I always thought both Grand Emporium and Fire Brigade had a New York City look to them. GE always kinda reminded me of Macys department store and I believe someone had posted a picture of a real NYC fire house that looked a lot like FB.
And as for that baseplate comment from eiker86, how would they stop using baseplates? They're basically a necessity for a town layout. I just wish they would sell more individual baseplates in various sizes and colors. I'm running low on baseplates for my layout and I would rather buy them from PAB than Bricklink.
I'm very excited for this set, do we have any idea when the release date could be? I would like this for my birthday in March. If not, I'll have to get the Horizon Express. Not that I'm complaining haha.