Tag Archives: United States

(1147) Kushner Estates


Baltimore, MD. Out near I-695,  just a stone’s throw from Golden Ring Plaza, a bad landlord plies his trade.  Excellent work, Jared.
The beleaguered tenants of ‘Kushnerville’. Tenants in more than a dozen Baltimore-area rental complexes complain about a property owner who they say leaves their homes in disrepair, humiliates late-paying renters and often sues them when they try to move out. Few of them know that their landlord is the president’s son-in-law
propublica.org
image: DonkeyHotey via Flickr/CC

(1142) Reimagining the dead malls

Figuring out what to do with overbuilt retail could become part of creating a better suburban economy, no?  One suited to present reality better than dreams of endless, mindless growth?
We recently went along on an organized walk to see a mall here in Mississauga, Ontario that has replaced much of its retail space with services.  One of its former anchor stores has been insurance company office space for years now.  Many U.S. malls are in places where the surrounding economy is not as strong as it is here.  That’s a problem.   But if the dead malls are up and built on land already hooked up to municipal services then they are candidates for some creative thinking.  We’d rather see a dead mall redeveloped than farmland destroyed.
Here’s what could happen to America’s hundreds of dead malls
businessinsider.com

Where a shopping mall used to be an opportunity arises
The decline of malls in America can mean lost jobs and lower tax revenues for states and municipalities — but not always
governing.com

image: Travis Estell via Flickr/CC

(1138) USA shopocalypse


Macy’s, Sears, Payless Shoes.  America’s favourite merchandise outlets melt into air.  Retail here in the greater Toronto Area has been overbuilt for a while now but nobody is calling it an apocalypse quite yet.  Unlike in the United States, where ‘retail apocalypse’ is a Wikipedia entry and daily reality.  While retail jobs were nothing special they were readily available, especially to women and youth.  Many an immigrant to North America held things together with mall employment, too.
Wikipedia: Retail Apocalypse
The retail apocalypse is suburban.  Cities will weather this concentrated downturn becasue they went through it 50 years ago. Their neighbours may not be so lucky
slate.com
What caused the retail apocalypse?
theweek.com
See also: (352) Mall living
image: Sarah Martin via Flickr/CC

(1136) Florida calls crisis

Urban studies theorist Richard Florida turns his attention in this item to the divergent prospects of inner suburbs and the sprawl beyond them.  Yikes!
Inside the new suburban crisis. Once the key driver of the American dream, the suburbs have reached the end of a long era of cheap growth. Now their advantages to economic mobility have nearly disappeared
citylab.com
image: houston, i am the problem via Flickr/CC

(1135) Cycling along the poverty line

This is a moving feature on the role a bicycle can play for lower income folks living in the sprawl.  Los Angeles is the place but we know for a fact lives like this are found in Canadian communities as well.
How low income cyclists go unnoticed. There really is a world where people pedal to work, use bikes for everyday transportation and by riding, form close communities of friends and neighbors – and it exists right in your town
bicycling.com
image: bedrocan via Flickr/CC

(1133) Car town


Here in the Greater Toronto Area it feels like the real estate bubble will never burst.  Prices swell and then swell some more.  Equity flows – as if up through the very drains in the monster home basements – to enrich the fortunate homeowner.
An unavoidable parallel to this frenzy is found in automotive finance.  Where you have sprawl, you have cars, natch.
Is there an auto bubble on the horizon?
macleans.ca
Canadians getting lured onto auto debt treadmill by signing on to long term car loans
financialpost.com
What comes after the auto bubble?
frontiergroup.org
What’s happening with subprime auto loans?
visualcapitalist.com
‘Deep subprime’ auto loans are surging
bloomberg.com
image: Heather Philips via Flickr/CC