Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Going out of business, as of last weekend.

Many "big box" retail stores have found new life once the original goes out of business. Julia Christensen has a book, a wiki, and a website here: http://www.bigboxreuse.com/
devoted to the subject.


Problems remain, however. Like what to do with this massive parking lot?

Trucks and miles of fencing move in--people move out. What the neighborhood is left with is a TOAD: a Temporary, Obsolete, Abandoned or Derelict site. In her book A Field Guide to Sprawl, Dolores Hayden quotes the great journalist, Grady Clay: "TOADs owe their on-ground existence to the use, abandonment and reuse of real estate as exaggerated by a capitalistic system."

In other words, TOADs are probably here to stay. In the meantime, the parking lots are not only ugly, they're hazardous to the environment, representing acres and acres of impermeable surface shedding storm water pollutants into the region's watershed.

Lesson 5: Reduce impermeable surfaces


Julie said...


Do we need to create our own park, our own outdoor third space? Like in the project linked above. Have those picnic tables sitting out for use, not for sale. I love the idea of a community message board. A meeting hub.

RobinB said...

I really believe in baby steps, Julie. The guy with his picnic tables is being joined by Mojo Espresso--this week! This can be the seed of a community bulletin board. Perhaps we can get the artist who is working on streetscape/bus stops to incorporate a functioning kiosk. I love your comments!

Todd H said...

To smack down my other previously reported rumor, here is a reply from someone at PCC Natural Markets when I emailed a suggestion that they go for the old Red Apple:
Thank you for taking the time to write and for your suggestion.

We are definitely in a growth mode, but because of our relative small size, must move very cautiously and deliberately when we consider new locations. Bellevue is definitely on our radar, and it’s likely that we eventually will have a presence there. It’s good to hear of shopper interest in that area.

Ultimately, our goal is to have a PCC in every neighborhood that wants and can support one.

So, that's the end of that. I did, however, request on Trader Joe's website that they look at the Newport Hills location. *sigh*

RobinB said...

Todd--shall we start a grassroots movement to get PCC here? I'm sure there'd be a lot of support. The Trader Joe's thing has just taken on a life of its own judging by how many emails I've been getting to spread the word. I'm encouraged by PCC's thoughtful response. Thank you for taking the initiative.