One of the reasons we like our neighborhood so much is that we can walk to the shops and eateries just up the hill in Highbury.
The downtown area is anchored by a small mall, which has struggled over the past few years. There’s the general question of how does any brick and mortar retailer survive in the online era. There’s competition from bigger, newer malls. There’s the pandemic.
But somehow they seem to be making a go of it. After losing one of the anchor stores and temporarily turning its space into a vaccination center, construction has started on a new arcade / bowling alley of a type that seems to do ok elsewhere. Several other stores have opened, closed, moved from space to space just since we’ve been here. But the net appears to be positive, assuming by that you mean “more commerce”.
The latest rumor is that we’re getting a McDonalds to join the Burger King and KFC already present. Do I particularly want a Macca’s (as they’re called here because Kiwis frequently can’t be bothered to say the whole word) nearby? Not really, nor any other fast food joint. But do I want that mall open, fully occupied, and bustling with people? Absolutely yes.