Saturday, September 6, 2008
East Side in Transistion
Kevin Baity, assistant city manager for economic development, said Friday that the west side's commercial presence is merely in a state of transition.
"We have some businesses that, because of the economy, have closed. Another closed because of the lack of a lease," he said. "And we have a few entities who believe they want to be in the east side such as Aldi, who like to shadow big box stores."
Baity said renovations at the Royal Plaza Inn and developments in the works on the five-acre Mugsy's property are more indicative of what's happening on the west side than empty stores.
"West Side Center (between Subway and Ward Chrysler) is fully occupied and Murdale is 85 to 90 percent occupied," he said. "Kroger and, if it closes, Aldi, when you get looking, those are the only large buildings that are vacant."
Since Kroger West closed in October, Aldi's was one of the last grocery staples on that side of town. Assistant City Manager Kevin Baity said he was concerned the absence of shopping options would lead new residents on the west side to take their business to the new Murphysboro Wal-Mart, which opened in March.
"You hate to see a business leave one section of town and move to another," Baity said. "We just hope that they will work with the realtor of their choice and the city and not put too many restrictions on the building they will be leaving behind."
The west end of town looks like it's dying, and as far as I'm concerned, I don't know anyone in their right mind who would stay at the Stabbin' Cabin...I mean the Royal Plaza Inn, or the sleazy looking motel that's next to the credit union.
Okay, I'm done bitching. I just don't like watching my town die before my eyes.
Moreover, rather than hoping the departing stores don't place too many restrictions, why doesn't the city council make approval of the new locations contingent upon the absence of such restrictions?
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