Boundary battles over sparklers and smokes?

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We always look for the better deal first. It goes without saying. When two neighboring jurisdictions apply different regulations to a specific good or service for which great demand exists, the industry that financially depends on that good/service will gravitate toward the less stringent side of the boundary line. I’ve pointed this out before when …Read more…

Kmart: Blue light specials have left them in the red.

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It’s happening again! Sears Holding Corporation (SHLD) has announced yet another wave of closures for its two flagship brands, Kmart and Sears.  This time it looks like ten Sears stores will be closing, including one in the Southland Mall in Houma, Louisiana—a mall that was already struggling when I blogged about it in 2012. I’d speculate …Read more…

Electric neglected.

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On a serene stretch of Interstate 70 in western Maryland—west of Hagerstown but not yet to the point where the freeway veers sharply northward into Pennsylvania—it’s still possible in mid April to see some antiquated power lines that parallel the road, even as dusk approaches. The foliage isn’t yet thick enough, so there they are. …Read more…

Creature comforts, reinforced with concrete.

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Traveling along I-78 through northern New Jersey, about twelve miles west of Newark, drivers experience a reprieve from the endless array of New York suburbs as they speed through the Watchung Reservation.           On a map, it looks like this:But, despite the fact that it’s fundamentally a forest preserve, the infrastructure is a bit more sophisticated …Read more…

Second Street services in High Street storefronts.

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A little while back, in a meticulously photographed post on the blog Urban Indy, I noted many emergent urban main street corridors that fall short of their full potential for a single simple reason: they can’t secure the optimal types of tenants. It was a challenging post, because I felt like I was taking two …Read more…

What’s next? Drive-through dim sum?  

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Immigrant investment has breathed life into long-declining urban neighborhoods; why shouldn’t the same happen with suburban ones? Fifty years ago, the prevailing wisdom was that foreign-born populations tended to cluster most heavily in the central cities of major metropolitan areas. At the turn of the 19th century, it often consisted of newly arrived Western Europeans: …Read more…

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