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Mar 31, 2008


Norman Alston

Once again we are reminded that we live deep within a city, so what happens on individual pieces of property has impact well beyond just the financial bottom line of the property owners. In recent months and days there has been lively discussion of this phenomenon on Back Talk regarding Whole Foods, Neighborhood Stabilization Overlay, McMansions, and even recently, Lovers/Matilda. There remains a strong voice here and at Council to "let the market dictate" what gets done. Here's an example of how the market is not enough by itself, at least not in town. We are left for months with a vacant, muddy lot in an otherwise thriving neighborhood. Let us also not forget the now vacant lots on Paulus

It is possible that the land could have been economically "banked" by not demolishing the existing structures and continuing to collect rent, despite higher property taxes. What we often encounter is the owner/developer desire to clear land, demolish or gut buildings for marketing purposes. If you have to remove things in order to help potential buyers visualize the potential, that suggests to me that you are marketing specifically to those with the least vision. Scary.


I thought that lot was supposed to be retail, as per the agreement with the Wachovia bank on the same block. Didn't they want to build a bank/drive-thru, and the deal worked out was for them to build a retial center that included their bank? Now we see the bank built, and an empty lot beside it. What's the story there?


I thought Pacuigo (sp?) was going in at the corner of Richmond and Abrams..... I read a story about it in the Morning News or the Advocate, I thought.... what happened to those plans?


Maybe it is all the stupid regulations that have prevented development there? If someone wants to build there, and they see the maze of regulations and hostile neighborhood groups they have to deal with, they may just decide to go on down the road.

Rick Wamre

Paciugo is planning to operate just south of that lot at Richmond & Abrams in an existing building between Professional Bank and Glo Cleaners. A few weeks ago, we were told by the people planning the Paciugo that the project is still "on" but I haven't seen any activity there yet. And you did read about that, both here and in the Advocate!

As for what's supposed to be happening on the vacant lot at Richmond & Abrams, it was my understanding that the site was "set aside" for neighborhood retail/restaurant when the neighborhood was working with Wachovia and the developers. But from what I've heard, the people who own the lot want so much for it and/or are asking for such high rent that at this point, no one has been able to afford to build/lease there. Yet.


It is likely that (development of) the site has become a victim of the liquidity issues in real estate lending - nothing sinster at play here.

And it is a good thing that the owners are waiting to see how the WF plans playout at the Minyard site across the street.

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