Partnership needed for Lowe’s site

Published 9:50 pm Saturday, February 3, 2018

Most folks who drive by the site daily or occasionally were pleased to see demolition begin recently on the old Lowe’s building on Godwin Boulevard.

The building has been an eyesore for the better part of two decades, ever since the building was vacated in 2001 for the business to move to North Main Street. It’s been the subject of numerous violations and fines by the city for everything ranging from graffiti to having the building unsecured, “vacant and unsafe.”

Finally, late last month, the owners apparently decided to tear it down. An attorney for the owners says they have concluded the site has potential for commercial redevelopment, a decision that should have long since been obvious.

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The announcement brought the usual requests for various retailers and entertainment venues for kids and teens from local folks, but we think the site has great potential that should be explored thoroughly before the owners jump into an easy solution.

The owners and the city should begin a dialogue that explores the best possible uses for the site and, if the owners truly desire to develop it commercially, brings in the most desirable businesses. Of course, municipalities and landowners can’t force businesses to locate at their will. The businesses will be the ones crunching the numbers on households and their buying power to see if they can turn a profit at that location.

But a strong partnership between the owners and the city will be a great first step, and it should begin posthaste.