The Riddell's Bay/Heron Bay retail area at the junction of Middle Road and Camp Hill Road in Southampton is a slightly shabby corner of Bermuda that could benefit from a makeover and some investment.
Appropriately zoned Commercial, where a wide range of uses and building heights up to four storeys are permitted, this mix of retail, service and industrial uses exudes redevelopment potential - if only for the picturesque views of Riddell's Bay inlet alone. This is not to suggest that the existing industrial uses (marine services for the most part) should not continue. Towns such as Falmouth, Maine have successful top quality dining establishments cheek by jowl with working boatyards.
The Riddell's Bay/Heron Bay hub extends from the hardware store in the east (technically in Warwick) to the grocery store in the west, and includes the garden centre south of Middle Road. The immediate community to potentially be served by this hub has a broad reach from the golf course houses on the Great Sound to the homes overlooking south shore.
Of course, with a number of landowners involved, a project that seeks to rationalize and share the parking and introduce additional retail, residential, office and cultural or arts spaces, is not without challenge.
Despite this, surely sufficient redevelopment potential exists to provide an incentive to investigate the possibilities?
In Italy, architect Renzo Piano has designed a new urban community on the banks of the River Adige in Trento. Using sustainable technologies, "Le Albere" comprises residential, retail, office, cultural and social uses. Admittedly, a consolidated site of 27 acres is not the same beast, but construction is underway and more details - and inspiration! - can be seen on designboom.com.
We encourage the landowners to consider the possibilities...