Desolate Feeder Road Car Lot Landscapes

DESOLATE FEEDER ROAD CAR LOT LANDSCAPES What’s become of the 20-some Houston-area car lots dealers have shut down over the last year or two? Here’s a sampling: “‘My mother lived here 27 years, and we never had any trouble with Landmark Chevrolet,’ said Rhys Everett, who was cleaning out his mother’s former residence in the Hidden Valley neighborhood behind the defunct dealership. ‘But now it is filled with vagrants who have taken everything that wasn’t nailed down, and it’s a jumping-off point for crime in our neighborhood.’ The dealership, one of 13 outlets nationwide that Bill Heard Enterprises closed in September 2008, sprawls for blocks near the intersection of Gulf Bank and the North Freeway. It looks as if it had been hit by a cyclone. The main showroom’s exterior and interior windows are shattered. Ceiling tiles are torn away, exposing duct work that dangles like limp straws. Awnings hang in tatters. . . . The ravaged Chevrolet dealership’s antithesis can be found on Interstate 10 in Baytown, where the defunct Baytown Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealership is preserved in near-pristine condition.” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot]

5 Comment

  • “LandShark Chevrolet?!” That place was a disaster when it was filled with crappy cars and sleazy dealers. I don’t ever imagine that stretch of 45 as somewhere I’d ever stop voluntarily.

  • Those car lots will be vacant for a long time. America can no longer afford a new car every other year and with commercial real estate in decline there is little demand for a parking lot.

  • I don’t know if it could be done (financially, legally, etc), but it seems to me that cities should require large-lot-developers (such as car dealerships, big box retailers, etc) to post a sizeable bond, to be used for covering the costs of building tear-down/lot restoration in the event the development goes bust, before any construction/use permits are issued.

    Maybe cities already do require this, but, if they don’t, wouldn’t such a mechanism go a long way to preventing eventual blight?

  • Yeah, we should get the government more involved in the car business, oh wait…nevermind

  • I’m with Random Poster: A community/city should have recourse when the landscape is changed by a business and then abandoned.
    Sure, now, kids can skateboard and itinerant carnivals can set up for a bit, but, a void has been created….

    btw, This was pretty much the cause of the Dust Bowl: Newbie farmers who tore up prairie for wheat, couldn’t get enough for their harvests, and then walked off leaving just dust behind.