augusta free press news

Another empty building

Fear and Loathing in Waynesboro column by Chris Graham

It should come as no surprise that the city council is moving us on the fast track to reneging on the Wayne Theatre Alliance economic-development agreement.

Unlike the issue involving the firing of Doug Walker, which the jihadists didn’t tell us about because they didn’t want us to know what they were scheming, they made their stance on continued city funding for the Wayne clear and unambiguously known.

My take is that the WTA needs to regroup and soon to keep the project in go phase. It has to happen, and if the city isn’t going to be a partner, so be it.

The stakes are … well, we just can’t stand to have another empty big building in Waynesboro. Can we?

We already have …

– The old Kmart.

– The old Food Lion on West Main.

– The old Pat Berrang dealership downtown.

– The old Leggett’s.

– The old Haney’s Pharmacy downtown.

– Half of the shopping center on Broad Street where the Little Caesar’s is.

– A few storefronts in Willow Oak Plaza.

– The old Shenandoah Valley Art Center.

I’m sure I’m leaving some probably obvious locations off the list. Feel free to e-mail me at or post a comment in our forum to add your favorite empty shell.

My way of living is to abhor inefficiencies for what they are – and big empty stores are the worst kind of inefficiencies in that they eat up space that could otherwise be used for new commercial or residential or green-space purposes in addition to becoming blights on our landscape over time.

We’ve got to do a better job of managing our resources here locally. The time to start on that is right now.