Urban Outfitters, for those of you unaware of the trendy store, caters to college-age people who have a bit more edge to them than the GAP. Okay, a lot more edge, and the GAP sadly has been taken over by pea-brained stylists who have been single-handily destroying the brand. Don’t beleive me? Trends translate to in-stores sales which translate into earnings per share which translate into stock price and we have thus in purest market driven form:
Yes that thin blue line represents the GAP stock over a 10 year period, the last 10 years in fact. And Urban Outfitters is opening in Greenwich. Greenwich. I understood when they opened in New Haven. If ever there was a city in Connecticut that catered to its twenty-somethings, New Haven is it. In the last 10 years, New Haven has in fact done a fantastic job branding itself as a hip, trendy, exciting place to be. Just ignore the crime zones. Meanwhile Norwalk just can’t get out of its own way.
It was only fitting that the story about the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency transferring back $4.5 million and employees out of the Economic Development Corp. was the “business” news. Really. Same people, same old story, politics in the guise of stupidity, er reverse that, take precedent over actually fielding a competitive economic development team. You can’t spur economic growth in a city when the entire structure of government acts utterly opposed to economic development. Let’s recount the ways;
1. Anti-affordable housing.
If you take offense to any of this, good, you’re part of the problem. If you’re nodding in agreement, good, there’s a revolution afoot to change all this. For the anti-government crowd, anti-taxes crowd, I’ll take you seriously when you give up social security, medicare, driving, driving on roads, your home mortgage tax deduction and start actually paying the cost of your clean water and breathable air. Until then turn off the TV and walk over to the library and read a book. If along the way you find the sidewalks crumbling, missing or are just plain scared of encountering traffic instead of people, remind yourself that this experiment was brought to you by the people who want more economic development rather than petrifying the remains of Norwalk’s downtown.