Empty Places, Many Solutions: Our Series About Transformations and Challenges

All across the Midwest, cities and suburbs are tackling the problem of Empty Places. Throughout November, Changing Gears took a look at some of the challenges and solutions involved in transforming property from the past. In Flint, Mich., Kate Davidson found there may be no better example of how the industrial Midwest is changing than …

EMPTY PLACES: It’s Not Squatting … It’s Blotting

DETROIT — Our Changing Gears project is looking at the challenges of the region’s empty places this month.  For many people, the most threatening emptiness isn’t a shuttered factory.  It’s the abandoned property next door.  But in Detroit, some residents are using that emptiness to quietly reshape their neighborhoods.  They’re annexing vacant lots around them, …

EMPTY PLACES: The Economic and Social Cost of Emptiness

This week, Changing Gears kicks off a look at Empty Places across our region. During November, we’ll be looking at empty buildings, empty property — and how we can fill things up again. In the first part of our series, reporter Dustin Dwyer explores the economic and social cost of emptiness. Things may be better …

Changing Gears Looks At Empty Buildings (And Other Places)

All over our region, the past is still present, in the form of empty buildings, property, even corporate campuses. The cost to our cities, in lost tax revenue, and in blight, is enormous. But entrepreneurs, businesses and government agencies are taking steps to fill in those empty spaces. Throughout November, Changing Gears will take a …

What Do You Do With An Empty Corporate Campus?

All this month, our Changing Gears series has been looking at empty places across the Midwest – from foreclosed homes to abandoned factories. But as companies adjust to economic conditions, many in the region have been re-evaluating the basics – including where they’re located. Cities and states bend over backwards to create jobs, and they’re left …

Converting Empty Buildings: A Template on Chicago’s South Side?

Vacant industrial buildings dot the Midwest and swallow up chunks of some neighborhoods. But instead of blight, one Chicago man sees opportunity. All this month, Changing Gears has been reporting on Empty Places. The series reminded me of a man I first met last year, when I reported on brownfield industrial sites. I thought I …

What Do You Do With 3,000 Empty Buildings? Redevelopment In Northwest Indiana

All this month, Changing Gears has been taking a look at Empty Places. I talked with Ben Clement from the GECH Empowerment Zone (Gary, East Chicago and Hammond, Indiana) about making movies in abandoned buildings and some of the challenges of putting these buildings back on the tax rolls.   *This story was informed by …