That Americans do an increasing amount of their shopping over the internets with every passing year is not news. But the toll this trend is taking on bricks and mortar retail is a story unfolding daily in every community in the United States. The physical act of participating in commerce is surely one of the base fibers of the social fabric of the United States, so what happens when that "act" takes place in the home more often than it does out in the world? As explained in an article from CoStar, the infrastructure of business adapts...warehouses and logistics/fulfillment centers proliferate while retail space is vacated. But what of the social ramifications? Academics are exploring the subject, and have documented fantastically creative adaptive re-uses of abandoned big box retail, among other structures. Non-profit organizations are also tackling the dual challenge of empty spaces and the loss of venues for social interaction. And entrepreneurs can be counted on to conceive of novel uses for large, empty buildings. The evolution of American commerce and its impact on the built environment will be interesting. Rest assured we here at Curbed will be watching it for you.
· Storefront Loss Equals Warehouse Gain [CoStar]
· Retrofitting Suburbia [Facebook]
· No Longer Empty [official site]