If you've been following the financial media, you know that the commercial real estate sector is in trouble. Its basically following the trajectory that the residential real estate market did. Although, to be fair, the commercial real estate mortgage backed securities (MBS) market is much smaller than the residential MBS market is. Regardless, it looks like banks are poised to take another hit thanks to loan defaults. Of course, this all translates into empty storefronts so communities everywhere end up taking a hit.
Blogger Matthew Yglesias wonders why down markets don't result in unused urban storefronts being rented. He concludes that regulation might be partly responsible. Megan McArdle over at the Atlantic responds to Yglesias's post. Interestingly, she mentions a few reasons why malls might fare better than urban storefronts in this recession.
How are some empty stores being repurposed? Some are being used as street-front ad space. Others are being transformed into churches. Pretty interesting stuff.
How is retail doing in your community? Noticed any major changes or transformations?