Letters: Revive old shopping center before building new

Johnson City Press • Dec 29, 2019 at 6:00 AM

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Revive old shopping centers before building new

Have we considered alternatives to the new Boones Creek area development? The United States is characterized by abandoned and decaying downtown areas and abandoned shopping malls while the suburban strip malls are thriving. Some of this trend has been due to crime or racial tensions in the downtown areas. Johnson City does not suffer from either of these issues, but from downtown decay.

Have we considered doing this Boones Creek development in downtown Johnson City? I realize that land acquisition will be more difficult and the underused or unused properties must be demolished. Most of these properties are unsuitable for today’s needs and upgrading them makes little economic sense. To make a large project successful, we need large businesses that employ many people. These workers will buy and rent homes and patronize restaurants near their places of employment. The central location of downtown will draw from surrounding areas, not to mention ETSU. An improved access to downtown from I-26 would be required.

The population of the Johnson City area is experiencing some growth, but not enough to absorb another major shopping area without a negative impact to existing businesses. Many of these businesses are already struggling from competition from the big box stores and the internet. Our retail and service economy is a zero sum game. People have so much disposable income, and adding more places to spend it will not increase how much they spend.

Finally, it may be easier to sell the historic aspect of the development in downtown rather than the suburbs. Perhaps a small section of downtown structures could be retained and upgraded as an historic center. Sooner or later the downtown situation must be addressed.


Don’t give old food

I reside in Washington County. I depend on the food that I get from the local food banks.

I've noticed recently that they give you some outdated canned goods as well as dairy products. This should be illegal. So, check the dates.


Focus on religious priorities

Jesus tells us in His word that, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation: of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And in Psalms 9:17, He says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”

This world, and our nation included, in its great blaspheme against God first by taking Christ out of Christmas by saying Xmas and now by replacing that with Happy Holidays.

Even our local churches, the region we call the Bible Belt, are more concerned with having a full house than getting people saved.

Salvation is repentance from sin and surrendering your life to the Lordship of Christ. Don’t let hell be truth seen too late.


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