This is the best this stretch of Keystone can look:
Keystone Avenue is a tough place to love. It is similar to newer automobile-based commercial strips, with a few differences:
- Utility poles in the sidewalks. Actually, that makes 2 differences, in that there are actually sidewalks on Keystone. But with the utility poles crowding the landscape, it is simply unattractive.
- Most of the buildings are smaller and closer to the street, so it’s actually a bit less spread out than current development patterns dictate.
The commercial stretch of Keystone Avenue is in a state of fluctuation, and it is difficult to determine where the future is headed. There are many empty and decaying buildings, but there are also some successes. However, it will tough for any successes to gain real traction until a major overhaul of the streetscape takes place. And the toughest news for the city is that there are a good number of challenging commercial strips in other regions (Lafayette Square, South Madison, East Washington), each one similarly deserving the same major investment at a time when we are in a serious financial pinch. I’m not sure when the time will come for the region to stop adding to the future generation’s pain of abandoned car lots and devalued strip centers, but we are clearly not there yet. Sprawl marches on.