We all drive past empty corners every day. They used to be service stations (yes, Virginia, there was “service” once upon a time–uniformed men would wash your windscreen, check your tire pressure (and fill them up with air for free!), check your oil and coolant levels, and offer to top them off if they were low, and actually pump the fuel into your car for you, all without extra remuneration or expectation of a tip, and often they would give you some useful gift if you filled your tank–amazing to think about nowadays).
Now, these lots sit vacant, perhaps with some odd looking barrels and pipes and maybe some pumps to suck the polluted groundwater up into filters and storage tanks. Most of us wonder, “Why can’t something be done to use that site? It would be great for. . . .” And that is when we realize that these odd shaped, small lots on the corners of our streets, big boulevards and neighborhood lanes alike, don’t seem to have much commercial value. They are too small for most uses, and the location on corners, which was an advantage for service stations, creates traffic conflict issues for other uses. Read more