Corona goes corporate: how the service sector faces a disease, as measured by the local friendly office park.

As the recovery from the economic ravages inflicted by COVID-19 lumbers haltingly forward, it’s obvious even to the unattuned that some industries are bouncing back more nimbly than others. Having chronicled the malaise of retail numerous times, including well before anyone knew that coronavirus would define the year 2020, it’s obvious that the imposed lockdowns only…

Aberdeen XChange: a growth machine that choked before the engine’s finished revving.

In the Baltimore exurb of Aberdeen, Maryland, a brand-new strip mall sits on a corner at a moderately busy intersection, awaiting a tenant.Aberdeen XChange is not bad looking, as strip malls go. It aligns with contemporary architectural standards for this type of thing: its chief cladding materials consist of tan fake stucco (probably EIFS) and

At the ballpark, a patch of the outfield gets left unmowed.

The transformation of Washington DC’s Navy Yard over the last fifteen years has been astonishing, and though I cannot account for it from firsthand experience, I don’t need to: a quick trip using the archive tool with Google Street View will show how much development has taken place since 2007, when Google first introduced the

The old stone gap in an intact mountain town.

In 2018, many smaller cities—those under 100,000 people—can boast revitalized downtowns, offering an array of jobs and shops during the day, complemented by restaurants and entertainment at night. But not every smaller city has yet attracted both a vibrant nightlife and a steady core of permanent residents. And some prominent hotels to boot. Only a

Downtown revitalization: when every silver bullet proves nothing more than a blank.

By this point, it isn’t just the major metropolises—the big coastal hubs—that have sewn the seeds for a renewed and seemingly enduring interest in our town centers. The little kids have joined in on the fun of downtown revitalization too: not just the smaller cities but even rural towns. Suburbs are getting in the game

Who knew that the City That Never Sleeps had a narcoleptic neighbor?

As I prepare for some upcoming significant changes to my blog, I provide a sort of “placeholder” article as make the final modifications, which I will soon publicize. The placeholder motif extends to the content of this blog entry, where a window sign serves much the same purpose within its respective storefront. It’s simply announcing

A room with twice the view.

Downtown hotels seem can’t seem to get a break.  No matter how valiant the effort of local economic development directors in attracting that major chain (Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental) and no matter how unorthodox the architects’ designs, the closeted coterie of urban advocates never hesitate to lob their Molotov cocktails at the final proposal.   Perhaps it’s

Amidst all the links in the chain, a new shape emerges.

When zipping across a rural landscape on a limited access highway, the visual impact of the exit ramps—and the various goods or services that they access—begin to erode.  To those unfamiliar with the landscape, these exits often all look alike. Even for those motorists who know their precise surroundings, it would be hard to describe

MONTAGE: Washing and cleansing every stain from the sin of neglect.

This montage blog post pioneers an unusual organizational approach: the time elapse. During a six-month period in which I was living in the city of Baton Rouge, a particular edifice caught my attention: a stalled high-rise with its load-bearing walls fully complete but little else. All evidence suggested that its owners had abandoned it quite

Corona goes corporate: how the service sector faces a disease, as measured by the local friendly office park.

As the recovery from the economic ravages inflicted by COVID-19 lumbers haltingly forward, it’s obvious even to the unattuned that some industries are bouncing back more nimbly than others. Having chronicled the malaise of retail numerous times, including well before anyone knew that coronavirus would define the year 2020, it’s obvious that the imposed lockdowns only…

The old stone gap in an intact mountain town.

In 2018, many smaller cities—those under 100,000 people—can boast revitalized downtowns, offering an array of jobs and shops during the day, complemented by restaurants and entertainment at night. But not every smaller city

A room with twice the view.

Downtown hotels seem can’t seem to get a break.  No matter how valiant the effort of local economic development directors in attracting that major chain (Hilton, Marriott, Intercontinental) and no matter how unorthodox