Every small town downtown has some unused buildings and others used just for storage. They aren’t adding anything to the downtown economy. What can you do with them, besides ignore them?
Use the storefronts to advertise other businesses.
Yes, it will take cooperative building owners. And this only works if the front windows are in good shape. But it’s better than painting or boarding over windows, or even worse, leaving a view into the empty space or the junk stored there.
These photos are of a building used for storage in downtown Alva, Oklahoma. The front windows were rented out to other retail businesses that didn’t have a downtown presence.
Update: Also check out these new examples from Elkhart, Kansas.
Would you rather fill those empty buildings? Deb Brown and I have put together a Toolkit to show you how she filled empty buildings by running a tour. You can get the details at the Tour of Empty Buildings Toolkit.
- Cheap placemaking idea: instant murals - September 11, 2020
- Refilling the rural business pipeline - July 7, 2020
- Huge vacant buildings: grants to renovate? - June 9, 2020
- Economic self defense for small towns - June 7, 2020
- The best things you can do for local businesses in light of coronavirus - March 27, 2020
- How to get more parking downtown without adding any spaces - March 7, 2020
- Exact Yeti Blue mic volume and Windows settings to reduce background noise - February 17, 2020
- Getting local businesses to cooperate with you: Shop Hopping Around Brownsville - December 16, 2019
- Survey of Rural Challenges 2019 results - December 5, 2019
- Shop Indie Local adds a new twist to tired Buy Local campaigns - November 11, 2019