almighty dollar at first, but then they regret it. I am a stickler on how state, gov't, and city plan their roads, rails, and the overall outlay of transportation.

Let's look at the mall itself.... is the parking lot extremely big?  Is it only filled on holidays?  If the answer is yes, then who cares who parks in the lots. If the rail would bring more customers on a yearly average than some spots being taken up, this is the cost of doing business. Just from mere designs, it amazes me on how these architects and engineers don't look way into the future, let alone, 2 to 5 years into the future.

Anyhow...I could be here forever....

Nov 25, 2006 01:32 AM #8
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Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Obviously these people are not SERIOUS Nordie Shoppers! "Climb a chain link fence? A 25ft. drop straight down? Four lanes of Denver high-speed traffic? Where the HECK is your commitment to quality shopping??? 

Nov 25, 2006 10:18 AM #9
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Kristal Kraft
Novella Real Estate - Denver, CO
Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

Mariana ~ The planning was there. The Mall didn't want the access to their property.

Chris ~ Guess I didn't make it clear enough, the city planned the mall refused to allow access. Oh well...there's always next year.

Jay ~ Good example, the mall owners had their heads screwed on right!

Nov 25, 2006 03:01 PM #10
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Kristal Kraft
Novella Real Estate - Denver, CO
Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

Linda ~ you must constrain yourself!  Giddy!  Chicos is present here too! We have a bridge to nowhere here too.  Well used to.  I think they finally took it down.

Sharon ~ The shop owners (including NOrdstrom) wanted the access to the mall.  IT was the mall owner that was  not a visionary, green or otherwise!

Dena ~ Fortunately hindsight being 20/20 the problem will be fixed, just not soon enough.

Nov 25, 2006 03:04 PM #11
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Kristal Kraft
Novella Real Estate - Denver, CO
Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

Carole ~ Nordstrom is good for shopping of any kind.  They were one of the anchors that really wanted to have the stop access there.  They lost, but only for a year or so.

Jeff ~ Guess I didn't make it clear in the blog, the owner didn't want the access at the time.  BTW you being a guy aren't familiar with parking lots near Nordstrom. They are a destination and most always full, year 'round.  I can see the previous owner's point.  Had I been the owner, I would have made plans to build a parking garage and pay to park there.  People would do that.

Rich ~ what's a meer 25 foot drop when new shoes are involved? :)

Nov 25, 2006 03:09 PM #12
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Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
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what?  I am a guy?  thanks for pointing that out.

Anyhow... come on.... don't hold that guy crap over my head. I am familiar with parking lots near liquor stores, sports stores, and sports bars... oh yea... and also Nordstorms. I do have a mom, a sister, and I have had a few girlfriends in the past.... if decades count.

And I know the owner didn't want the access at the time. That was the point that I was trying to make. How can one plan, but not plan for the future. Or ignore data...or past malls and such. I do know all about this. I also went to school for landscape architecture.... 

Nov 25, 2006 03:17 PM #13
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Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
My point exactly! A skilled shoe shopper knows no boundaries or limits!
Nov 25, 2006 03:38 PM #14
Rainmaker
340,714
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Don't ya just wonder about people who have such short-sighted vision?  And I wonder how much more today it will cost them to build it versus what it would have cost back when the rail was being built??  No doubt much less back then.....

Ann Cummings

Nov 26, 2006 03:46 AM #15
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Kristal Kraft
Novella Real Estate - Denver, CO
Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

Rich ~ With new shoes, one can leap tall buildings, etc.

Ann ~ times change and so does perception. I wonder if the former owner new he would be soon .... former?

kk

Nov 26, 2006 12:06 PM #16
Rainmaker
223,300
Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate
Majestic Properties - Miami Beach, FL

The Denver Post's description is hilarious - better late than never!  I'm glad they are going to build the pedestrian walk.  Building ahead of schedule..........that never happens in Miami.

Nov 26, 2006 12:56 PM #17
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Kristal Kraft
Novella Real Estate - Denver, CO
Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022

They worked at NIGHT all year long.  In the winter I felt so sorry for those guys cold and dark but working on our road...that's why it's done...they want a DAY job!

kk

Nov 26, 2006 01:08 PM #18
Rainer
12,876
Lee's Summit Real Estate:: :: Paul Korodaj
Lee's Summit, MO
Bummer!  Seems to me the mall might lose a ton of money in the next year.  Stranger things have happened...I think. 
Dec 06, 2006 12:16 PM #19
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