Why is Harbor Village deserted?


By on Sun, December 13, 2009

Walked into Harbor Village for the very first time this past week and was shocked to see how little life there was in the place.

Now, as the project was being built, I didn’t think it would be good for the Coastside. It seemed out of scale and didn’t really fit the feel of the community. Up till now, I never had a reason to visit the place.

First off, the entrance to the complex is somewhat hidden from the main road behind the free-standing cafe (who designed that ill-advised arrangement?) Once inside, all I heard was the echoing of my footsteps against a backdrop of hollow Christmas music. There was not a customer in sight.

I think there were only 5-6 stores occupying the mall, with 2 or 3 times that in empty storefronts. It was quite depressing.

I feel for the merchants who surely opened there with high hopes. But the economy, poor promotion, lack of critical mass of stores, and perhaps a flawed business plan for the complex itself, have all conspired to make for a sad situation.

Getting the occupancy rate up would definitely help things. Is the management holding out to a unrealistic price per square foot?

Will new merchants, ones who cater more to locals find more loyal (and regular) customers?

Will increased marketing efforts make a difference?

For me, I don’t think I’ll ever set foot in the place again, and I certainly wouldn’t bring any visitors there.