Saturday, May 30, 2009

Big box recycling

Strip malls tend to start dying nearly as soon as they're built, especially these days when even the previously successful ones are starting to go belly up. In fact, these days, the discount-style strip malls are more likely to continue to hang on than many with high end shops. This one (at Westgate and Wm. Cannon) used to have an Albertson's supermarket as its anchor with a women's gym at the other end. The Albertson's has been closed and empty for a long time, and the mall has starred the Dollar Store (which is sandwiched between 2 banks, one which has failed and has been absorbed by the other). Now, the Albertson's old big empty box is getting some use.

The space is being used for small business vendors of all types. The individual stores just consist of cubicle walls. Some shops featured handcrafted stuff and some didn't. There was a little video store with videos in Spanish, and even an Avon store, where I picked up some Skin-So-Soft (to repel mosquitoes). When the rest of the inner space is filled out, there will be a farmer's market, a bakery, and a game area with Moonwalks and pool tables...

... and even a Psychic Advisor offering palmistry and tarot readings.

Madame Sofia, will we survive this recession and keep a roof over our heads?


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

We got a few empty big box store locations here. I wish we could turn them into places like your town did.

Anonymous said...

Here in 'Babylon by the Bay' the opposition to Big Box stores is so visceral...we don't have any. Our "Madame Sofia's" just occupy whatever quasi-legal street level space they can get a-hold of.

Blueberry said...

Oh yes, we've got "Madame Sofias" and eclectic bizes in abundance, but big boxes do get in, and other ugly development (although this one was not technically a big box of Home Depot size but just an empty supermarket).

The downturned economy is also halting the growth of some of the damned things being developed, and making them more cautious about new projects. A tiny tiny benefit of the recession.