Destruction and Leviathan

Warehouses are sitting empty

Hundreds of enthusiastic shoppers watched as city officials used power saws to cut 2-x-4s during Home Depot Inc.’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for its 102,700-square-foot building center in Bismarck.
Less than three years later, the home improvement retailer shuttered the underperforming store, leaving a big orange empty eyesore on the outskirts of town.
The building, sitting derelict and silent on acres of asphalt, is now listed for sale at $10.5 million. But there’s been little interest in the near windowless warehouse-like building that occupies a lot the size of a dozen football fields.

Hundreds of enthusiastic shoppers watched as city officials used power saws to cut 2-x-4s during Home Depot Inc.’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for its 102,700-square-foot building center in Bismarck.

Less than three years later, the home improvement retailer shuttered the underperforming store, leaving a big orange empty eyesore on the outskirts of town.

The building, sitting derelict and silent on acres of asphalt, is now listed for sale at $10.5 million. But there’s been little interest in the near windowless warehouse-like building that occupies a lot the size of a dozen football fields.

And that was supposed to be economic growth, building ultra-sized stores and filling with with consumer trinkets as we dissaved and over-leveraged and borrowed out way to bliss.  Now they sit empty, a monument to Fed criminal activity of printing and inflating and bubble making.

And now, they need to cleared, perhaps for pennies on the dollar.  Even still, they represent unproductive malinvestment.  You cannot simply just redirect those resources to other ventures.

But, you gotta love this one:

As the recession takes its toll on big-box retailers, more communities across the country are having to confront not just the eyesore of giant empty stores, but also the loss of jobs and tax revenue that follow.

Many are trying to find creative uses for those monoliths. In Minnesota, one became a Spam Museum. In Texas, an indoor go-cart track. In Illinois, a church moved into an empty Walmart. The new tenants, however, often generate less revenue for local governments.

Of course, it’s about the tax revenue.  See, what the bubble really simulated was massive expansion of the state, at all levels.  And Leviathan is hungry.

Frankfort, Kentucky’s capital city, has dealt with vacant big box space before, when Lowe’s Cos. moved into a bigger box in town. The building was converted to a state office building.

Big surprise there.  Theft.

A former Walmart in Carlinville, Ill., was converted to a church, but not before a legal battle from the city.

Mayor Robert Schwab said retail space is at a premium in the city of about 6,000, so when Walmart announced it was building a new supercenter in town, community leaders were hopeful the old facility could be turned into new retail space.

Instead, Walmart sold the 50,000-square-foot building to the Carlinville Southern Baptist Church in 2007.

“Nothing against churches, but the city loses, the county loses and the school district loses sales tax and property tax as a source of revenue,” the mayor said.

Why yes, the only thing that matters is how much loot the state can extract.

The only way these buildings will ever be filed again is by more bubble creating.  As we look back the alst several years, we are only beginning to see the true nature of the volume of waste and destruction.  It is going to take years for us to recover.

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