06/25/09 12:36pm

Armed with a camera, two enterprising Swamplot readers set out to document the retail carnage along South Shepherd, between 59 and the Shepherd Curve:

The sheer number of businesses that have disappeared along Shepherd in 4 months has been stupefying. This is with a large, new, empty Weingarten development at one end …and the chronically empty Shepherd Plaza at the other. Hell, we have gone from 4 Starbucks to 3!!

That’s a 25 percent reduction in mocha lattes alone. How about in some of the other sectors?

Granted, there have been some new businesses, a Hallmark store, a dance studio, and something seems to have filled the lingerie place at Welch and Shepherd, but the vacancy rate now stands at 22%!!! We counted 172 retail “units” and found 37 of them to be empty. As recently as February, I remember only about a dozen vacancies.

What are the sights?