Archive for February 2017

American Strip Malls & Retail Centers ‘Stripped’ of Traditional Tenants

The strip mall has been a ubiquitous presence on the suburban American landscape for a generation. At times of growth, the strip mall has been the fertile ground for business expansion – and in recession can become symbolic of the anemic state of business. Because the strip mall businesses rely heavily on mutual support from neighbor businesses, it suffers from a slippery slope: as more retail spaces empty, remaining retailers will flee to avoid being the only remaining business. For owners of these commercial properties, losing even one retail tenant can be the beginning of the end.

Commercial properties cannot remain empty for long. Unoccupied commercial spaces can be a magnet for crime, vagrancy and further blight. Occupancy must be the highest priority for the owners of a strip mall, and while traditional retailers may be taking the first steps towards an economic comeback, in many regions there simply isn’t enough demand for the empty spaces in traditional business. To weather the remaining storm, owners must look to non traditional tenants – some have found opportunities for growth in surprising areas.

The highest growth in the job sector over this last summer has been in the business of education – particularly in the for-profit education sector. Pima Medical Institute, which provides degree and certificate programs, has recently expanded it’s Houston campus in an unused strip mall along Interstate 10. Carrington College (formerlly known as The Apollo College Group) have almost exclusively opened campuses in malls during the last 5 years.

The building of minds is one business helping save the strip mall, another is the building of the soul – religion is moving into the unused retail spaces at an impressive pace. Churches are replacing the retail tenants, and keeping many of these strip malls afloat by providing the critical occupancy owners need. Expansion of churches in strip malls has increased so dramatically, it has achieved the pop culture status of having a dedicated blog:

Some regions of the country have found such a partnership between the property owners and churches, that specialty real estate brokers have emerged. Orlando has a booming business of non-profit and faith based real estate services. This demand to fill the spaces is obvious – in a few months, over 250 Circuit City stores went dark with no retailer waiting to take over the space. This “Adaptive Re-use” of the retail space is playing a key role in the recovery of commercial real estate.

Surprisingly, the International Council of Shopping Centers does not track the data on what sectors are trending, and so they can’t confirm real numbers on this growth trend, but it’s apparent. Houston based International Church Realty confirms the trend, at least for southern states.

These new trends highlight the need for creative solutions to the problem facing commercial property owners today. In a challenging business climate, there are strategies that are working now, improving business and moving us towards a recovery. For ideas to help your property situation, look to Abacus Financial in which they can leverage buyouts of current retail outlets and transform it into a Church or educational center that might fit your needs.

Trail Potter is a contributor to the Abacus Financial writing team based in Houston, Texas. He has a background in financial planning with a focus on real estate and commercial growth patterns.

Abacus Financial (Los Angeles, CA) is the national expert in workouts of distressed commercial real estate borrowers and operating companies. Abacus is a national investment firm dominant in the specialized discipline of Value-Added Acquisitions.


Visit We Purchase Distressed Commercial/Industrial/Retail property today. Get Out From Under The Negative Equity Or Almost Foreclosed Property. Abacus Financial – 213 260 4811

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When you’re dealing with properties that have a large number of tenants in them, you want to make sure that you keep them happy. Happiness of a paying tenant goes hand in hand with a good reputation. Most quality homeowner’s associations and investors know that in order to get the most return out of your property, keeping the property well maintained is of paramount importance.

A lot of times it’s the small things that count that can make a big difference. Things such as making sure the landscaping is well kept, lights are replaced routinely and exterior paint is fresh can give a tenant the feeling that their best interests are being taken care of.

This is important because an unhappy client is more likely to tell 5 times as many people than a happy one. So when looking to make the most of your investment, here are three principles you should adhere to keep your reputation in a positive light.


When you are dealing with tenants, your ability to quickly respond to maintenance calls becomes your reputation. When you respond in days, or hours instead of minutes, that can create a difficult space between you and the tenant.

The best and most well respected Minnesota Property Maintenance companies are recorded to normally respond within 15 minutes. Start to ask yourself, if your organization is equipped to handle in that amount of time?

In addition, short-term complaints can easily turn into long-term uneasiness. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you have the proper help or support in place so that you can tend to your clients needs in good time.


Due to occasional and normal wear and tear, large housing communities need routine maintenance. Therefore, it is good to have a schedule that’s set on certain activities and their frequency so that you will be able to run the property smoothly.

Clients can start to get frustrated when the heating system doesn’t work and it’s nearly 30 degrees outside. Routine checks done at the right time will help prevent many issues that come up with time so you know that in October it’s around the right time to replace the furnace filters. Proper planning also saves you money.


Keeping books are critical to maintaining balance in your community. Not only does it give you an opportunity to understand where your money is going, it allows you to focus on things that are draining your reserves that could potentially be dealt with in the optimal time frame.

For accurate bookkeeping, make sure you put a system of checks and balances in place that can account for mistakes or dishonesty that people can have.

For more information on properly running a large community of housing, visit


For more information on properly running a large community of housing, visit

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A few nice Tenants Rights images I found:

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Hundreds from the Northeast gathered in NYC as part of a national movement rising up against mortgage giants Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. Participants are demanding principal reduction and that President Obama use his power of recess appointment to get rid of Ed DeMarco, the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Protesters also are demanding that Fannie & Freddie:

–STOP FORECLOSING AND REDUCE PRINCIPAL: modify loans to real value

–STOP EVICTING: accept rent from former owners and tenants

–STOP SELLING VACANT HOMES TO INVESTORS: sell to original owners or non-profits at real value for affordable housing

–PUT PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT: you were bailed out with our tax $

Led by courageous people who are fighting Fannie & Freddie’s foreclosure and eviction procedures, protests were also planned in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta at the regional Fannie/Freddie offices in those communities.

All photos copyright Housing is a Human Right. Use with permission.

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Image from page 81 of “A history of the Forty-fourth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, in the Civil War, 1861-1865 [electronic resource]” (1911)
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Title: A history of the Forty-fourth Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, in the Civil War, 1861-1865 [electronic resource]
Year: 1911 (1910s)
Authors: Nash, Eugene Arus, 1837-1911
Subjects: United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 44th (1861-1864)
Publisher: Chicago : R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.
Contributing Library: Emory University, Robert W. Woodruff Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Emory University, Robert W. Woodruff Library

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Text Appearing Before Image:
is was illustrated the oft quoted sayingNecessity is the mother of invention. Here we remainedtwo days, resting, experimenting and wondering what was tocome next. The resting and experimenting were advantage-ous, but the wondering was unfruitful and of small account. On October 28th, after marching several miles, the regi-ment, with eleven other regiments, was reviewed by GeneralMcClellan, attended by bis staff and other prominent officers.It was our first sight of the General, who occupied so muchattention in the early part of the war. In passing the review-ing stand, but little opportunity was afforded to see him, andmuch less to judge of his merits. The Forty-Fourth was giventhe right of the line which is regarded the position of honor,consequently was the first regiment to pass the reviewing officer.The review was a grand, fatiguing affair. At this review forthe first time we came in touch with other troops of the army.After the review and late in the afternoon we marched to Halls

Text Appearing After Image:
FREEMAN CONNER. Born at Exeter, New Hampshire, .March 2, 1836, was educated in the publicschools of his native town and emigrated to Chicago, 111., in 1858, where hi?military experience began as a member of the Cadets of the 60th Regiment.In 1859 he joined Ellsworths famous United States Zouave Cadets, and withthat company made its celebrated tour of the chief cities of the United States. Hewas a Captain in the Chicago Zouave Regiment April 22, 1861, and a 1st Lieu-tenant in the nth N. Y. Y. I. (N. Y. Fire Zouaves), in which regiment hefought at First Bull Run, July 21. 1861; resigned his commission and en-listed as a private in the 44th N. Y. V. I. August 8, 1861; was soon afterelected and commissioned Captain of Company 1), was later promoted to Major,Lieut.-Colonel and Colonel of the regiment. Was discharged with his regimentOctober 11, 1864. He took part in the following campaigns and battles: Siege of Yorktown,Hanover C. H., Gaines Mills, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill. Second Bul

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