Empty anchor store buildings in Merrillville are cause for concern

When anchor stores, like the big retail locations listed here close in a shopping plaza, the other businesses around that location naturally suffer due to the loss of shopper traffic. Then, we’re left with huge empty parking lots that just begin to deteriorate. There are no easy answers here, but we need to work with developers to encourage the re-purposing of these large empty stores. We should investigate a variety of ways to encourage new businesses for these locations. Perhaps re-purposing these locations, for example, like the town did years ago when they purchased the shuttered Tepe’s Catalog Showroom and remodeled it into the new town hall is a viable solution. Seems like the trend today is to tear down and build new. In many cases that is the answer, but a well designed remodel could save some of our older buildings and again bring life back into them, and the shopping areas where they once prospered. See photos here of 61st Ave & Broadway, the closed Strack’s on Taft, and the closed Ultra Foods on 93rd & Taft – it is a lot of square footage not being used. 

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