By Diane Dorney
In mid-January, a group of 30 developers, planners and municipal officials gathered in Seaside to attend the Seaside Institute’s first in a series of retail workshops. Held in Seaside’s Assembly Hall, this workshop was led by new urban retail experts Bob Gibbs, Daryl Davis and Terry Shook. Participants were guided through the basic principals of retail planning, case studies in existing town centers and a tour of the most successful new urban town center in the country: Seaside. For some boots-on-the-ground experience, Charlie Modica, owner of Seaside’s Modica Market, shared his family’s personal experience in getting the market up and running when the town consisted of just a few houses and had yet to make its impact in the region.
Gibbs and Shook are retail planning consultants for new urban developers who want to incorporate the crucial component of a town center into their projects and to municipal officials who may be seeking ways to reinvigorate a downtown. Davis led the development of Seaside’s town center and continues to manage its’ tenants as it evolves. The Seaside town center is a success story that others seek to emulate as they attempt to find the appropriate retail, office and housing that will make for the long-term viability of a town.
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