When Jacobsons left Liberty Street, they moved to Briarwood. They moved into the store that had been a Lord and Taylor and then after Jacobsons (they also had some stores in Florida) closed, the space was taken over and remodeled by Von Maur. Kresge was NOT a "discount" store (Kmart was, however, a "discount" business that evolved from the company) .
The Kresge store was what was referred to as a "dime store". Ann Arbor had two Kresge stores in town, one "downtown" (at the current Mongolian Barbecue site) and the one "on State St." . Between Kresge and Mongolian Barbecue, there was a regional store (I think it was a branch of a Detroit area store) that sold toys and baby furniture on the southwest corner of Washington and Main. Those of us who recall Drakes (which was down the block, on North University from the proposed Walgreen location) would rather see such a local business as that, but a long time, local grocery store on William, White's Market, was forced to move out recently due to the high rent. As for clothing and shoe stores, they have more customers if they are adjacent to free parking. By the way, when I first moved to town, there was a small version of Saks Fifth Avenue on the west side of State, just a few doors north of the Nickel's Arcade entrance. Men's clothes were on the first floor and women's clothes were down a flight of stairs in a nicely carpeted lower level/basement. I'm not against having a Walgreen's because it's a chain store (as your poll indicates is the only reason to be against it).
I just think that the CVS across the street is sufficient. Just like starbucks, we don't need two pharmacies on every corner. I want to vote no, but not because it is a chain store. Because there are already 2 drugstores literally right there. Maybe a clothing store geared toward students and young professionals like anthropologie. I would have loved a shoe store when I was on campus. Not that main street is far, but back then it seemed worlds away! When I say drugstore I don't actually mean a pharmacy. I was referring to 7-11 and CVS which are both right there. Also, I guess it's a matter of personal taste, but I would shop at anthropologie but have no interest in American apparel. One store cannot meet the needs of an entire community. You are probablyright about the rents being too high for a local store and it is sad. ahem, there's only one drug store in that area, not two. And there's already American Apparel on Liberty for the yuppies & students. The wonderful, local Mast's Shoes was on Liberty very near that corner with State until they could no longer afford the rent. That location is next to impossible for any small local store now. Students who live in luxury apartments can afford that. I seem to recall a locally-owned pharmacy on State Street until shortly before CVS moved into town. But now there's enough for two of the national chain variety. It is worth noting that Busch's grocery (with 14 stores in SE Mich) just closed all their in-store pharmacies. Decker drugs closed long before CVS came into town. It wasn't the nicest or the cleanest for that matter. Village Apothecary on South U is far nicer than Decker ever was and and it has managed to survive.
I haven't been a regular visitor to the downtown since the early 1980s, but do remember a Lucky Drug store on Main Street south of Liberty; I had to ask others where a drug store near Main and Liberty was back then. The earliest CVS location I remember in town was inside Briarwood Mall, so it didn't have its own building. Sure I'm disappointed that another chain store is coming in, but in the new economy, what else can possibly succeed there? We buy just about everything online now, so bookstores, music stores, etc. Greasy food, clothes that we want to try on in person, and prescription and over-the-counter medication. What other types of stores (let alone locally-owned) can survive in this economy? I'd love to see all quirky custom locally-owned shops, but the rent is too high and it's impossible to make any profit or survive as a small establishment downtown. the small businesses are slowly but surely being forced out by greedy landlords(SEE:White Market)who only care about their profit margin.
I agree about buying a lot of things online, but if you think the economy in Ann Arbor is so bad then why are there so many luxury housing units being sold and fact shops opening.