What’s going to happen to the 155 closed Circuit City stores? Best Buy already has better locations, as the business media are always pointing out.
They were built for a specific user that sells electronics, and that makes them much harder to re-lease than a typical building. Big boxes, as they’re called, can also be hard to recycle for other uses. For one, they’re humongous. Not that many businesses need 150,000 sf. They’re also hard to subdivide because they often have no windows.
But with a little work, they can be co-opted. Check out this slideshow from Slate about what some communities have done to use vacated big boxes. Hint: for a library, flea market, go-cart track, church …
This sort of creative use is not a new concept. Several churches around Richmond have co-opted buildings that served other uses, including a roller skating rink and former Ford car dealership. Let us know what buildings we’re missing.