My hometown is at the intersection of two major interstates, lots of shipping lines, lots of people traveling through. In the last decade or so it's exploded into a huge shopping town, and is now billed as (inexplicably to me as it's an hour and a half away) a DC Suburb. Outlet mall, a huge new shopping center, the old mall has basically tripled in size, and they are home to the largest Wal Mart on the east coast (or at least one of, there might be bigger ones now.) Total turd polishing here, it's still an awful little place and because of the interstates is a hub of huge drug trade and has a nice little gang population and major school problems that the news turns a blind eye to, gotta attact those posh city people and all. Now there's a surplus of empty McMansions -- on what used to be small farms or wooded lands -- that no one wants because of gas prices and there's really no local jobs except for low paying retail, the people that all this stuff was built for are moving back to the city. But I digress...
The downtown isn't really all that empty. The problem I have there, besides all that other stuff, is Lowes. When I was a kid, there was a Lowes not far from where I lived, near the rail road tracks to take deliveries. Well, when the mall expanded, they added a small wal mart and they put a short cut road through, Lowes built bigger a building to be out there.
That was oh I guess 18 years ago. The building is STILL empty. The roof has caved it from ice a few years ago, it's just there in ruins. Now, they did use it -- it was used as a soundstage during the filming of *Gettysburg*. But that's pretty much the only thing. No other business has moved in and the falling down building just sits there.
Well, I guess Lowes figured out it was better to be right up against the railroad tracks, a few years ago they built yet another building RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET. They also paved over acres of trees to add a shipping/storage/distribution/warehousey thing there now, too. And the second building? They've used it for occassional overstock book sales, and right now there's a furniture clearance thing going on. But once again, for the most part, it just sits there, completely wasted, lookin' ugly and taking up space. Two of them, at that!