Sunday, February 22, 2009

What Will Happen To All Of The Empty Buildings?


I read a post over at The Crallspace the other day about many of the businesses that have closed in Corvallis, a small city in Oregon where I used to live. Compared with many of the cities I was familiar with back in the Midwest, Corvallis seemed to thriving when I lived there. I don't recall too many empty buildings, even downtown. But we all know that downtowns have been struggling since big box stores, malls, and crappy chain restaurants like Applebees and Outback Steakhouses have invaded the once farmland of city edges. The urban sprawl was the land of opportunity for bigger and better stores. Well, yesterday I took a trip down to Spokane, Washington. As I came in from the north through the miles of urban sprawl, I couldn't help but notice many newer buildings that were vacant. Restaurants, chain retailers like Linen N Things, Circuit City (well almost, they were having a going out of business sale), a party supply store, and many others. At first I was like, well this is depressing, but then I came to realize that I had despised the existences of most of these places. They were big, corporate, dependent on free trade with countries with awful human rights, and above all pointless. They sold bad food from factory farms to feed the fat, unhealthy consumer driving their SUV's from corporate chain-store to corporate chain-store like college barhoppers. They may have provided some jobs, but a more legitimate business would have as well. I feel some sympathy for the workers that were handed the pink slips, but not for the fact the businesses themselves are gone.

So what will become of the former buildings Linen N Things, Circuit Cities, and the many others that have come to pass amidst our recession? Will they remain vacant only to be demolished seven years from now?

8 Comments:

At 12:40 AM, Blogger The Fool said...

Perhaps the buildings will be rennovated for community service...a new soup kitchen, a skateboard park for the kids, medical assistance for the elderly, parenting courses for young parents, art & tech schools for our teens, educational centers for all...

Yeah, I'm a dreamer.

They'll probably just roll over and become another temporary corporate blight.

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger BurdockBoy said...

TFool:
Yeah I was dreaming the same thing.

Who knows. Things may be changing. Priorities have even been changing.

 
At 7:00 PM, Blogger Jean & Vic said...

One can only hope they get dozed and revert to something useful like say farmland? In reality that will not happen, but wishful thinking is hopeful to say the least. I would love to see them used for something other than big box stores. Of course who am I to speak, we only just got our first business park in the last few years. Go figure, it has only driven some of the local business under, but still enough to make the rest scratch like chickens for feed. . .
I better go back and get to work now, I am getting riled again.

 
At 9:38 PM, Blogger peppylady said...

I believe it tuff all over the last figure I heard for the Bonners Ferry area unemployment is at 12%.

I agree with fool and you it would be grand if they use the empty building to help and better the community.

Coffee is on.

 
At 12:49 AM, Blogger BurdockBoy said...

J&V: It's probably too late for the farmland, but I would at least hope new businesses that may open some day (who knows in this economy?) at least have the decency to use the abandoned buildings instead of tearing up new land. I remember Wal*Mart where I grew up in Illinois built a store in farmland when I was in like 4th grade. Then several years later they moved about a half a mile into new farmland abandoning their old building. I believe the old store still sits vacant. And this is Illinois....prime freakin' farmland.

 
At 12:51 AM, Blogger BurdockBoy said...

Peppy:
How is Bonner's Ferry's downtown. I haven't been up there for awhile.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger MeadowLark said...

Hi Vic! I didn't know you were friends with this crazy guy Burdock Boy! :)

BB - we were in Ybor City in FL last week. On Saturday there was a big Victoria's Secret on the corner. On Monday, we drove by and it was GONE. There hadn't been any signs, any "going out of business", any ANYTHING. I think we're in for a lot of that. Gone meaning empty, btw.

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Cheryl said...

Hey Quinn,
Just checkin' in to see what you've been up to lately - I've been terrible about keeping up with my favorite blog buddies.
I hope you guys are well!
Cheryl

 

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