We'll have much more on this as we inch closer to Friday, when the city council's Economic Development Committee holds a specially called meeting to discuss a number of hot topics, among them how to tackle the old LTV Tower, whose would-be developers just went into Chapter 11. But one of the more interesting agenda items deals with how to lure retailers to the Central Business District, where some businesses, among them Urban Market, haven't fared particularly well even with city incentives.
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As it turns out, the city's looking to create a "Main Street District FOCUS Retail Initiative" that would lure retailers downtown using grants and forgivable loans worth $1,531,489, which would come out of the Downtown Connection Tax Increment Financing District. The city really wants to build up retail around the downtown Neiman Marcus location, to such an extent that two Neimans bigwigs -- president and CEO Karen Katz and VP and general manager Shelle Sills -- helped compile a "target list of 75 tenants" they'd like to see downtown. Among them, according to the list found on Pages 21 and 22 of the briefing document: Ralph Lauren, the Gap, Williams Sonoma, Container Store, Crate & Barrel, Urban Outfitters, Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang and H&M. Thirty-two on the list specialize in women's apparel; 11, in cosmetics; five, in "home goods"; zero, in groceries.