I read last week’s Palm Coast Observer and feel compelled to respond to the “Shopping Strategy” article specifically, as it brings up many unanswered questions I have had for some time regarding the “reversal of fortune” here in Palm Coast since I arrived in 1997.
I dare say “reversal of fortune” because at that time we had shops of all kinds, restaurants of all types to suit everyone, craft shows for all to enjoy every spring and fall, many more options than now. Since that time, many small businesses have withdrawn due to outrageous rentals imposed by outrageous property owners – I think it is safe to say, this did discourage many shopkeepers and restaurateurs.
Each time an application was made, more and more obstacles were thrown in their path; one by one, they withdrew for their own reasons. One common denominator has been that the Palm Coast City Council has had its own ideas of what Palm Coast should be. Now, suddenly, we need a “shopping strategy” to attract retail companies to Palm Coast. I must confess this information gave me a chuckle.
Why should we think that a city that has discouraged business after business (retail or restaurant) suddenly find them waiting to put themselves through the red tape they have endured in the past?
I would love to see boutiques, new places to shop and would be happy to spend dollars in my “neighborhood.” I do know what retailers care about since I once worked for a large retail chain in New York. Oh, how I would love to see a place here where it would be fun to shop, browse and probably buy on impulse — just because it was too tempting to walk away from. That’s when shopping is fun, not a chore.
We once had that in Palm Coast. I think if Trader Joe’s were to move into Palm Coast, I would again believe in miracles. I’d like to believe! This city is home to many thousands of people from all cities, and I think we would like to see destination shops appear here — I know I would.
Let’s hope the city manager, City Council and all the powers that be work together and cut red tape, to make that happen soon. We must go elsewhere because there is nowhere to go here. Yes, build it and they will come.
Palm Coast should hunt for high-paying jobs, not more retail
I still don't think City Manager Jim Landon gets it.
We are listed as 10th out of 919 cities in the state for land area. We have 89.97 square miles, only 13 square miles less the Orlando. We are 30th in the state based on population: 75,180 in the 2010 census.
Yet every time Palm Coast gets a new Dollar Store or other minimum wage business, Jim Landon is trumpeting his success.
I think Mr. Landon and city's economic coordinator, Beau Falgout, really need to look towards higher paying businesses and not more and more retail (low paying) jobs.
We have enough land that the city could give amazing tax breaks to any manufacturing company or higher paying company that wants to move here. Why are they not an pursuing that avenue more aggressively? It should be a top priority.