Another example that plans and mitigation programming are likely to work better than expecting trickle down development to work magic: sports events
Today's Wall Street Journal has an article, "New Stadiums Foul Out With Merchants," stating that there are limited benefits to local merchants from New York City's new stadiums for the Yankees and the Mets. (Via the Housing Complex blog at the Washington City Paper.)
Their other major point is that the often-made claim that sports venues strengthen the neighborhood in which they are located is also dubious.
Second, over the last 20 years the business model for professional teams has changed significantly. Where before they were less concerned about maximizing the capture of all of the money spent by a game attendee in association with their attendance of an game, that is no longer the case today, where they work to capture as much as 100% of total spending.
That leaves no money on the table for nearby nonaffiliated businesses selling food, drink, or other items.
One of the ways this is done is by scheduling event times in a way that makes patronizing businesses not located within the stadium-arena complex very difficult, such as having games scheduled close to "quitting time" at work so rather than stop off and eat before entering the stadium, people go directly to the stadium-arena and eat there. To support this type of behavior, stadiums have vastly expanded the quality and array of their food offerings, etc.
Another example is to limit people going elsewhere, stadiums like that of the Washington Redskins work with local jurisdictions to put restrictions on nonaffiliated businesses from offering parking to game patrons, etc., which makes patronizing other businesses more unlikely. Etc.
Since these stadiums and arenas are usually built with significant public investment-financial assistance, I argue that there should be documents as part of the contract providing grounds and parameters for the support of local businesses in association with attendance at local events.