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If they look inward to the neighbourhood, with the perspective of present and former residents, and outside the city and the country, with the knowledge and skills of AUC's academic community, it could produce some interesting redevelopment concepts.

Nor is it surprising the instigator is retired Superior Court Justice Ray Stortini, who grew up there and continues to be involved in the community.

Carmen's Way makes James Street easy to access. Just a few more blocks away is the about to be rebuilt International Bridge plaza, debarkation point for tourists who might be drawn to the Sault's Little Italy.

James Street is history.

Jamestown's ace in the hole is its distinct past, its Italian heritage. That could make it more than just another old commercial area trying to make a go of it.

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How could James Street pull this off when the Sault's main downtown area Adidas Shoes Climacool Price

In the Sault, you can find evidence of the sizable Italian component almost everywhere there are stores or restaurants.

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on Queen Street has worked for decades to reinvent itself by attracting new and interesting shops and eateries?

In Duluth, they've converted disused factories and shipping warehouses at the mouth of the harbour into a classy selection of shops and restaurants.

Why would this old commercial area succeed when others, such as Gore Street, have not?

Despite the occasional stab at urban renewal, James Street is not exactly bustling. Its landmarks today are a few established stores, a church and the soup kitchen.

It will be interesting to see what visions emerge from this study on revitalizing

Black and white photos and memorabilia of James Street are on proud display in the suburban homes that so many Saultites of Italian heritage now live in.

The Jamestown many people remember with such fondness hasn't existed for at least half a century. Still, it occupies a prominent place in the hearts of many who lived there or whose parents ran stores or shopped there.

In Toronto, an old distillery now houses shops, theatres and restaurants that maintain the character and history of the buildings.

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So it's not surprising that another attempt is being made to revitalize the west end neighbourhood.

In Traverse City, old warehouses near a thriving downtown are abuzz with brewpubs and bistros, arts and crafts stores, offbeat stuff. Businesses take pride in being housed in an old candy factory or sawmill. And a 19thcentury insane asylum, instead of being knocked down, houses wine bars, coffee houses, bakeries, upscale clothing and craft stores, as well Adidas Boost Yeezy V2

Artisans, wine stores, meat stores, cheese stores, shops with fine leather goods and clothing imported from Italy, restaurants, nightclubs.

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once clung together and their descendants now celebrate their culture.

´╗┐Algoma U project should make James Street's pas

Clearly it will never be what it once was, Sault Ste. Marie's vibrant Little Italy, a neighbourhood with more than 40 thriving businesses and stores.

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Marquette's downtown identity focuses on its old brownstone buildings; new developments replicate that older architectural style.

As Judge Stortini and other successful people demonstrate, James Street was a good place to come from. Let's see if it becomes a good place to go back to.

Lots of cities have their Greektowns, Chinatowns, Little Mexicos; areas in which new arrivals with a common language and origin D Rose 7 Custom

Jamestown and how many of them come to fruition.

Last year, Stortini pitched the idea of a study on revitalizing Jamestown. Faculty at Algoma University embraced it. Now marketing students, under the direction of business, economics and geography professors, are conducting a preliminary study of the neighbourhood.

It's a great idea, and not just because at this stage of the game it's not going to cost anyone a lot of money. Even if nothing more comes of the project than some practical experience for students, it will have been worthwhile.

Clearly, this study can't turn back the clock, restoring old buildings to their former uses. A lot of those commercial needs are better met in malls and big box stores.

as a weekly farmers' market.

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Jamestown might be a good spot Adidas All Stars for the city's farmers market. It would certainly be an obvious location for a museum celebrating the Italian community's history.

As attempts to revitalize other downtown areas have shown, the key to success is to find new uses for those old spaces; unique, specialized, artsy, off beat and local alternatives to the standardization of mall merchandise and chain restaurant menus.

History has been the focus of commercial redevelopment, as well.

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Wouldn't it be great if some of that was concentrated in a small, themed commercial area, with architecture and atmosphere from James Street in its heyday? Instead of sampling Italian culture, we could swim in it.

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