Do you keep an inventory of empty buildings in your town? Are you sure you got them all?
Lots of different groups do inventories of empty buildings: bankers, economic developers, chambers of commerce.
There’s lots of reasons to do these inventories. It’s not just “move in ready” properties. You also want to keep track of buildings or sites that could be useful someday with some work. You might even want to track them so you could help make some improvement happen.
Did you get the empty lots? Even the ones that need cleaned up? How about the roofless buildings? Add them to the list.
Did you inventory the buildings that you’re not sure are for sale? I understand; sometimes it’s hard to tell. There might be a “for sale” sign that has been there so long you can’t really trust it. Or there’s no sign, but there’s not really any activity. Inventory those, too.
Even talking about these other properties can help. In one conversation with a group of small town people, we started talking about these kind of alternative properties and a banker remembered there was a business that had a fire about a year ago. He wasn’t sure about the status. It might be coming back, or it might not. He realized he wanted to call the building owner and see where things stood. It was the conversation that got him to think of it.
You might want to include all these kinds of locations on your Tour of Empty Buildings. There are all kinds of potential businesses out there, and they might be considering all kinds of locations. You also want to spur conversations in the community that focus on what’s possible, and including these locations can help.
Keep shaping the future of your town, Becky
PS – If you want more practical ideas for filling empty buildings, you might like our current webinar, Filling Empty Buildings. We’ll talk about the Tour of Empty Buildings, too.
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