Welcome to Holt District!
Holt District is my brand-new CJ and is also my second one. In this journal we will follow the Region of Holt District through developments - both good and bad - and the pains on motorists as roads are widened and residents + businesses as utilities are tinkered with the allow for new developments.
We will see developments go from the planning phases, through construction all the way to the end process. Likewise, those of you who know of Windemere & Taschereau also know I like road construction. That, too will be part of this CJ as when an area grows, so to do the demands on its road/transit network.
Holt District will vary from Windemere & Taschereau in that instead of me adding "new" cities throughout the course of the CJ, the cities I start with are it. Any new cities that come up will be result of new developments, and the bureaucratic mess that goes with it. As mentioned, we will see developments go from a plan to finished product. While this is not true for all developments - that would get boring pretty quick we will see some major developments through the entire process, and on a variety of styles. (Suburban sprawl, urban skyscrapers, business parks, etc.)
Holt District has been in development for several months, since about later March/early April. It has been a long road to this point, and those who have been following my Innocent Posts will (hopefully) be excited to be here, just as I am. Now, before I begin today's update (Yay update 1!) I will go into a bit about the CJ website, map and twitter feed.For information about the region of Holt District itself, check out the CJ website!
Additional media will play a very large roll in Holt District. Holt District (the CJ) has a website (holtdistrict.weebly.com - link at the bottom of this post) which has some information about the region and general news that you won't generally get in an update. Sometimes a special post will be made to highlight something on the website, with feedback and discussion more than welcome here in the Holt District topic. Generally development proposals will be posted on the site, with discussion about them taking place here. The process of watching it go from plan to finished product will also take place here. It is only the "application", if you will, that is posted on the website.
Also, Holt District will have a streetmap. To be located at maps.holtdistrict.host22.com, it will be a streetmap (i.e. the elevated rail lines won't be on it.) This may change in the future as my abilities in this area improve. When this feature launches (it is currently only a welcome page) there will also be a regional transportation view available for more detail in other areas of transit - including EL-RAIL.
Lastly, Holt District Has twitter! Twitter will be used to let you know when updates will be coming out, random teasers and general "What I'm working on in the region today is..."
So with that... let's get onto the update. Again, welcome - to Holt District!
INTRODUCTION + RETAIL 'DILEMMA'
1.1 \ Shorecoast Shopping Centre is at the cross-roads of 2 major arterial roads in Manatee. Having grown over time with 2 additions and several renovations, the mall is now home to Hecht's, Sears, JCPenney and a large multiplex movie theatre. The mall is a major draw for residents of not only Manatee, but the entire region as it is the only enclosed shopping centre in the region.
1.2 \ Over time, the owner of the mall, Centurion Properties, Inc., developed portions of the massive parking lot into large office buildings. Several office building and even a department store exist on what was once pavement. When confronted with these proposals (over time) the city's council easily approved the developments, saying "It helps break up the pavement monster which is the Shorecoast parking lot, all while brining jobs to the area." Indeed, this building alone employs over 2 000 people.
1.3 \ Although the mall has a diverse clientele, and wise base where it draws customers from - its biggest return visitors and spenders are those who live right around the mall. This is one of the older sections of Manatee.
1.4 \ The food court benefits from a high school which is about a 10 minute walk away. The food court suring any of the lunches is packed - if you are a non-high school student you need to pick and choose when you go for lunch or a snack.
1.5 \ However, not all retail is booming. This Kmart store, which has been in this location for 35 years - and expanded several times - has been loosing business to the mall since it has opened. The mid-range department stores in the mall have stolen business away from Kmart, while an out-of-town Walmart has put the nail in the coffin. Rumours of its closing have been swirling for years, though no official confirmation from the company.
1.6 \ The only saving grace for this location is it is across the street from this minor league stadium, home to various local sports teams and the soccer and foorball teams from the highschool just down the street. Often, people will purchase snacks from Kmart, and on cool nights sales of blankets soar.
1.7 \ Another source of customers is the casino resort, Holt Casino & Resort. It is inevitable that travellers forget something, and with Kmart in walking distance several tourists enter the store each week. While this is not a steady source of income for the store, it is better than nothing.
1.8 \ However, Kmart's demise may now be more real than ever. Rumours are swirling that Walmart is in the process of purchasing the property from the land owner. The fact Kmart's lease is up in 11 months is doing nothing to help squash the rumour. Walmart previously tried to enter Manatee, 10 years ago, but their plan was rejected. Since this is already a retail site, chances any changes they make to the building would be approved. When their plan was rejected 10 years ago, they located 2 highway exits to the south in another town.
1.9 \ It is becoming increasingly likely that the residents of the luscious suburbs in and around Kmart
could soon be faced with the sound of construction vehicles for months.
That is all for today, the first update of Holt District! I hope for those who have been following its development it is everything you have been looking forward to. I am super excited about the prospects of this new CJ, and I hope you will stay for the journey as things develop!
Next Update: We will be looking at some more of suburban Manatee and may just venture into its downtown core...