Issue #7 on the list posted on NextDoor is about Edgewater Shopping Center and Charter Square Shopping Center and is posed as follows:
Issue 7. Edgewater Shopping Center and Charter Square are being allowed to deteriorate.
Question 7-a: What can/should the City do to keep these two sites from being allowed to deteriorate?
Once again I think this question presents a false premise that the shopping centers are being allowed to deteriorate. The fact is that these are privately owned shopping centers and other than blighted conditions or unsafe conditions, the City has little it can do to make the owners fill the centers with tenants or modernize the center. Whatever power the City has, it is and has been working with the property owners to deal with the issues within its power. Other than that, the property owners are free to let their spaces go vacant and so long as they clean up actual garbage and fix safety issues, there is little the City can do.
What we have tried to do is to revitalize the shopping centers through the Economic Development Strategic Plan which was passed last February but the funding was pulled shortly thereafter. We had begun to hold events with the property owners, Chamber of Commerce and the City to bring people to the centers to meet the merchants, service providers and restauranteurs to encourage people to use their services, buy their products and eat at their restaurants. Those events were very well received but since the funding on the Plan was pulled, those events have stopped. I am hopeful that the next Council will bring the Plan back and begin working with our shopping centers to revitalize their commercial efforts and to encourage residents and businesses to shop at those centers. Shopping center success comes from patronage and we need to make efforts to patronize our local businesses if we want them to succeed. The City Council should do what it can to encourage that effort.