What about all the brick and mortar buildings?

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  #1  
Old 12-28-2018, 09:44 AM
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Default What about all the brick and mortar buildings?

Something to think about ..................I have been listening to the information about major high street stores that are going out of business; i.e. Sears on shaky ground and J.C.Penny on life support and more I cannot think of right now. What will our high streets look like when the brick and mortar stores are standing empty?

When I lived in the suburbs of Boston I used to love going into Boston on a Saturday to browse and shop at all the big department stores. My favorite was Fillene's Basement - I spent hours in there finding great bargains. After shopping we would walk through the North End and buy from the deli's and then stop and eat authentic Italian food at a small restaurant. At Christmas, a trip into Boston to see the lights and decorations in the downtown department stores was a necessity.

Downtown department stores have pretty much disappeared, replaced by suburban shopping malls, which in turn are falling prey to Amazon. But, what becomes of the empty buildings and the urban decay that follows?

I admit to being as much to blame as anyone because I LOVE Amazon, they made it so easy!!! This year I even found some European items which you can buy and have sent to you from Europe. Where does it end?
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2018, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madelaine Amee View Post
Something to think about ..................I have been listening to the information about major high street stores that are going out of business; i.e. Sears on shaky ground and J.C.Penny on life support and more I cannot think of right now. What will our high streets look like when the brick and mortar stores are standing empty?

When I lived in the suburbs of Boston I used to love going into Boston on a Saturday to browse and shop at all the big department stores. My favorite was Fillene's Basement - I spent hours in there finding great bargains. After shopping we would walk through the North End and buy from the deli's and then stop and eat authentic Italian food at a small restaurant. At Christmas, a trip into Boston to see the lights and decorations in the downtown department stores was a necessity.

Downtown department stores have pretty much disappeared, replaced by suburban shopping malls, which in turn are falling prey to Amazon. But, what becomes of the empty buildings and the urban decay that follows?

I admit to being as much to blame as anyone because I LOVE Amazon, they made it so easy!!! This year I even found some European items which you can buy and have sent to you from Europe. Where does it end?

That's a tough one M.A. Do you think they will become Marijuana clinics? Times change.
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  #3  
Old 12-28-2018, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madelaine Amee View Post
Something to think about ..................I have been listening to the information about major high street stores that are going out of business; i.e. Sears on shaky ground and J.C.Penny on life support and more I cannot think of right now. What will our high streets look like when the brick and mortar stores are standing empty?

When I lived in the suburbs of Boston I used to love going into Boston on a Saturday to browse and shop at all the big department stores. My favorite was Fillene's Basement - I spent hours in there finding great bargains. After shopping we would walk through the North End and buy from the deli's and then stop and eat authentic Italian food at a small restaurant. At Christmas, a trip into Boston to see the lights and decorations in the downtown department stores was a necessity.

Downtown department stores have pretty much disappeared, replaced by suburban shopping malls, which in turn are falling prey to Amazon. But, what becomes of the empty buildings and the urban decay that follows?

I admit to being as much to blame as anyone because I LOVE Amazon, they made it so easy!!! This year I even found some European items which you can buy and have sent to you from Europe. Where does it end?
I share your fond memories of the past for sure.

HOWEVER, someday we must recognize that the world is always changing, and always "shrinking". Technological advances are spearheading the changes and despite many attempts to change it, it "aint" going to happen.

Those who cannot see the changes and are inflexible will be those left behind. Sears was the "everything" store but that was before the Home Depot, Lowe's and Costco's were in existence.

This is a section of an interview with Thomas Friedman that pretty much touches on all that is happening.

"But my friend David Rothkopf, former under-secretary of commerce , says that most jobs are not being outsourced to India or China, they are being outsourced to the past. There's someone who was working as a counter employee for Southwest Airlines who probably doesn't have their job now, because I can go on my own computer and download my own boarding pass on to Southwest. So many more jobs are destroyed by Schumpeter [referring to economist Joseph Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction of companies brought by the march of capitalism] than are destroyed by India. They're destroyed by creative destruction and technological change. Thirty percent of Americans worked in agriculture in 1900. Where is that now? Somehow the economy has absorbed that, as long as you have an economy full of innovation. The other strategy has been tried; it's been tried in places like Germany. And look at all the problems they have, the chronic unemployment that they have, and the place is full of cushions, full of social welfare programs. But meanwhile, they have this chronic unemployment.

Globalization 3.0 Has Shrunk the World to Size Tiny | YaleGlobal Online

This interview took place about 15 years ago, but he nailed it.
  #4  
Old 12-28-2018, 10:11 AM
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I only need the following to stay open:
Autozone/CarQuest/NAPA/Advance Auto
Lowes/Home Depot
Bass Pro Shop
Dick's
Guitar Center
Military Exchanges

The empty buildings can be turned into giant server farms for E Commerce.
  #5  
Old 12-28-2018, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madelaine Amee View Post
Something to think about ..................I have been listening to the information about major high street stores that are going out of business; i.e. Sears on shaky ground and J.C.Penny on life support and more I cannot think of right now. What will our high streets look like when the brick and mortar stores are standing empty?

When I lived in the suburbs of Boston I used to love going into Boston on a Saturday to browse and shop at all the big department stores. My favorite was Fillene's Basement - I spent hours in there finding great bargains. After shopping we would walk through the North End and buy from the deli's and then stop and eat authentic Italian food at a small restaurant. At Christmas, a trip into Boston to see the lights and decorations in the downtown department stores was a necessity.

Downtown department stores have pretty much disappeared, replaced by suburban shopping malls, which in turn are falling prey to Amazon. But, what becomes of the empty buildings and the urban decay that follows?

I admit to being as much to blame as anyone because I LOVE Amazon, they made it so easy!!! This year I even found some European items which you can buy and have sent to you from Europe. Where does it end?
Filenes Basement, it was a bargain hunters paradise. It was the best!
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  #6  
Old 12-28-2018, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Bucco View Post
I share your fond memories of the past for sure.

HOWEVER, someday we must recognize that the world is always changing, and always "shrinking". Technological advances are spearheading the changes and despite many attempts to change it, it "aint" going to happen.

Those who cannot see the changes and are inflexible will be those left behind. Sears was the "everything" store but that was before the Home Depot, Lowe's and Costco's were in existence.

This is a section of an interview with Thomas Friedman that pretty much touches on all that is happening.

"But my friend David Rothkopf, former under-secretary of commerce , says that most jobs are not being outsourced to India or China, they are being outsourced to the past. There's someone who was working as a counter employee for Southwest Airlines who probably doesn't have their job now, because I can go on my own computer and download my own boarding pass on to Southwest. So many more jobs are destroyed by Schumpeter [referring to economist Joseph Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction of companies brought by the march of capitalism] than are destroyed by India. They're destroyed by creative destruction and technological change. Thirty percent of Americans worked in agriculture in 1900. Where is that now? Somehow the economy has absorbed that, as long as you have an economy full of innovation. The other strategy has been tried; it's been tried in places like Germany. And look at all the problems they have, the chronic unemployment that they have, and the place is full of cushions, full of social welfare programs. But meanwhile, they have this chronic unemployment.

Globalization 3.0 Has Shrunk the World to Size Tiny | YaleGlobal Online

This interview took place about 15 years ago, but he nailed it.
Thank you for Tom Freidman ......... the earth is flat. Great writer and thinker.

I know, of course, that you are right. Have to move with the times, but the urban blight we leave behind is horrendous. In the late 80s we were sent to work in the UK and my otherhalf had to travel the length of the UK every week, I often went with him and saw the huge factories that had closed and were left to just crumble away. Hate to think that our high streets might come to that.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:32 AM
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I too M.A. loved going into Boston for all the reasons you said but times do change. My son and wife now live part time in a loft in the leather district where Filene's Jordan's and Kakas all stored their furs! Many of the original interior features are still there. They have a giant thick metal door as the entrance to their loft. So many of those big old buildings are getting repurposed into housing, etc... it is fun now to walk around downtown Boston and see the mix of new and old that is going on, but never mind trying to drive in there now, it's brutal!
I'm an Amazon type person for sure now too.
  #8  
Old 12-28-2018, 10:44 AM
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I too M.A. loved going into Boston for all the reasons you said but times do change. My son and wife now live part time in a loft in the leather district where Filene's Jordan's and Kakas all stored their furs! Many of the original interior features are still there. They have a giant thick metal door as the entrance to their loft. So many of those big old buildings are getting repurposed into housing, etc... it is fun now to walk around downtown Boston and see the mix of new and old that is going on, but never mind trying to drive in there now, it's brutal!
I'm an Amazon type person for sure now too.
We never drive in now. Great service on the buses now. We even take the bus out of Logan to NH or Concord. Cannot beat it. But in the old days it was an easy drive ........ but parking !!!!!
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:37 AM
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FYI, if Sears does not get funding by the end of the day (28 Dec 2018AD) they will go completely out of business. The problem is that too many people just order online without going in a store and seeing and handling the products. Stores hurt themselves also when they don't keep up their buildings and do not keep a variety of items in stock.

If I can find something in a store I will buy it there.
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2018, 11:40 AM
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Locally elected officials in suburban governments need to be thinking ahead and pursuing ways to repurpose empty (and emptying) retail properties -- in many areas throughout the country.

(Remember that creepy scene in "Gone Girl." That might not be so far off in reality if we continue to ignore the future.)

There is a need in a lot of areas for independent senior housing, at reasonable cost. Not everyone in the aging population has the means, and/or the energy, to continue to support suburban homes with big yards. Also, a lot of seniors want to remain in the area where they have lived for years. Often aging women are left alone with too much responsibility for things they no longer need or want.

Malls would have space for not only 55 and up apartments, offering manageable independent living, but maybe a little grocery, and a doc--in-a-box, and perhaps a community garden.

Reality says pets would have to be allowed, though limited. But such housing would have to be protected from extra people moving in with seniors. (My guess is many seniors would find that such protection in place would be a big relief because saying "No" would be easy.)

A nice little pre-school on site would be a good addition.

Areas for socializing could be created easily. Those big old malls have a lot of space.

Just think of all the parking space, too. Oh my! Lines could be straddled and sideways pull-ins could go on forever and nobody would care. (I am sure the popular hobby of complaining would continue, but that would be OK, absolutely normal.)

Anyway, that is my "find a niche and fill it" thinking for this morning. Somebody's got to do something, sooner not later.

Last edited by Boomer; 12-28-2018 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:07 PM
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A nice little pre-school on site would be a good addition.

In a senior housing development?
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
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A nice little pre-school on site would be a good addition.

In a senior housing development?

My dissertation this morning had to do with repurposing empty, suburban, retail space into independent senior housing apartments. But there is a reason I mentally built a little pre-school there.

In the city I am from, there are some relatively high end continuum-of-care communities that have pre-schools on site. I think there is a psychology to it. (Do not worry. They do not make Grandma work there for free. In fact, I do not think there is much interaction, other than cute little programs the little kids put on sometimes.)

Now that I think about it, Dutchman, with total independent senior living that might not be a big deal. But it has proven to be a nice addition to the places that are classified as continuum-of-care.

But, hey, my post this morning was only my first draft.

I welcome any suggestions about what would be a good use of space in my mall repurposed into independent senior housing. Perhaps a disco?

Anyway, I just thought of something else. People who own REITs, which have been known for their nice dividends -- though I think taxes are different than regular dividends -- might own a piece of those empty malls.

Whatever, a plan needs to be in the works for all that empty, suburban space, before it is too late.

Last edited by Boomer; 12-28-2018 at 01:53 PM. Reason: needed editing
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:46 PM
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The best option is re-purposing the buildings. One example I'm aware of is in San Diego. Years ago, they built a bunch of new buildings in the Horton Plaza area including restaurants, stores, etc. But it went downhill. They are re-making the area into a tech hub so the buildings do not become vacant eyesores. I imagine the center of downtown Boston can do something similar. They are convenient to the T, Government Center, and Beacon Hill. I see many possibilities.
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:54 PM
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When we moved here we received a $250 gift card for Sears due to some damage one of their drivers did. Needed some TV's for our new home so we went to Sears in Leesburg, they had a TV department but no TV's so we bought them elsewhere. Now we needed a grill, went back to Leesburg, you guessed it, no grills other than 3 huge floor models but none in stock. Finally someone told us to go to Ocala, and there they had grills and I guess TV's but mostly they have clothes and craftsman stuff. It is pretty hard to spend $250 at Sears if you don't need tools or appliances. When we bought the grill I asked the salesman to get me a cover that would fit the model I purchased. I didn't put the grill together for about 6 weeks and the cover would not fit over it. Went back to Ocala and asked to exchange it, I was told no returns or exchanges after 30 days, I explained that the salesman gave me the wrong size, that didn't matter. I called Sears when I got home and they sent a new one to me free of charge so I will give them credit for that but their exchange policy is worthless. I'm surprised they lasted this long, you can't sell from empty shelves and poor customer service. Good news is there are plenty of retail jobs out there for those who will be looking. Sears used to have a great pension plan, I wonder if that still exists or if they changed it along the way.
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:37 AM
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They could turn all the buildings into storage facilities for Amazon. But really, it is sad to see empty buildings.
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