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Old 08-19-2014, 01:47 PM
 
3,515 posts, read 2,513,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
Our little town is booming, although it's just a small rural town. Mostly instead of shopping, it seems to be becoming a social hub. More of an "experience based" sales than an acquisition type sales. The theater is now serving coffee and lunch all day, as well as showing several different movies at night. There's a few new small restaurants open, some new boutiques, new restaurant being built, a new skate board park, new university extension, there's now "First Fridays" which is sort of a block party, there's several parades during the year and they just started a new festival last weekend, "Plantation Days". Twenty years ago, our town lost it's major source of income when the sugar mill closed. Now, it's basically risen from the dead and thriving. It seems to be a diversity of things, not any one particular thing although the common element seems to be a place for folks to socialize. It's a small walkable "main street" area and folks walk up and down the sidewalks, browse the stores and visit with folks. There's benches here and there for folks to sit on which encourages folks to just sort of hang out in town.
Sounds wonderful. I would love for our small rural town to revitalize itself like yours. We have a cute downtown with many empty shops and nothing to draw people in on a consistent basis. Not sure how much money and time people have any more either. Just hate to see all the vacant storefronts.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Brawndo-Thirst-Mutilator-Nation
15,859 posts, read 15,841,160 times
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The answer, they will just keep building them.....no matter what.

New home sales are making a big surge. Let's see, stagnant wages.....yet people are still buying bloated, bubble-priced new homes, YIKES.

Same thing with businesses........shell out money for expansion, no matter if people are broke. Wow, home many drugstores and fast food places can they cram into the USA???
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,302 posts, read 4,995,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tickyul View Post
The answer, they will just keep building them.....no matter what.

New home sales are making a big surge. Let's see, stagnant wages.....yet people are still buying bloated, bubble-priced new homes, YIKES.

Same thing with businesses........shell out money for expansion, no matter if people are broke. Wow, home many drugstores and fast food places can they cram into the USA???
The northeast is somewhat different. Most of the areas that I am describing are not building anything. There are surplus properties available. NCLB/Race to the Top has accelerated the exit of many middle/upper income families from these communities as families with $ have relocated to wealthier communities (where the downtowns have quaint shops and redevelopment) in pursuit of higher scores on standardized tests. It has resulted in defacto income segregation.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 50,436,052 times
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There is nothing defacto about the income segregation in the Northeast. The wealthy live in the expensive suburbs or selected inner cities while the lower income folks live in the inner and older suburbs and the outer small cities and towns. Our rural areas are full of broken down or completely abandoned houses, barns and farms. A few of these places have become "boutique horse farms" or "vacation estates" for the wealthy or wealthy retired.

The certain sign of a distressed town is a huge box store (Wally World etc.) with a nearly empty parking lot. This is usually accompanied by one or more empty factories created by our offshoring our small manufacturing. One small town I am familiar with is totally dependent on its defense plant. Even with this subsidy it is a poor village.

I suggested to one town planner that he try and set up a elderly health care services as they was no way in hell that any manufacturing industry was likely to move into the abandoned paper mill. The village is in a stunningly beautiful location and has plenty of younger folks looking for decent paying work. Taking care of retired old folk might just provide that work.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:23 PM
 
12,509 posts, read 9,540,601 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
Many of these businesses failed because hey cannot afford the rents. The landlord will not drop the rent and the business folds. Now the landowners can leave the land and speculate. The landowner pays no to little taxes and can just leave the building and wait until the market picks up. Introduce Land Valuation Tax and he pays the full tax whether the building is full, empty or there is no building on the land. Then he will have to negotiate a rent that will keep the business afloat.
Well, it still costs the landowner opportunity cost: the money used to buy the land could have been invested elsewhere. Even without property taxes there is still this expense.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,444 posts, read 8,437,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post

What will become of all the empty retail buildings? Is there a future for physical presence in retail beyond cheap commodity products for low and modest income families?
Personally, I think they should be converted to SCADpads to provide more affordable housing options, and more sustainable urban living alternatives.. This can be a good option for singles/couples/retirees on a budget. SCADpad | Tour The Pads
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:05 AM
 
7 posts, read 10,438 times
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Many of the suburban big box and retail strip mall type stores that are so common today are built with the intended lifespan of 10 years give or take a little. They are cheaply built and poorly designed to be throwaway structures since the retail industry is constantly evolving and shifting out further into suburbia. These types of buildings are not cost effective to reuse so they will likely sit underutilized or vacant when the retailer that built them decides they need a brand new store suited to the latest and greatest trends a few miles down the road.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
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So very true. As an illustration recent two story indoor malls actually shake because of foot traffic. That is one reason, prices are the other, I generally avoid them.
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:37 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,803 posts, read 20,546,669 times
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Even with a recovering economy, Las Vegas still has tons of vacant commercial space. At the depth of the recession here, on one corner near my house, with 3 shopping commercial strips, the evangelical churches moved in, and at one time, there were 4 evangelical churches in a row in one commercial strip, and yet, 2 more across the street in another commercial strip, and 4 more store-front churches a mile west of there. Now, only 4 left in the area!

Can't see why some of this space can't be converted to loft-style housing with a great big picture window in front!
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:43 AM
 
1,013 posts, read 754,773 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
As I drive through the cities, towns and rural areas of the Northeast the number of empty store fronts, retailers and small businesses continue to grow. Similar trends are taking place across the US. With the exception of more affluent areas, many cities, rural areas and working-class towns of modest and lower income have large numbers of empty buildings. The scene is pretty much the same a big box store or two, a grocery store, a dollar store, some fast food chains, a couple of small independent restaurants, consignment shops, pawn shops, a few small service businesses and convenience stores. Everything else is gone along with the jobs and sense of community they helped foster. Declining income among the bottom 50% has resulted in relying more on cheap imports and little of lasting value. Major purchases come from the big box or on-line retailers such as Amazon.

What will become of all the empty retail buildings? Is there a future for physical presence in retail beyond cheap commodity products for low and modest income families?
there are actually way too many empty commercial buildings even in NYC.

if the government would only let us use them as residential areas then it would be ideal.
but nope they have to keep prices sky high.

pie in the sky.
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