Howard's Sporting Goods is moving from its building at the corner of Broadway and Pacific after 63 years.
I haven't heard why Howard's is moving. Perhaps their rent was jacked up and it made it financially necessary for them to move. That certainly happens, maybe more so in a down economy.
Or possibly the building has sold or is going to be sold and the new landlord doesn't want tenants.
If that were the case, it's not hard to imagine that the University or its Foundation would be interested in that property. After all, the University already owns a sizable amount of the wedge of land formed by Pacific, Broadway and Bellevue.
And you have to admit that the old Howard's building would be just a fantastic location for a fountain.
Or a parking lot.
Or possibly even a parking lot with some kind of water feature on the side.
If that were to occur, it would certainly be an improvement to the 200 and 300 block of North Pacific. I drove through there the other day and it's tough to find a word to describe this stretch of Pacific between Broadway and North, but I will try.
How about, decrepit.
I wrote the last two paragraphs a couple weeks ago and decided that to be fair, I should drive down Pacific again to see if my initial reaction was accurate. Based on that second visit, I am modifying my initial assessment.
Those two blocks are not decrepit, they're really decrepit.
If you randomly picked any of those properties and presented it to the hosts of the HGTV show "Curb Appeal," I bet they would run off shrieking in laughter, terror or both.
It's pretty bad.
And why are these two blocks, so decrepit? In my opinion, it's because they're mostly rental. I did some research and out of 18 properties, 15 of the property tax bills went to some other address. That is usually a sure sign that the property is NOT owner occupied and is a rental.
I feel sorry for the owners of the 3 presumed owner occupied properties. The best thing they can hope for when they sell their house is that either the University will buy it and turn it into parking, or one of the local slum lords will snatch it up and rent it out to its maximum capacity.
There's not much of an incentive to invest in your home when the threat of a kegger breaking out could happen at anytime on your block. It's especially disheartening if you're never invited.
Perhaps the University or its Foundation should consider buying up the entire 200 and 300 block of North Pacific and tearing down all those properties. It would definitely be an aesthetic improvement to one of the main arteries into campus.
And, it would be a fantastic location for a waterfall.
Or possibly even a log flume.
Now that would add some curb appeal.