I should say, it wasn't me who expressed the concern. Nor am I opposed to that use. I do shop from time to time in large retailers.
That would be truly awful, just imagine all the Midtowners shopping and spending money so close to their homes. It’s frightening to imagine that those people might even walk or ride bikes to the store rather than hop in their cars and drive to Wolfchase.
I’m not sure how a big box retailer could possibly be worse than empty buildings.
It's not the big that's the problem for me, it's the box.
If they build it suburban style, with parking and the box exposed to the street, it adds nothing permanent to the neighborhood. Yes, we save a few miles driving, but we will still drive because we won't want to walk. The slight convenience will be overshadowed by the visual pollution and exposed dagger it permanently plunges in the Heart of the Arts.
If they build it to blend with classical midtown storefront, streetfront architecture, parking above or below the store, or at worst, recessed behind a masonry wall on a side street (see the parking lot of the Southern College of Optometry as an example), then it will add to the neighborhood and make it a better place. They could build a pedestrian entrance on Cooper that matches the storefronts on Madison, giving the complex two strong pedestrian entries, and a richer mixed use and look. Then they could make the driving entrances on either Monroe or Trimble. The pedestrian entrance from Madison could be from the clock tower over Trimble to the store. Fun for the kids, fun for me.
Shopping is a commodity.
Create value. Create place.