Saturday, 27 August 2016

gruen transfer oder ghost malls

Going home every week, I pass by signs of the future local of “Barbarossa City” shopping centre, that I am supposing will be erected outside of the industrial park of the ancient town of Gelnhausen—home to one of the emperor’s palatial estates, and it makes me moan a little to think about the state of property development in Germany. There perhaps was a legitimate pitch to be made at one point but once there comes a saturation point when we only have ourselves to blame for siphoning off business from the Altstadt and Marktplatz, which still retain their charms, making online shopping commitment-free—delivered to your door via drone, and there quickly comes a point where the appeal and utility of galleries “anchored” by ample parking and a super-market diminishes to the point it’s no longer tenable.
Every other purchase made in the client stores is really just an impulse-buy and the domain who those who couldn’t be bothered to comparison- shop beforehand. There are several ghost malls—completely vacant or nearly so, that are one the periphery of Wiesbaden’s city centre and while the former has been kept because of it auto-garage for as long as I can remember, I’ve watched the rather sharp decline of the latter, whose retail spaces are ninety-percent empty and random (by not a rotation) of car rental outlets, a stationary shop, a t-shirt screen-printing business and a ubiquitous electronic store are all that are left. Even outside city limits, these projects seem designed for ruin after the developers, the barons have made their profit and saddled yet another middling-sized town with reticulated grocery store that steals commerce away from downtown and denying people the ability to shop—or at least the impression thereof, and leaving a landscape of struggling restaurants and shuttered corner shops, boutiques and antique shops to be replaced by mobile telephone and fast-food outlets. What do you think? I don’t care for this zombification, and given the parallel crisis in affordable housing, maybe such flagships of the retail sector might (or rather do) work if (when) they offered accommodation for living as well.