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What Kind of Shopping Would You Put on Ringling Boulevard?

The old Ringling Shopping Center has been in a sad state of decline. If you don't want Walmart there, what else would you put there?

I have been in Sarasota long enought to remember when the Ringling Shopping Center was lively and fun to visit.

Many folks shopped in the dime store and ate at the lunch counter. The hardware store, Crowders, and later Drury, was chocked full of fascinating items to improve your home.

Of course, Publix was the real star and attracted people from all around to shop for groceries. There was a drugstore in the corner location right in the front entrance, I don't remember for sure, but I think it was an Eckerds drug.

I don't remember all of the various stores but the center was always full and I used it at least once a week on my lunch hour since I worked on Main Street.

It has been sad to watch the declining fortune of this really great location for the past few years.  It has gone from a vibrant shopping area to a dreary ghost town.

The people who work in the downtown area and the people who live nearby would patronize and support a vital and modern shopping center in that location.

As for the debate about Walmart, I cannot say what the outcome will be, but I know that despite arguments against Walmart for various reasons, traffic, congestion, killing off small businesses, etc., I know that I love to shop at Walmart and use both the Cattleman Road and Osprey stores.

No matter what is decided, the property needs attention or it will become an eyesore in a lovely town.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Aquarius January 07, 2013 at 09:43 PM
What this parcel could really use (in my opinion) is a nice, but affordable clothing store. We have nothing much downtown like a Steinmart or Dillards. I love the shopping center concept of various businesses. I love having Ace Hardware right there. I think a restaurant, clothing store, hardware store, pet supply store, organic whole foods store, wine/liquor store, co-op art store would be ideas that are welcome by most of us living downtown. I am not opposed to 2 to 3 story condominiums. There is a huge shortage of affordable downtown living and this would be an ideal location for that as well.
Becky Gabriel January 13, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Having grown up here, I remember Ringling Shopping Center as a real hub for the community. What it has become is sad and depressing. Now the neighborhood is opposing the Walmart concept. Didn't they also oppose the condo/retail development that was proposed a few years back?

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