Tucker finally realized that Main Street was tired. An urban renewal program was begun and is in floundering stages of completion.
Talking with remaining merchants on Main Street, I heard complaints about how slow the project is progressing. Another business closed recently.
A developer started buying up parcels of commercial property on College Avenue in Avondale Estates when business was still flourishing.
Unfortunately, the development fell onto hard times with the developer unable to finish the project. The work stopped with the abandoned buildings now faded and run-down, further driving off visitors.
One of the primary reasons for the loss of customers in smaller towns is the tired appearance of older commercial buildings.
For people to return to a commercial area there must be eye-appeal other than a glitzy administration building.
People relish the environments of greenery, colorful shrubbery, flowers and refreshed buildings; something appealing, something compelling.
That’s been part of Decatur’s appeal.
With the economy in the tank it will be necessary for building owners to reduce the cost per square foot of space and for governments to reduce taxes so it will be profitable to open a new business or remain in an existing one.
Many strip centers are also in a crisis. During the economic utopia a strip center opened at the corner of Five Forks Trickum and Sugarloaf Parkway, anchored by Publix. It was fully leased.
I drove by the strip center recently and counted vacancies. Since the economic bust it has turned into anxiety for the few remaining tenants. Taxes and rent are too high for this economic meltdown.
Bill York, a retired furrier, lives in Stone Mountain. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org