In regard to "We are at a very important point in time: Commercial businesses may build on vacant land," I would say yes we are. But not as the story points to. We are a very important point in time to figure out what is going to fill all the vacant commercial buildings after Walmart opens. Anyone here for more than 20 years knows which will be vacant.
My thought is the city elected officials move to turn them into homeless housing/shelters. Homeless need it and federal monies may be acquired for such. Just look at the East Hills Mall in Bakersfield. Walmart came in and every store closed. Now the mall is a shell of a building with a fence around it and homeless still use it and occasionally light it on fire.
I would rather see the coming empty Kmart building housing people, rather than a chain-link fence around it and the occasional fire truck there for the occasional homeless-built fire for wintertime warmth.
How about it? Housing for the homeless or empty, dilapidated, eyesore, tourist-repelling structures? I know what I would rather see. Something of use for a good cause.
Matt Hyatt, Tehachapi