Downtown Vacant Buildings Not A Major Concern

Richmond St. storefront. Photo by Victoria Sartor, BlackburnNews.com.

Within two blocks of Richmond Row there are at least six empty or boarded up buildings, but the London Downtown Business Association Board says the vacancies are not of any concern.

In a downtown that is supposed to be on the mend, Richmond between Mill St. and Oxford seemingly has little to offer for shoppers.

“It’s nice to walk along stores that are occupied and vibrant, but I don’t see it as a long term problem. I think there will be leases that come into those places,” says Chair of the board Gerald Gallacher, who notes there is not one reason in particular for what appears to be a mass exodus. “It’s a cyclical thing. With some of the stuff along Richmond there’s been retirements or moving to different areas with any succession planning happenings for those stores.”

Gallacher tells BlackburnNews.com the LDBA works with businesses, realtors and landowners to fill the empty buildings, but notes that it all comes down to having the right type of destination store in the right area.

He says he believes the revitalization will happen, but it will take time.