A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 14, 2014
“Retail follows rooftops” (real estate adage)

"Retail follows (the) rooftops” is a popular real estate adage. If there are many homes ("rooftops") in an area, then retail (commercial developments) will follow. “Retail follows the rooftops” has been cited in print since at least 1986 and is of unknown authorship.


Google Books
National Real Estate Investor
Volume 28, Part 1
1986
Pg. 176:
Population spurs retail boom
In accordance with the maxim that retail follows the rooftops, Tarrant County’s swelling population has spurred a retail building boom.

15 May 1987, Mobile (AL) Register, “Napper tries to give Chicksaw more of a businesslike approach” by Matt Irvin, People sec., pg. 7, col. 1:
“I’m a firm believer that retail follows rooftops,” he said.
(Gordon Napper, an executive with The Mitchell Co.—ed.)

18 June 1988, Duncanville (TX) Today, “Rezoning Supported” by Michelle Martin, Pg. 4A, cols. 2-3:
“Thank you for taking a look at the southwest sector for putting one of your developments there,” Commissioner Mark Housewright said. “I realize there is a desire in the community to have retail, but retail follows rooftops and let’s face it — there are not very many in that area.”

Google Books
Shopping Centers and Other Retail Properties:
Investment, Development, Financing, and Management

Edited by John R. White and Kevin D. Gray
New York, NY: Wiley
1996
Pg. 194:
As a rule, retail follows rooftops: that is, retail development comes in after new residential neighborhoods are settled, or following changes in roadways and other patterns that have the potential to affect the density of population and traffic in a given area.

Google News Archive
18 May 2006, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, “New homes bring host of retail projects to region,” pg. 10A, col. 1:
Where the shoppers live
As the old real estate adage goes, retail follows rooftops.

Twitter
Matt Staub
‏@staubio
@hellocarolynj Retail follows rooftops—the old adage. More residential population will bring better services for residents.
2:08 PM - 7 Mar 2012

North Atlanta (GA) Business Post
Retail follows rooftops in Forsyth County
Brian Patton
Posted 10/13/14
Forsyth County is no longer a sleepy little county north of Atlanta. Its yearly population growth of 3.18 percent, compared to the U.S. average of 0.7 percent and Georgia’s 0.9 percent, has overpowered most similarly situated counties.
(...)
With that huge population growth, it’s inevitable that Forsyth County should pay homage to the old saying, “Retail follows rooftops.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Tuesday, October 14, 2014 • Permalink