A Rising Asphalt Sea

Mostly empty, its parking lot free of cars, this suburban mall is in foreclosure. But do not worry. Plenty of money was made, and the risks and debt shifted off onto others.

And for the shoppers, the good news is that an even larger new mall will soon be built nearby, where another chunk of woods and wetlands will slip beneath the rising asphalt sea.

The Virus Spreads

The Virus Spreads

Ghosts from the Past

Ghosts from the Past

Papered Over

Papered Over

Suburban Wasteland

Suburban Wasteland

6 Comments on “A Rising Asphalt Sea

  1. When I drive around Sarasota and Manatee Counties (or almost anywhere in Florida) I’m amazed at both the amount of new retail and other commercial construction going on and the amount of existing retail and other commercial space that is empty. It doesn’t make sense. How is it more cost effective to build a new mail than it is to rehab an existing one. Just don’t understand it.

  2. Harrybone, I don’t understand it either. It’s wasteful and it’s ugly.

    The developers make their money and run, moving on to their next site further out and leaving investors and the community holding the bag. Same thing happens with housing. It hollows out the core of our communities.

  3. It has something to do with national credit policies; but I’m not sure exactly where. Urban residential deterioration and the rise of the suburbs was a result of credit availability in suburban (read that as white) areas and the lack of credit for renovations in urban (read that as not white enough). On the surface, why banks are lending for new but not for renovation doesn’t make sense to me.

  4. Harrybone… Thanks for that. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I guess it should be no surprise that much of the problem goes back to the banks and financial system.

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