Liberal Moscow » Smart Growth/Dumb Growth: First Post

Liberal Moscow » Smart Growth/Dumb Growth: First Post

Why do Moscow’s “pro-growth” proponents insist that we need more retail space? The Tidyman’s building is empty; the Rodeo Center is empty; the Village Mall looks like Village of the Damned; and our two major malls are mausoleums. Looks to me like we have an excess of retail space. What we need, it seems to me, are more light industrial and mixed-use zones. Thoughts? Comments? Solid evidence?

First, of all, I’m using the “Press It” plugin for Firefox to blog a quote from a web page. Second, I’d tracking back from my blog to Lib Moscow, rather than commenting there — I think multi-blog dialogs are the furture, rather than lists like v2020 or multi-author blogs. The challenge is how to keep would be readers notified — the “push” factor.
On the substance of the question… There seems to be a lot of vacant retail space. I presume that there “should” always be some vacant space, much like there is always unemployment. The issue is, a lot of that space has been vacant a long time. I’ve heard that Sears continued to pay rent on their store in Eastside for many years — keeping it off the market?

Rodeo Center not filling, or Tidyman’s remaining empty seem to be bigger issues. There was (I don’t see it now) a photo essay of empty retaill spaces started at http://www.nosuperwalmart.com/  that showed quite a few spaces, in many places around town, of many sizes and characters. It didn’t get used in testimony and maybe disappeared.
So, why favor retail. It happens fast. It looks like growth. It happens with other people’s money on their speculation? The scale of the money involved is larger? The result increases the Chamber’s membership?
Housing takes local speculation. The money is smaller (per unit).

Light industrial that brings jobs and new wealth into the community takes time, and is complex to achieve.

Why no one is championing success at UI and partnership with them as an engine for community development baffles me.

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