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Published June 30, 2010, 05:39 PM

Empty Store Fronts Along South Washington Street

Four different businesses have recently closed or re-located with nothing new to take their place. That's on top of some buildings that have been sitting empty for quite a while. Just between 17th and 24th Avenues on South Washington where there are a number of vacant buildings.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Monty Montgomery: "1, 2, 3"

Monty Montgomery counts the empty stores in the strip mall where he runs his Ski an Bike shop business. He moved it here to South Washington from downtown right after the flood.

Montgomery: "At the time the rest of the mall was occupied. I think it's a great location very handy for people getting in and out of here."

But vacancies are not just here. Just across the street in the 17th Avenue area the old Ponderosa Restaurant has sat empty for a few years. A former auto part store sits vacant and Hollywood Video building will soon be added to the list.

Brad Gengler / City Planner: "I definitely think it is a common theme throughout most cities large and small."

City planner Brad Gengler says as the business space fills on the popular 32nd Avenue, it should help this area of South Washington become more attractive for business. Just 30 blocks south of 17th Avenue development is a different story.

Gengler: "On one hand a portion is not growing, but on the other hand there is a other leg of of it, especially when the wellness center starts coming into play."

And that includes a new business that will be built here along 44th Avenue. By the name of Jake's Bar and Grill.

Gengler: "Right along 47th Avenue South where the wellness center is going to go and Crary development has done. A lot of work now we are seeing a rebirth of new development in that area so hopefully that does have a positive spin on the whole corridor itself."

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