Mixed-use big box

Tags for this image:
A new development in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood uses the classic flats-over-shops formula, but in this case the shop is a Best Buy electronics superstore.
Chicago, IL, 60614, USA: A new development in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood uses the classic flats-over-shops formula, but in this case the shop is a Best Buy electronics superstore.
Credits: Payton Chung
Contact: http://westnorth.com

Comments

mid-box is getting better and better

That's a great photo. Hard to believe that a building that convincingly urban could house a Best Buy store. But while there are plenty of boxy stand-alone suburban Best Buys surrounded by big parking lots, the chain seems to respond nimbly to urban situations with smaller footprint mid-box stores? Is that the case here -- is this Best Buy smaller than those typically encountered in sprawled out burbs? Trader Joe's is another mid-box store that fits better into urban locations, as your photos (in the CNU image bank) of the Excelsior and Grand project in Minnesota demonstrate.

By the way, where's the parking??

paytonc's picture

The store's 30,000 sq. ft.,

The store's 30,000 sq. ft., which is the middle size of Best Buy's prototypes (20, 30, and 45K sq. ft.), although the NYT says that's on the small end for them. By comparison, their average Canadian store (called Future Shop) is around 28,000 sq. ft. The layout seems shallower, wider, and shorter (ceilings) than the typical Best Buy. Lee says the parking is below/behind.

Living Above a Big Box

This was covered in the New York Times: Living Above a Big Box

Also of note in this development is the Senior Living Community immediately next to the Best Buy.

I think this is a great example of how accommodating good urban form can be. This fits into the street and neighborhood really well, and it's only a 10-minute walk from my house. My only criticism is that most of the street windows are covered over so pedestrians can't see in. I'm looking forward to seeing urban big boxes learn to engage the sidewalk more in the future. I imagine Best Buy in particular would benefit from showing off their wares in their windows, and it's only a matter of time before they learn the tricks of the trade in the urban environment.