1. Public safety: Keeping unruly teens and crime in check and curtailing the panhandling in and around The Gallery is a tall and touchy order, but it's critical if Market East wants to draw new customers and tourists. An overhaul of The Gallery should come with more security, and the city should look for more ways to keep teenagers occupied.
2. Signs: There's no way to tell what The Gallery or Macy's is from a few blocks away. You can't miss the Hard Rock Café sign, though, and the place was packed on a recent lunchday. City Council's Rules Committee approved a bill yesterday allowing larger signs (including billboards) for redevelopment purposes.
3. Clientele: The Gallery has a healthy and diverse shopping population, which could get driven away if it's supplanted by more "upscale" shopping. There's plenty of empty space at The Gallery for everyone - upscale, middle-scale, any-scale. A long-rumored Target at Market East would be a perfect fit.
4. Open it up: It's hard to imagine eating dinner or having a beer right now on the wide sidewalks of Market East with all the buses out there. Why can't The Gallery's long, flat rooftops be used for outdoor eating, bars, etc.? There's surely a zoning law against it, but that can be changed.
5. Market East Live: Can live music, dancers and other artistic performances hurt Market East? No, and you might even enjoy these new programs and possibly buy something. Let's see more of it.