Worst Corner for a Restaurant

On July 28, KCCI picked up a CNNmoney.com story listing a location in Clive as one of the top five worst spots to open a restaurant in the country!

Here it is - the building tucked in behind the car wash at 86th and University in Clive:

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The owner blames the former median (which was recently redone with a turn lane to allow automobile access to the site from 86th). A person who works across the street blamed prices and food. City Manager Dennis Henderson thinks perhaps the site would be better utilized as office.

Let me propose the following...

I think it is a fundamental planning issue. My suggestion is this:

Remaking the Intersection at 86th and University in CliveRemaking the Intersection at 86th and University in Clive

  • Build up the the corner and the adjacent sidewalks
  • 3-story mixed-use office over retail/restaurant
  • Create a connection to the bike path on the north - perhaps a recreation plaza with seating and open space (and an ice cream/coffee shop as the northernmost tenant) to draw people from the path to the shopping.
  • Parking behind the buildings.
  • Storefront windows facing University and 86th.
  • ...and of course, mirroring this on all four corners!

In addition, all the stores and restaurants would have a "captive" advertising audience every time traffic hits a red light at the major intersection!

In order to to draw people from their cars to retail and restaurants at busy intersections like this, you have to get them out of their cars... the best way to do that is to create places people actually want to be.

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