That's exactly what happened to Toys Et Cetera since moving in February 2007. Not only has the move increased revenues for the toy store, it has generated a spill-over effect for neighboring merchants at its new location on 55th St. To quote The Herald ("New tenants in shopping center spark sales", July 25, 2007):
Antwan Chandler, manager for Wesley's Shoe Corral, 1506 E. 55th St., said since Toys Et Cetera moved in there has been a dramatic improvement in business.
So here we have a small business that obviously has solid fundamentals, solid enough to give a boost to its neighbors. What can we learn from this?
Harper Court is the Bermuda Triangle for small businesses. What tenant is going to look at the Toys Et Cetera example and want to locate there? Harper Court currently has all the features needed to scare away shoppers: it is run-down, its tenants have very little relation to each other (someone visiting to buy a burrito might not necessarily want to rent a bike or arrange for a catered event), and its design is outdated and unappealing. Frankly, it's always a little scary to walk around the weird "sunken courtyard," one of those bizzare public space concepts from the 60s that should never have happened.
There is a future for Harper Court, but in its present incarnation it is a commercial death trap.