Former Pizza Hut via Sean_Marshall/Flickr

(This is the first part in a two-part series about tenant choices/tenant mix in developments like Lakeside Village Center.)

We’ve all seen and recognized them across the country.  The Starbucks in the former Long John Silver’s building.  The Mexican restaurant in the former Pizza Hut building.  The Old Time Pottery in a former Wal-Mart.  When we allow such brand iconic buildings, such as what I fear of the Lakeside Village outparcels, to be part of a planned development, they will always be just that.  Brand iconic.

This is not a timeless and sustainable model.  Maybe the developer has secured a lengthy lease on the property from the fast food chain.  But what happens later?  Or what if (like Starbucks recently did) corporate decides to close hundreds of stores?  We, the local residents, are then stuck with these iconically branded buildings…these empty has-beens or awkward places.

Second, we know many of these brands are infamous for moving on rather than revising and updated their branded buildings.  Thus leaving empty versions of their former locations dotting the highway like Sherman’s march.

If the developer and Orange County could look far enough into the future and look to something sustainable and classy, we would concentrate simply on the architectural standards, and more importantly, a site plan design which would not allow these standard suburban outparcels such as what appears on the Lakeside Village Center plan.

Author: Tory Parish

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