I occasionally stumble on a property like this one. Its trajectory over the decades is clear. It started as a comfortable middle class home. You can still see the outlines of the kidney shaped pool in the back yard.
It’s obvious that the road out front was widened. And widened again. And widened again. High speed traffic intensified. Then bumper-to-bumper rush hour congestion congealed a few inches from the front lawn. Gas stations and Qwickie Marts sprung up. The house became less conducive to raising children or enjoying a quiet suburban life.
The property was rezoned to a commercial/residential use so a home based business could thrive in a location with plenty of passing customers. The pool was filled in. The front lawn was paved to create a parking lot. A sign went up advertising… what? An accountant? A dentist? A hairdresser? But that too ran its course over time.
On one side of the property is an old farmhouse – a vestige of a previous era. It no longer has any market value.
On the other side is a defunct bank. The rear parking lot now serves as a convenient place to dump unwanted furniture.
It occurred to me that this stretch of land might have been purchased by an investor who plans to pull down all the buildings and create a new commercial center, office park, or apartment complex. But the location doesn’t really lend itself to any of that, especially since so many nearby places have high vacancy rates and for sale signs.
Then I thought it might all have been condemned as part of yet another highway improvement plan. That’s a possibility. But I have to ask. If the town keeps spending millions on road improvements to ease traffic congestion while those “improvements” keep devaluing property up and down the road… what’s the point?