Saturday, June 7, 2008

Building Boom? Or Lack Thereof?

Was out driving around town this morning and noticed that Central Plaza, over on Giant City Road, still only has the original four businesses that went in when it originally opened. No work has even started on the Shops at University Mall the Gator Automotive building was pulled down to make room for and the Silver Screen Video and Tanning space in the little strip mall at the corner of Grand and Wall is still empty.


Do you not read the paper? We are at the beginning of a recession. Expect less building, more empty spaces, less money to borrow, and harder times. Our President is an idiot, our Governor is a crook, and SIUC is sinking like the Titanic on an iceberg.

If you were the Mall, would you be building? Believe it or not, some businesses have to plan for further ahead than 20 minutes.
If I remember correctly, at the time of the announcement, mall management said they already had one tenant lined up, a Mexican fast casual restaurant like Chipolte's. If that has fallen through,then they traded a steady rent producer like Gator's Automotive for a square of empty gravel.
That is certainly true for this year. Gator wanted a lease for many years, I'm sure. Once this economic cycle has passed, they plan to build. On a 20 year plan, they thought this was a better plan. Clearly, Malls all over the country are following this path.

The sub-prime lending mess is really going to screw up the build out of chains. They are used to putting in a million or ten, with no money down. Now they need 20% to get a loan. Really a big difference. A secondary (fifth?) sized market like Carbondale, would be hit hardest by this. Need to build out the bigger markets first.
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