This is the scene along the 3000 block of University Avenue in my North Park neighborhood. In the last couple of months, more than half a dozen shops have emptied within a two-block area and nearly as many buildings have taken on lease or sale signs.
On this one stretch, five shops are currently empty and seeking new tenants.The center of North Park has been undergoing gentrification for some time now. The thrift stores, tattoo parlors, pawn shops and discount beauty supply centers now share space with art galleries, several fitness centers and trendy coffee shops and restaurants.
But I'm guessing the more recent surge in storefront vacancies will accelerate the change. The process got a huge boost last week when Big Lots, the neighborhood's retail anchor, put up going-out-of-business signs.
Here are some of the other buildings that have become available.
I can't help wondering how long will it take to fill in all of the newly emptied stores and what will the replacements look like?
If this architectural rendering that I found taped to one of the shops is any indication, this current transformation might not be all that dramatic.