Share, , , Google Plus, Reddit, Pinterest, StumbleUpon

Print

Posted in:

Sprawl: It is Stealing Real Money Out of Your Pocket or the Taco Johns of Buffalo

Sprawl is stealing money from you and you are allowing, even encouraging it to happen.

In the book “Suburban Nation”, authors Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck ask the question; ” How obvious and damaging does an error have to be before it is addressed and corrected?”  They suggest that Jane Jacobs gave the answer  to this question in her well known work, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”, when she wrote; “The pseudo-science of planning seems almost neurotic in its determination to imitate empiric failure and ignore empiric success. ”

The damage done to our cities, towns, and countryside by sprawl style planning is obvious to anyone willing to notice.  Unfortunately a very large segment of our population only knows sprawl style living and thus finds nothing wrong with it. Our society has been conditioned, over generations, to accept sprawl as “just the way things are”. But, the way things are, in our modern-day sprawling car centric America,  is a disaster.  It is a disaster physically, socially, environmentally, and financially, but we allow it to expand unchecked with neurotic determination.  If the general public has a tough time recognizing and coming to terms with the first three disasters, perhaps the third, that of financial disaster, will tip the balance in favor of urban planning sanity.

I’ve written many times about the economic drain sprawl puts on society.  You can read a few of these posts here, here, here, here and here, among others. Public discourse on urbanism and sprawl has traditionally focused on the negative physical and psychological impact of sprawl.  However, research, writing, and  discussion has increasingly focused on the heavy financial burden that sprawl forces onto our society. A post on the Strong Towns Blog by Charles Marohn (engineer, planner and Strong Towns president) from 2012, titled “The Cost of Auto Orientation” ,and recently updated in July 22nd  here , provides a powerful example of this financial drain.

In the story, Marohn describes how his home town city of  Brainerd Minnesota planned for blight removal on a main artery running through downtown.  The replacement for the “blight” was to be auto centric style development, which the city labeled General Commercial.  The blighted blocks slated for removal were densely built with small commercial buildings.  The City believes that making this major roadway more favorable to auto centric business will improve the commercial viability of their downtown district.

Marohn’s story compares one of the old style blocks to one of the “improved” auto centric blocks. He points out that the two blocks are identical in every way except that one is built out for people while the other is built out for cars. He describes the plan thus:

The old and blighted block is a remnant of the incremental, historical development pattern. It represents one of the first increments of growth that cities experienced on their periphery; a small investment in a pop up box. This is the cheapest, credible investment that someone could have made in a commercial property here in my hometown back in 1920. In their comprehensive plan, the city has indicated that this block is a redevelopment opportunity that would, to use their language, ultimately become “auto oriented”.

This is exactly what happened two blocks, which used to look like the “old and blighted” block but now contains a new Taco John’s. Definitely auto-oriented with a large off-street parking lot, two drive through lanes, a large sign and a setback/orientation consistent with highway development. If we are to believe the city’s planning documents, this entire corridor will someday transform into a collection of buildings of similar design and orientation.

In order to facilitate the Taco Johns car centric development, the City granted the restaurant chain a 26 year subsidy through its Tax Increment Financing fund.  So, how is that shiny new building working out?  Well, it turns out that the crummy old blighted block, the one containing 11 separate properties, the one with and many separate businesses, is dramatically more valuable than the shiny new auto centric block containing the single user, Taco Johns restaurant.  Taco Johns has an estimated 2014 value of $618,000 versus the “blighted” block value of $1,104,500!  The City is actually subsidizing a reduction in property value to accommodate a drive through restaurant!

Marohn goes on to note, that over the 3 years in which Strong Towns has tracked the two properties, the old, so-called blighted block, lost an aggregate three percent in value while the Taco Johns lost a whopping 23% in value.  Marohn notes, that even if Taco Johns did not receive the tax subsidy the old blighted block would be paying a huge 79 percent more in taxes because of its higher value.  How is this justified?  How much more value would the old blighted block have today if that Taco Johns subsidy had instead been used to improve the pedestrian experience.  The insanity of wrecking value to order to accommodate cars takes your breath away.

Not to be outdone, Jordan Then, board member of  NorthBuffalo.org, posted a Buffalo version of the Taco Johns story.  In his story  titled “The Taco Johns of Buffalo”, Jordan compares two similar blocks on Hertel Avenue. He states:

Inspired by Charles Marohn’s recent blog post “The cost of auto orientation, update” I decided to run the numbers on one of my least favorite developments in my neighborhood of North Buffalo with the City of Buffalo, NY.

… Some years ago, with the City’s blessing, Walgreens demolished most of a block of older two-story mixed-use buildings to build a new store. It had three curb-cuts, parking for 51 cars and a drive-thru pharmacy. The rest of the block and the block across the street maintain their historic structures, in various states of repair.

Using the City property tax data, Jordan shows that the densely built historic Hertel block is valued at $1,725,000, while Walgreens, with its parking lot, is valued substantially lower, at only $875,000. The City collects $51,284 from the dense older block.  Walgreens pays a comparably paltry $26,013 in taxes.  The older block pays almost 100 percent more in revenue to the City while providing the benefit of a more pleasant human scaled environment that houses at least ten locally owned businesses and several residential apartments.  Walgreens gives the City less revenue, a big blank wall on the sidewalk, and a giant dead parking lot on the corner. Where is the gain here?  How is this justified?

How does a poor city like Buffalo justify this kind of tax giveaway to a big out-of-town corporation?  Ask your mayor, ask your councilman. why?

All images taken from the Strong Towns story posts. I highly recommend Strong Towns for more discussion on urbanism and how we can move away form the insanity of sprawl.  Their web site includes a blog as well as a regular podcast.

Written by STEEL

STEEL

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of “Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land” ( www.blurb.com ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

View All Articles by STEEL
Hide Comments
Show Comments
  • Rand503

    You cant argue with stats like these.

  • gregduh

    Very true. Still, it’s too bad that the argument so often has to come down to statistics. A busy and attractive street should be enough to convince most people of the benefits of building a city properly. There’s more to life than the money.

  • 81grad

    While the main point point of the North Buffalo comparison is true, the density if that corner was lost much earlier than the 1990s. Walgreens actually fills the same footprint as the former 1 story Sunshines Supermarket, which occupied that corner since the 1950s. One home along Parkside was demolished in the 90s to expand the parking lot. Sunshines had shorter operating hours than Walgreens, but had a significantly higher customer traffic during those hours. The net impact to the city and county tax base may have actually increased with Walgreens, since food sales were untaxed, and the newer structure was likely assessed at a higher value.

  • 81grad

    Maybe a better example could be the corner of Tacoma and Delaware, where the former Cummings Drugs/LaNova/Flays was demolished to serve as a parking lot for Franks Sunny Italy.

  • BuffaloBoi

    I’m not still not over who ever thought it was a great idea to knock the buildings down on Delaware at Kenmore Ave. to build a Walgreens. They took away a vibrant block full of small businesses (which I used to shop at) and replaced it with a giant parking lot for one small business. How’s that for ‘progress’?????

  • North Park

    There was more than just Sunshine in there though, wasn’t there another building between sunshine and the current hair salon? Sunshines parking lot was much smaller as well.
    I think the point is that denser development brings in more tax revenue for the city and therefore the city should be pushing for it as opposed to sprawl type developments.
    As the article mentions there are reasons beyond mere tax revenue for denser development, but tax revenue is an easy one to quantify.

  • North Park

    Terrible idea. All to move Walgreens half a mile.

  • jg23

    81grad I always wondered what was there prior to K-mart. Any pictures?

  • buffalofalling

    First off, there’s nothing novel here, anyone with elementary math skills knows more taxable sq ft per acre means more taxes. But the key point that was condescended and the main issue is this “Unfortunately a very large segment of our population only knows sprawl style living and thus finds nothing wrong with it.” Very true and suburbia will always be a place where those with the economic means will continue to prefer to love by a large majority. And one of the main reasons is a lack of density. And the lost revenue of taxes is an trade off they are willing to pay for. So although all your work drips with anti-suburban sentiment for some reason, you should just focus on making your jurisdiction better and the way you want it (good luck with city hall) and stop being emotionally burdened by your anger for the suburbs.
    Stats are a joke when used in these types of stories because the users try to gain credibility for themselves and the article. In this case, its a credible argument that more taxable sq ft means more taxes. What is a problem is when you fail to provide the stats that matter to govts in a shrinking city trying to stabilize revenue and population and economic activity. And that’s the value of taxes being paid on what was there. It’s so easy to suggest that this could create more taxes now it it were denser but when it was built, did the city get a bump? Was there anyone willing to build more dense buildings with multiple storefronts for the rental demand that existed? No way. 
    Change the code moving forward, oh wait… been trying that for years while other cities started and completed theirs in the interim. You get what you deserve in Bflo when you keep electing bad govt.

  • Do the “architects” who designs the Walgreen stores around the country actually have a degree in architecture? It’s one fugly store after another. No exceptions.

  • bfranklin

    Arguing that the city should be maximizing assessed valuation per square foot is a slippery slope.  The ‘pro-demo’ crowd could easily argue that a building like 204 High is earning the city $0, while something new, on a prime piece of city owned property, could be earning the city a fair amount of money.

  • David Steele

    bfranklin So you are comparing a pretend new building against real stats?

  • eSlu

    “I’ve written many times about the economic drain sprawl puts on society.”
    You sure have…And I agree with you, but you are really just preaching to the choir at this point.

  • David Steele

    buffalofalling I don’t think people do know the real cost of their sprawl lifestyle.  I think they are completely oblivious to the Ponzi.

  • bfranklin

    David Steele The proposed market for the site has moved one lot to the east.  Yes, the city in some cases subsidizes preservation (I don’t expect that will last.)
    You continue to beat us over the head with how Buffalo disappoints you.  Nothing positive to say about a Medical Campus that is about as anti-sprawl a development as anyone could wish for?  No, that would mean you’d have to write something positive, no fun in that.

  • David Steele

    bfranklin David Steele So I will put you down as pro tax give away to sprawl. Is there something positive you would like to say about the Walgreens?

  • bfranklin

    David Steele My view of the city has a slightly wider scope than one property on Hertel.
    I would imagine that there are some elderly residents in the neighborhood that can more easily fill prescriptions, having easier access because of the convenient parking.  But that would be putting people ahead of a building…how unsophisticated of me.
    I wouldn’t argue that makes this a positive development, but you seemed concerned that I say something positive about Walgreens.  It is the corner of ‘happy and healthy’ after all.

  • JayDBuffalo

    David Steele bfranklin 
    and there it is! Twisting of words to fit his argument!

  • Captain Picard

    Blah blah blah SPRAWL blah blah blah blah blah blah SPRAWL blah blah blahblah blah blah SPRAWL blah blah blah SPRAWL blah blah blah blah blah blah…..

  • David Steele

    bfranklin David Steele There are many elderly people trapped in their homes because they cannot drive.  But even if your argument held any water, what is the justification for the tax give-away.

  • Davvid

    rubagreta They probably do but their priorities are going to be completely different than someone like Steel. They’ll spend much more of their time thinking about things like consumer habits, reducing construction costs and consistant branding standards. I agree with you though. Walgreens sucks from an aesthetic point of view. But functionally,  if you’re a diabetic 70 yr old and you want to easily park your car, get your medication then get out, they have a lot of mom and pop operations beat.

  • David Steele

    Davvid rubagreta So that is why we give them a big tax subsidy!

  • bfranklin

    David Steele Walgreens is currently considering purchasing Alliance Boots, and moving their head quarters out of the country.  This strategy (purely for tax savings) would save the company 5 billion over 5 years, or, $150,000 a year per store like this one.  If  you’re concerned about Walgreens and their taxes, I’d start with this.
    Any professional can point to ‘waste’ in their particular field.  Architecture is your hammer, sprawl is your nail.  I don’t like sloppy code that wastes execution cycles, but I won’t bore you with the details.  Buying a new pc to browse the internet is a poor use of cutting edge technology, but I try not to lose sleep over it.

  • LouisTully

    Captain Picard But…
    Did you actually read any of it?  Notably, “The older block pays almost 100% more in revenue to the city”.

  • Davvid rubagreta Agreed. But there is absolutely no corporate pride. Spend another few hundred thousand per store (amortized over the life of the store is nothing) to create a nicer façade. And you may actually attract more customers.
    Guess the CEO could care less that most people think the stores are butt ugly.  I would be embarrassed.

  • neverchange

    I wonder what the value of the “older block” would be if the Walgreens was not there? Would they be higher or lower? My guess would be that the overall diversity increases the overall values for the block.

  • Davvid

    David Steele  Is it? I don’t know.

  • Davvid

    rubagreta Davvid
    I agree. They need to step up their game.
    According to the internet, walgreens has about 6,900 locations worldwide. So, a rebrand won’t be easy.
    Rite Aid seems to be less consistent and the results are mixed. In my neighborhood in Brooklyn, for example. there are two Rite Aids within two blocks of each other. The one is located in an old theater and the other is in the first floor of an old building but part of the facade is covered in faux plaster and now has an ugly mural painted over it. Neither has any parking. Other nearby locations have also been covered with murals.

  • Captain Picard

    Yes, and this is a valid point if it’s true. However, it’s one cherry-picked statistic that fits perfectly with the argument. Hence, its veracity is suspect. Besides, many folks are tired of hearing Steel admonish Buffalo for its ills from 500 miles away. Most of us do more to advance the city with our every day deeds, and his tone smacks of arrogance and elitism–two things that aren’t well-received in blue-collar Buffalo.

  • Buffaboy

    What ever happened to the Green Code? In this hour of the city’s history, by now it should be implemented!

  • jvgriffis

    I just walked to the Walgreen’s on Delaware. I can’t tell if I’m good or evil right now.

  • jvgriffis

    David Steele buffalofalling Oh my goodness. Sprawl without considering the costs is a lot of things, but a Ponzi scheme isn’t one of them!

  • AllentownChris

    bfranklin David Steele I sure don’t see how you can say the Medical Campus is anti-sprawl. A quick glance at Google Earth confirms my impression that it is about as suburban and car-centric as it could possibly be. I’d guess 50-60 per cent parking at least and McCarley Gardens is certainly the opposite of anti-sprawl.

  • North Park

    You can park right behind Parker Pharmacy and easily get your meds. Walgreens isn’t the only model to get this accomplished.

  • North Park

    It is true. The city website confirms it (I checked). The stats aren’t invented.

  • North Park

    I would be money that the older block would be valued higher if similar buildings were still on the Walgreens lot. The increased density and walkability would raise the property values.

  • Davvid

    North Park  You’re right. Clearly they could do better.
    I wonder if there’s a way to pressure Walgreens to raise its designs standards for its 3 stores in Buffalo? Thats 3 our of 6900 stores.  Maybe there is.  I just searched “Walgreens rebranding” and apparently they announced last year that they plan to rebrand 370 of their branches into more medically-focused “Healthcare Clinics”. Maybe there is an opportunity for someone like a Council member or a county legislator to make an appeal to the company. The three Buffalo locations are more than 10 years old, right?

  • Davvid

    bfranklin Wow, so they’re doing that tax inversion thing. Thats shitty of them.

  • bfranklin

    Davvid Just so you don’t lose a bet at a bar or something…it’s still under consideration, not a done deal.  Probably trying to gauge the backlash, if any, for doing it.  Their option to buy the rest of the other company (I believe) runs through August of next year.

  • Davvid North Park Here is an attractive Walgreen’s. Too bad it’s from 1936. 
    http://historymiami.mycapture.com/mycapture/enlarge.asp?image=48403866&event=1692074&CategoryID=79274

  • Davvid

    rubagreta That is nice. 
    I like this one. But it isn’t a Walgreens. 
    http://www.dezeen.com/2011/09/17/pharmacy-m-by-caan-architecten/

  • Davvid rubagreta sorry, I posted the wrong photo. Will look again.

  • bfranklin

    Davvid rubagreta Part of the issue is that the average NY’er fills 13 prescriptions each year.  The pharmacies are just putting down the biggest boxes in the densest areas, knowing we need to get these prescriptions filled.

  • Spock1

    “Cherry picked stats – stats are a joke… try to gain credibility – twisting words to fit his argument!”

    There is some highly amusing selectivity in those critiquing Steel’s use of numbers and “word twisting.”  Similar outrage to those who use these tactics while arguing the pro sprawl side of the argument (or other issues aligned with that particular belief system) is suspiciously absent when discussed here.  I guess these things are only a “joke” when they are used to support policy that apparently offends a certain group’s aesthetic preferences and cultural values.

    Perhaps Steel’s article can teach the pro sprawl crowd a lesson on the limits of numbers as a basis of an argument.  They are useful, but shouldn’t be treated as the word of god when the “realists” use them and discarded once they are used to support a contradictory viewpoint.  
    BFalling- “stop being emotionally burdened by your anger for the suburbs.”
    Equally amusing is the selective attempt to discredit a different viewpoint by implying you are somehow above only human emotions.  Anger and other emotions are strong motivating factors on both sides of the sprawl argument, including yours.  Pretending that it isn’t just reeks of phony objectivity.

  • North Park

    Lots of blank walls. Not everything old was good urban design.

  • North Park

    Read this. You may or may not agree, but there are definitely ponzi-scheme like aspects to low density development. Think of what Cheektowaga and Tonawanda are experiencing now as you read the article. Those towns are far denser than Lancaster, Orchard Park, or Clarence. Those towns may be in a hurt locker in about 25 years.
    http://www.strongtowns.org/the-growth-ponzi-scheme/

  • bfranklin Davvid rubagreta 13 a year? Are we that drug dependent?
    I’m 55, and I can’t remember the last time I needed a prescription. And I get annual physicals. Guess I’m lucky.

  • bfranklin

    jvgriffis The horror of your ponzi supporting actions.

  • bfranklin

    rubagreta Davvid http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/retail-rx-drugs-per-capita/
    A while back I supported software than ran in a hospital ER.  On admission, getting all of the prescriptions is important, so there’s not an interaction with any newly administered drugs.  After the system ran for a few years, I took all of the entries in the db for ‘drugs upon admission’ and divided by the number of visits.  In this ‘poor’ neighborhood, the average patient was on seven prescriptions.
    I never would have guessed it’s that high.  All those ads you see on tv…people are on a ton of medication.

  • bufforward

    BuffaloBoi Walgreens has really dealt a few painful blows to the streetscape along Delaware Ave in Kenmore. Clearing out that half block for their location half a mile north was rough too, and of course now it’s been flipped into a Dollar General, ugh. Hopefully Ellicott’s planned project across from the village green will shake things up a bit and maybe get that lot across from Jinlan/Condrells filled in…

  • Pig_Lightning

    rubagreta Davvid North Park
    Another rare instance of Walgreens getting it right is here: https://www.google.com/maps/@36.164087,-86.780771,3a,75y,94.12h,86.52t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sOBBVURVyYpdKu41w-jk0ng!2e0

  • Rand503

    Of there is a way. Th town or city just has to insist upon a certain minimum of design and landscaping standards.
    What usually happens os the chain comes in with crappy cheap design knowing it wont fly. If city officials cave, all the better for them. But usually the city says come back with a design that meets standards. The chain then huffs and puffs and says the city is anti business, and are they are jobs creators, blah blah blah.
    The second design is better but still not up to standards. The city sends it back a second time. Th third proposal is better but still not u to standards. So the city says try again.
    At this point, the chain gets really indignant and they say that they have compromised several times already, and now its the citys turn to compromise, and they have already spend a ton of money on the redos and if they don’t get approval they are taking their marbles and will refuse to build anything at all.
    At tuis point, some city poos get nervous and will try to accept the still substandard design. By now there is lots of publicity, and the public is clamoring to get that walgreens built now.
    But if th city holds fast, thy will of course design something that meets standards because they want ton,ake money and already have contracts signed with construction companies and have already spent all this time and money in redesigns.
    I have personally seen this work in Clarence many many times. The town usually caves at some point, btw.

  • Rand503

    Several years ago, the stats were that municipalities, on average, collect about 75 cents of every tax dollar spent from homeowners, whereas commercial real estate generates about $1.25 for every tax dollar spent. This primarily because houses often have children, and thechildren need schools. Office space needs sewers and fire protection, like homes, but don’t contribute to the school expenses. Therefore, towns make money in commercial real estate and lose money on houses. (High priced homes pay a lot on taxes, so they make a bit of money on them)
    So every town must have a balance of houses and commercial real estate such that the budget is also balanced.
    What this means is that for every housing development created, the town must also built a corresponding amount of business real estate to balance the tax revenue. Therefore, growth of housing development is actually negative growth, sine it increases tax burdens but does not increase enough tax revenue to do cover.
    This is exactly the situation Clarence, Amherst and .Lancaster have experienced since the 80s. The town officials bought the fiction that more housing development means economic growth when it actually means the opposite. So then they found they had to lure business from .buffalo and other suburbs to balance their tax revenues. This meant tax credits and building re infrastructure, which both also raise th tax burden. Which meant they had to attract even more business.
    Meanwhile, what were once sleepy bedroom communities and farmland have become traffic nightmares that got worse congestion than anything downtown.
    It isnt sustainable. So taxes must rise, services are cut, and so people now are moving out to Akron or
    Wheatfield to have what these three towns once were. This is th expanding doughnut theory in action. The holes get bigger and sprawl continues. Once Akron is inundated with developers who promise growth and the pols are stupid to believe it, or on the take, the cycle will repeat itself. amherst and Clarence will go the way of cheektowaga and tonawanda. Fortunately, many are returning to the city and are helping to break this cycle.

  • North Park

    What you about residential being a loss leader is true, but only if the population skews young and only in lower density development.

  • David Steele

    buffalofalling Oh, by the way, not anti suburban sentiment, anti sprawl sentiment. There is a difference.  I find nothing to defend in sprawl, especially when those who choose it demand that everyone else pay for its cost and consequences. Is there a reason you do not want to pay the full cost of your sprawl preference?

  • bfranklin

    David Steele buffalofalling The reduced taxes would benefit Walgreens.  If a subsidy is granted to the Bills to build a stadium, many here would be against it.  Your logic seems to state that if the subsidy is granted (to the Bills), all of us that draw breath in the WNY area agree with it.  I don’t think that’s correct.

  • NBuffGuy

    Oh yay! A good ol’ fashioned sprawl post. Take me back to 2009. Seems so long since I’ve heard someone being accused of being part of the “pro sprawl crowd.” Thanks for bringing it back!

  • David Steele

    Are you in favor of the sprawl subsidy?

  • CharlesMarohn

    Rand503 The notion that commercial pays for itself while residential doesn’t (a) isn’t true and (b) would be really bad public policy if it were.
    Why would any city choose to lose money on 80% of its land? They do not need to.
    What you are repeating is a tale used by commercial developers to get people to accept bad commercial development in lieu of tax increases. It isn’t true. Make them show you the math for your community and it will be obvious.

  • whateverr

    IMO the taxes-per-square-foot argument is not only a slippery slope (as bfranklin commented), but it’s inherently flawed because it wrongly implies that the hypothetical smaller businesses who’d instead be located where Walgreens is (and paying higher taxes-per-square-foot than Walgreens) aren’t now existing at some other property.  
    IOW, it isn’t as though those smaller businesses don’t also still exist and aren’t paying taxes.  
    For instance, Louie’s hotdogs formerly at Delaware/Kenmore where Walgreens now is, is still operating & paying taxes but now relocated to Delaware near Hertel.  Meanwhile, several to-the-curb small retail spaces north on Delaware sit vacant lacking tenants – including one of Iskalo’s recently built store spaces sitting vacant over a year now.
    This applies for not only Walgreens on Hertel and at Kenmore/Delaware, but also for the Wegmans on Amherst Street for which Steel (& Daniel IIRC, & maybe others) have argued using the same flawed per-sq-foot math in past BR posts.

  • whateverr

    Another point is that Kenmore/Delaware Walgreens is popular with many residents here, as evidenced by customer flow. So is the Walgreens on Hertel – for which the aerial photo Steel posted shows over 30 customer cars in its parking lot by my count (not even counting customers at that moment who’d walked, bussed, biked, or parked cars elsewhere). 
    http://i.imgur.com/eVVOSEh.png

    The Dollar General in Kenmore a mile north (which replaced a Walgreens) is also a positive for working class families or other customers in Ken-Ton who want to buy a variety of name-brand products at good prices. 
    Snobs or others are free to disagree, as some comments in this thread did aout that Dollar Gen, and they’re free to not shop there.

  • David Steele

    whateverr So since it is so popular, you believe it should pay less taxes?  Is this your point?  Why should these very popular establishments, as you point out, pay less than their more densely built neighbors?  When you go back and read the story you will find out that this is what the post is about.

  • rockpile38

    Pharmacy chain stores in the city aren’t anything new, and I understand a neighborhood needs one but these so called pharmacies are nothing but junk food,  cheap toys, and make up. Point being why do we need so many of these city land engulfing stores along with all the other crappy dollar stores every 2 blocks, they’re taking up land where another E-Cig, Tattoo Parlor, or Rent To Own can go.

  • whateverr

    David Steele
    s>’So since it is so popular, you believe it should pay less taxes? Is this your point?’ 
    No, those two Walgreens (and the Wegmans, etc.) don’t pay less taxes.  They pay more.
    My point is your comparison using only a per-square-foot aspect of taxes isn’t important for the reason I wrote about the other smaller businesses (Louie’s, etc.) also still existing and paying their taxes on other parcels.  IOW, it isn’t an either-or.  IOW, the government is having its cake and eating it too.    
    Perhaps when you go back and read my comment you will find out that this is what my comment was about.

  • whateverr

    David Steele
    Shorter version if that’s still unclear to you –
    I don’t see any good reason to assume that if those two Walgreen bigboxes had never been built that there’d somehow be more higher-tax-paying businesses total in Buffalo citywide (or Kenmore village-wide) than there are now with those Walgreens having been built.  It’s just that the higher-tax-per-square-foot aren’t on those parcels.  Square feet is only one aspect of valuation. 
    There’s a surplus of available properties for businesses here – storefronts types and others.

  • whateverr David Steele
    if only it worked that way in real life.  
    i remember when someone did a study of the businesses on the block that eventually became the convention center.  there was a list as long as your arm. after they were displaced by the convention center, by your theory, they’d all relocate and carry on same as before, right?
    nope.  they all failed.  gone. so the convention center took an economically high-performing block and turned it into a net loser.
    small businesses are exquisitely sensitive to location. they are not like appliances that can be plugged in anywhere and work the same.

  • David Steele

    No, the Walgreens pays substantially less in taxes than the buildings across the street. Why do you believe that this tax subsidy is necessary?

  • Davvid

    bfranklin — You were right. They decided today to go ahead with purchasing Alliance Boots, but not to move their tax headquarters. Interesting stuff.

  • bfranklin

    I may need to read a bit more about this.  From the public standpoint, pretty easy to take a side.  From a shareholder perspective, that’s a lot of money to walk away from.  The CFO leaving on Monday… would appear he must have been in favor of it, and quit/or was fired based on the decision going against him.  I’d have bought a ticket to see that meeting.

  • JayDBuffalo

    Spock1 
    My comment about word twisting had to do with that comment thread and not the article.  Stop twisting my words!

  • North Park

    There isn’t a surplus of available properties on this stretch of Hertel. In fact there are no vacancies on this block. It is reasonable to assume that businesses would locate here (and that residents would live here in upstairs apartments) because they seem to be doing that all along Hertel where the streetwall is relatively intact.
    These types of neighborhoods are becoming increasingly popular in Buffalo (and elsewhere) and we have a critical shortage of them because we have been destroying them for decades. Now that the demand is there, there is almost no supply.

  • bfranklin

    David Steele It generates 20 times the sales tax of the entire block across the street, should we critical of those businesses because they’re contributing less?  That would seem a stretch as well.

  • North Park

    Are you sure it creates that much sales tax? There are a lot of businesses across the street, and restaurants generate a lot of sales tax.
    Even if it did, the sales tax is distributed by the county by formula. So there is no incentive for the city to focus on maximizing sales tax. People will buy their make-up and toiletries somewhere, and Buffalo will get its share (by formula) of the sales tax.
    Beyond that, if Walgreens built their store in a more urban way, with parking in the rear and apartments above, would the sales tax numbers really decline?

  • blackrock37

    jvgriffis I’m surprised they didn’t build another one and abandon it before you got there.

  • David Steele

    bfranklin David Steele Does it? Can you provide a source for that information? I am not so certain that it does.  But even so, are you saying you need to lower the property tax in order to collect more sales tax?  I would be willing to bet that the restaurant across the street alone generates more tax receipts than this building.  I could also point out that the parking lot for the Walgreens generates $0.  I wonder if the sales tax rate could be lowered if establishments like this paid a fair and balanced property tax.

  • David Steele

    blackrock37 jvgriffis LOL

  • rockpile38

    grad94 whateverr David Steele  Ut Oh, now you’ve done it!

  • rockpile38

    jvgriffis  What did you get, a bag of Doritos, a 2 liter of Pepsi, a slim jim, one of those big Mr. Goodbars on sale, and a G.I. Joe toy from 6 years ago for your kid? I bet you didn’t even support their retail section to buy a schlock magazine or a portable CD player you bastard! I just hope for your sake your wife does her make up shopping in the 5 rows of cosmetics they so graciously offer every 2 blocks for us you ungrateful SOB!

  • jvgriffis

    rockpile38 A bag of Doritos was, actually, a part of my purchase. 🙂

  • rockpile38

    jvgriffis  I’m guilty of doing the Rite Aid thing for the same thing, maybe a Gatorade. What a great retail experience our discount stores give us. I understand the necessary evil of all these stores throughout the city & region, I use them a little and they help pay taxes, but with Main St coming back to the COB, I would like to see some big city development and infill for everyone.

  • whateverr

    steel>’the Walgreens pays substantially less in taxes than the buildings across the street. Why do you believe that this tax subsidy is necessary?’
    Less in taxes per square foot, the one thing you want to focus on with cherry picked examples. Ok, even limiting to that, I can cherry pick a nearby fully intact non-sprawled, non-parking block on Hertel whose taxes are substantially less per square foot than the Walgreens.
    It’s the fully intact block between Norwalk and North Park. Here’s an aerial view of it http://i.imgur.com/NXeznOr.png  It’s the set of buildings containing North Park theater, Globe Market, Mes Que soccer bar, and some others.  It’s 3 blocks west of Walgreens.  That property owner is charged less property tax per square foot (42.6 cents) than does the Hertel Walgreens (50.3 cents).  Or using the measure your post does, in assessed value per sq foot…
    Walgreens at 1556 Hertel http://i.imgur.com/tR50MTx.png
    348.5′ front x 140′ depth= 48,790 square feet
    city property tax $24,519 assessed value $875,000
    … value per sq ft = $875,000 divide by 48,790 = $17.93 (same as in your table)
    1416-1448 Hertel http://i.imgur.com/R9gGYfL.png
    310′ front x 138′ depth = 42,780 square feet
    city property tax $18,214  assessed value $650,000
    … value per sq ft = $650,000 divide by 42,780 = $15.19

  • whateverr

    David Steele 

    … so, based on your argument, those numbers indicate that Walgreens by having to pay 18% more property tax per square foot is subsidizing the owner of that nearby block of intact non-sprawl, non-parking, businesses on Hertel. 
    So, I’ll turn around that question to you… 
    ‘Why do you believe that this tax subsidy is necessary?’

  • whateverr

    David Steele
    I replied above showing a counterexample nearby full non-sprawled block being charged substantially less per square foot in property tax than Walgreens is charged.

  • whateverr

    grad94
    grad>’by your theory, they’d all relocate and carry on same as before, right?’
    No, not right, that’d be misinterpreting my words very much.
    What I wrote is unrelated to forcibly closing any small downtown Buffalo businesses due to eminent domain (or threat of it) during late 1970s when downtown was in steep decline. (& wasn’t there also a very steep Ford-Carter recession back around then too… high inflation, high unemployment? )
    I’d bet many small businesses in downtown closed around those years.  A forced relocation could well have been a straw breaking a camel’s back for those you mentioned.
    Anyhow, what I wrote was about people who want to open a storefront business in 2014 relatively healthy parts of Buffalo – and yes, I contend that the Hertel Walgreens didn’t/doesn’t preclude any of them from finding a good storefront for doing so.

  • whateverr

    North Park
    npark>’It is reasonable to assume that businesses would locate here… because they seem to be doing that all along Hertel where the streetwall is relatively intact’
    If so, aren’t those businesses already somewhere else in Buffalo paying taxes?  The debate from steel is about tax revenue, correct, not about design preferences?  Would people really decide against opening a business at all because they can’t be on that one particular block at Hertel/Parkside?  Sounds far fetched to me.
    npark>’There isn’t a surplus of available properties on this stretch of Hertel.  In fact there are no vacancies on this block.’
    No vacancies on that block (perhaps in part because Walgreens is there instead of 4 or 5  smaller storefronts? – no way to prove or disprove), but aren’t there vacancies on nearby blocks of Hertel which is consistent with my point?

  • NBuffGuy

    Yes. So suck it.

  • David Steele

    NBuffGuy Why do you think it should be subsidized?

  • David Steele

    whateverr David Steele Actually,  The theater is not a rectangle so your sf calculation is wrong.  It looks like the theater pays at a rate of $24.50 /sf if you subtract out that corner.  That makes it higher than the Wallgreens,  You need to add in two more residential properties to fill out your calculation.  They probably pay at a lower rate than if they were commercial but even then you need to add another $6,000 onto the total for the theater block.

  • David Steele

    whateverr David Steele By the way, comparing facing blocks on the same street is hardly cherry picking.

  • whateverr

    David Steele
    My mistake, sorry, but it’s essentially a tie, a less than 1% difference per square foot.
    125 North Park 34 x 105 = 3,570 sq ft
    129 North Park 31.5 x 105 = 3,307.5 sq ft
    3,570 + 3307.5 = 6,877.5
    Subtracting 6,877.5 from 42,780 sq ft (whole rectangle) = 35,902.5
    $650,000 valuation divide by 35,902.5 = $18.10 per sq ft
    Walgreens rate is $17.93 …yes, lower as you said but very, very close.
    Difference between them (18.10 – 17.93) divide by 17.93 = 0.0095 = 1%
    So again, sorry for wrongly saying Walgreens pays more, but the example still is one of a non-sprawled block nearby on Hertel being valued & taxed at very close to the same rate per sq foot.

  • whateverr

    David Steele 
    Ok, then my example of 1416-1448 Hertel isn’t cherry picking either.  
    The city bases property taxes on assessed valuations (of which, sq footage is only one factor), so if we looked at the whole city and consider on a per-square-foot basis we’d find some higher than the roughly $18 per sf of both Walgreen & 1416-1448 Hertel, and some lower.
    You found one higher across the street, and I found one essentially tied for the per-sf rate about 3 blocks to the west.

  • whateverr

    North Park
    whateverr>’but aren’t there vacancies on nearby blocks of Hertel?’
    Nice night for a walk, so I verified there are quite a few for-rent/for-sale vacancies/availabilities in that mile or so of Hertel.  … I can note where I noticed them if anybody doubts it.

  • North Park

    Its apples and oranges due to the increased traffic/exposure of Parkside Ave. The two blocks picked, Walgreens & Opposite are apples to apples because they both have the same cross streets, Wellington, Parkside, and Hertel.
    You can’t pick a block that has two sidestreets and one main street and say it is directly comparable to the block that has two main streets and one sidestreet.
    Everyone knows the corner of two busy streets is more valuable than the corner of a busy street and a side street.

  • North Park

    The other vacancies are almost all on blocks where there are a lot of parking lots or “missing teeth”. Examples would be the blocks between Starin and Parkside, or between Colvin and Delaware. Those blocks are less desirable than the intact blocks.
    I walk Hertel multiple times per week and am well aware of the vacancies. We badly need urban infill in order to turn around the derelict portions of Hertel. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and we need the entire streetwall restored for Hertel to be maximally successful.

  • North Park

    Hey! I just tried another apples to apples comparison. I used Hertel between Colvin and Crestwood.
    I grouped the sprawly buildings & lots against the urban buildings and lots. I even included the Joes Deli parking lot as urban, even though it really isn’t.
    Group A:
    Funeral Home & Parking
    Sunoco
    Group B:
    Romeo & Juliet’s building
    Joe’s Deli, Bar and Parking lot
    MVP Consulting building
    Richel Formalwear building.
    Stats:
    Group A:
    32,750 sqft
    $1,045,400 assessed value
    $31.92 value/sqft
    Group B:
    33,210.4 sqft
    $572,000 assessed value
    $17.22 value/sqft
    You can do this all day. When you compare apples to apples, the city will realize a lesser return from sprawl all day.
    Also, keep in mind that the sprawl buildings tend to be pretty new. The urban buildings are old and often in need of significant repair/upgrade, and they are still more valuable. New build urban infill would absolutely crush new build sprawl in ROI for the city in terms of tax proceeds.
    In fact, as I’m writing this, I decided to conduct another experiment using a new build. How about the new build on Bryant/Elmwood vs. the Rite Aid across the street? How about vs. the old mixed-use corner building on the other side? Apples to apples to apples.
    New Building (448 Elmwood)
    9,396 sqft
    $1,300,000 assessed value
    $138.36 value/swft
    Rite Aid (424 Elmwood)
    18,500 sqft
    $480,000 assessed value
    $25.95 value/sqft
    Mixed-Use old building (427 Elmwood)
    4,965 sqft
    $375,000 assessed value
    $75.53 value/sqft
    BOOM! The old building is 3x more valuable to the city per sqft. The new build urban building is more than 5x more valuable!

  • tomcs

    The Walgreens is an eyesore in that neighborhood. Such a big corner lot just used for parking.

  • JSmith11

    North Park 
    Very true – there are few blocks left in Buffalo with a completely intact streetwall, and I believe you can count on one hand the number of intersections that still have all four corners occupied by mixed-use commercial buildings built to the corner lot line.

  • AllentownChris

    JSmith11 North Park The block between the  Ellicott Square Building and Shelton Square is one. I enjoy walking past it so much, sometimes I walk all the way around it.

  • JSmith11

    It’s not really that high. It includes monthly refills. So anyone who is on some kind of continuing maintenance prescription for blood pressure, cholesterol, thyroid problems, etc., will already be at 12 prescriptions per year. Add a course of antibiotics and you’re at 13.

  • JSmith11

    buffalofalling 
    What city has started and completed a rewrite of their entire city zoning code (not just changes for specific neighborhoods) over the last four years?

  • David Steele

    whateverr David Steele Too bad your math was wrong and that your example actually proved my point instead. LOL

  • David Steele

    North Park In any event his example was more proof of my point.  He had ignore certain facts to skew the results in his favor.

  • David Steele

    North Park You are just cherry picking by comparing properties across the street from each other.

  • MREB

    How does the sales tax collected compare?

  • North Park

    Do you know where I can find the data? I’d love to check that out. Anecdotally, the restaurants (5 of them) are very busy and generate a lot of sales tax. There are also multiple stores that generate sales tax, Village Beer Merchant, antique shop, shoe repair guy, vapor lounge, computer shop.

  • whateverr

    David Steele
    s>’your math was wrong and that your example actually proved my point instead. LOL’
    No, my corrected math showed Walgreens is assessed at very, very close to the same per-square-foot valuation as are the properties I mentioned a mere 3 blocks to south… within 1% of per-square-foot valuations, which is about as close as any comparisons will get in NY state where property tax assessments by law are based on assessed resale value not per-sq-foot.  
    So no, it doesn’t prove your claim of Walgreens “stealing”.
    (Btw, your continuing gloating about my mistake – which I immediately owned up to, apologized for, and corrected the math for – looks childish.)

  • whateverr

    North Park
    ‘apples and oranges due to the increased traffic/exposure of Parkside Ave.’
    Perhaps a Macintosh apple to an Empire apple, or something like that.

    It isn’t as though I made a crazy irrelevant comparison to anything very far away or very different… it’s pretty similar overall. You’re correct it isn’t exact but it’s pretty similar… The block I compared on Hertel has average daily traffic about triple (14,183) than that portion of Parkside (5,094 to south, 5,632 to north).
    Here’s DOT traffic counts showing that.  http://i.imgur.com/eNNmsfG.png
    source
    https://www.dot.ny.gov/divisions/engineering/applications/traffic-data-viewer
    So while I think it’s a fair point you raised about the higher car traffic at Walgreens 1565 Hertel increasing value, the traffic passing Walgreens at Parkside/Hertel is only about 40% higher than at the block of Hertel I pointed to between Norwalk & North Park (even if we approximate traffic on North Park and Norwalk as both zero – which isn’t quite true).  And Norwalk is only 3 blocks south of Parkside. 
    And again, my broader point remains that property values by law in NY state (and almost everywhere AFAIK) aren’t assessed per-square-foot… so to focus only on that one factor alone and claim “stealing” as steel did looks IMO inappropriate.

  • whateverr

    North Park
    np>’You can do this all day. … BOOM …’ 

    What I think your argument might be wishful-thinking-overlooking – if I’m interpreting you correctly – is the city’s successful commercial streets won’t be 100% full of mixed use multi-story buildings.
    Nobody is stopping any proposal for more of them – when those proposals happen.
    At same Parkside-Hertel intersection, diagonally across from Walgreens, sits with a for-sale sign the vacant former Hewitt auto repair.
    Will anybody buy that corner property and construct a multistory mixed use building to add retail space?  It’s a big enough parcel to easily contain 4 normal-sized new storefronts on Hertel in the exact intersection you and steel discusses about Walgreens and the businesses across Hertel from it.
    A mixed use new build was announced by Frizlen recently for 1685 Hertel a bit east of there which will add only two new 700 square foot retail spaces.
    If there’s really very much unmet demand as I think your argument implies, wouldn’t we have been seeing many more new builds already?  
    There’s quite a few possible locations for them.  In addition to the one I mentioned, there’s another also with a for-sale sign one block east of Parkside, a former small Noco that’s apparently now used for parking.

  • North Park

    whateverr North Park 40% more traffic is quite a bit.

    Of course property values are not determined by square foot, but that kind of proves my point.  The city doesn’t need more road on Hertel for a denser development, yet a dense development pays more in property tax, making the cost of maintaining that road cheaper.  Same sewer, same streetlights, same infrastructure costs.  Therefore, if you can create more value in your properties you can lower the property tax rates…which is the whole point.  Density pays.

    I found some more examples below.  You may not believe my next quote, but other than the examples below I haven’t even looked for other examples.  I didn’t do the math on some and reject it because it didn’t fit my narrative.  It’s just that wherever I can find similar cases the math always come out in favor of density.

  • North Park

    whateverr North Park This is your best point.  I think that the demand is there, and that new builds will be pretty quickly filled up, if they are filling in vacant lots amidst relatively complete blocks.
    I think that developers aren’t terribly forward thinking in this regard.  All of the parking lots on Elmwood could easily be turned into 3-5 story apartment buildings with storefronts and the apartments would be immediately rented, and storefronts will rent too.  
    Frizlen is the only one right now who is trying new builds.  Hopefully the green code will simplify the process.  Right now mixed use buildings in these ares violate zoning codes.
    The number one thing we need to be doing right now is preventing mixed use buildings from being torn down and encouraging Judge Carney to hold negligent property owners accountable in housing court.
    If I had the money, I would be building mixed-use buildings all down Hertel and Elmwood.  Alas, I am simply middle-class.

  • North Park

    whateverr David Steele I still don’t accept that it is an apples to apples comparison.  
    I did another one.  7/11 on Elmwood and Auburn vs. the buildings across the street.
    7/11
    20,735 sqft
    $367,700 assessed value
    $17.73 vaue/sqft

    Buildings across the street
    15,679 sqft
    853,000 assessed value
    $54.49 value/sqft

    Another reason I use value per soft of the lot is it shows the lost opportunity,  you can put a better building on that kind of lot.  The buildings across the street from the 7/11 have parking in the rear.
    If 7/11 were exactly the same size building, except the store were on the corner, with a single floor of apartments above and the parking on the side and behind, I would bet money that it would be assessed at more than double its current value, probably triple.

  • North Park

    Here’s one that will blow your mind.  The PriceRite plaza on Elmwood.  It is valued at $9.85 per sqft.  That is far and away the least valuable property I’ve looked at in the past 2 days that this post has been online.  The lot has 223,463 soft (5.13 acres) and is valued at $2.2 million.  Because the lot is oddly shaped I had to get the exact size from Buffalo’s GIS system.
    http://gis.city-buffalo.com/cobapps/publicapps/PublicLaunchPage.aspx

  • David Steele

    whateverr North Park The point is – Why is Walgreens given such a steep tax discount compared to its direct neighbors and why are you defending the discount so vociferously ?

  • whateverr

    David Steele 
    s>’Why is Walgreens given such a steep tax discount compared to its direct neighbors… ?’ 
    I’ve clearly rejected your premise that it’s a discount, based on the reason I’ve typed previously in this thread. You’ve disregarded that reason, but I’ll type it once more…
    It’s because by NY state law, the city must assess taxes based on what it determines to be a property’s monetary valuation. It’d be illegal for the city to base anybody’s tax bills based only on per-square-feet.
    IOW, the city legally can’t just unilaterally decree that Walgreen’s tax bills is some amount the city decides it to be.  The legal basis of how much buildings are taxed must be consistent for all properties citywide, and it has to be based on valuation.
    It’s the same reason why the block containing the North Park theater has a lower per-square-foot taxation than its direct neighbors across the street.  (Which, btw, I notice you haven’t criticized for being a ‘discount’ or ‘stealing’.)
    Question for you – Why aren’t you also vociferously criticizing the ‘discount’/’stealing’ of North Park theater’s building’s per-square-foot taxes (compared to its direct neighbors) the way you are about the Walgreen’s building?  
    Double standard?

  • whateverr

    David Steele
    s>’… and why are you defending the discount so vociferously?’
    Pointing out a reason isn’t necessarily the same as defending it.  
    That said, however, if taxes were assessed only per-square-foot (if that’s what you’re suggesting should be done?) rather than by valuation, I’d expect there’d be many complaints about that approach too… 
    … so I don’t think you’re proposing a serious coherent change to the property tax law for me to consider.  
    But if you ever want to propose a serious new way of how city taxes should be determined instead of based on valuation – I’d take a look at your suggestion.
    Bottom line is that existing and new 1-story buildings with parking will continue to be allowed on Hertel even after the Green Code… so how exactly should their tax bills be computed?

  • whateverr

    North Park
    np>’Hopefully the green code will simplify the process.’
    (Sorry for delayed reply – wasn’t logged into BR lately.)
    An aside… speaking of Green Code – if I’m interpreting its draft correctly, the GC won’t mandate that new development in any block of Hertel must be multi-floor or lack parking lots.  (I’d figure you realize that because you’re well informed, but others reading this might think it will mandate multi-floor for new builds.)
    So even if the GC had been in effect back when that Walgreens was built, the only difference might’ve been the parking lot having to be in back, and maybe some aesthetic requirements too, but the criticism from you & steel about per-square-foot property taxes wouldn’t have been any different.
    But maybe as you said, the GC through process simplifying might help motivate more new builds in general than happen now, which in turn might boost the % of multi-floor buildings if (& when & where) demand for them is perceived.

  • whateverr

    North Park
    np>’yet a dense development pays more in property tax …  I would bet money that it would be assessed at more than double its current value, probably triple.’
    No debate about that in many cases when all else is equal. It’s a logical consequence of valuations in general being higher for multi-floor buildings than 1-floor buildings when all else is equal.
    However, that point and examples illustrating it don’t address my contentions about (1.) demand lacking, thus (2.) there’s plenty of space on Hertel for some of both development types, and (3.) per-sq-ft property tax revenue isn’t the one and only important thing in the city.  Quality of life is also important, and some city residents feel it’s good to have a parking lot at a Walgreens, or Dollar Gen, or some Hertel restaurants with parking lots, etc.  
    Illustrations of points (1.) & (2.) are Hertel’s current quite a few storefront vacancies in multi-floored buildings and Hertel’s several for-sale-signed vacant 1-floor buildings that (so far) aren’t being bought & replaced with dense multi-story builds.  
    One of the latter, as I mentioned, is also at the Parkside intersection sitting there empty/waiting/available for anybody to buy for a multi-floor replacement (ex-Hewitt auto).  Yet another one I noticed a couple days ago as having a for-sale sign is near Commonwealth another set-back car repair building that looks easy to demolish if anybody perceived demand for a multi-story new build there.

  • whateverr

    North Park 
    np>’I still don’t accept that it is an apples to apples comparison.’ 
    What I meant before was an apples-apples comparison was example I gave of Walgreens with the block containing North Park theater. The (corrected) math comparing those two does compute out to very close to equal per-square-foot rates of valuation, within 1% of each other.  
    Your argument of that comparison not being apples-apples due to lower car traffic than at Parkside corner.  That isn’t persuasive because (even if we set aside our disagreement of how significant the traffic difference is), other Hertel blocks west of Parkside with same traffic count as Norwalk-North-Park have higher per-square-foot valuations than the block with theater.  Not sure I worded that best, but you’ll see what I mean.  
    Presumably, what makes that one’s per-sf valuation down so close to that of Walgreens is the seating/movie portion of that building being a lot of square feet without muilti-floor density.

  • rockpile38

    Just turn the North Buffalo/Kenmore boarder into one big Super Walmart, with the exception of the Walgreens if they decide to pay the tax increase, the Walmart will be a tourist attraction for people that visit the Darwin Martin House! Then build one of those Sonic restaurants near Home Depot, and to balance it out for the small business owner, have the 10,000 food trucks that’s being proposed to fill up the DT parking lots to be able to have large parking lot parcels to set up! Have food trucks, farmers & artisans market in the K-Mart parking lot with rock bands, and have it go up to the curb somewhat for you urbanists out there! Now for public transit, first expand bus routes throughout the city & region to bring in the 5000,000 + low income residents to this shopping mecca but do it with he DOT building out the 198 through Parkside not disrupting the green space that is the Delaware Park Golf Coarse! I don’t know if all these visionary ideas will work but I do believe this is the type of smart city planning and compromise that will move the COB into a modern future!

  • smithann635

    You must be
    very attentive because today everyone wants to take your money. Every bank,
    every person try to take your money. Did you think why you have so many credits
    and so low wage? Its because everyone wants your money. But you have to understand
    that you always have the solution of your financial problem. As for me I take
    personal loans here: http://personalmoneyservice.com/unsecured-personal-loans/.
    It’s a good financial company which can give you financial support in any time
    you need it.