This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Update on emptiness II

A few days ago I was looking at what had happened to buildings that I had noticed were empty at the beginning of the year. I had started north of town and had made it to the downtown. However, I neglected to look to the east. A lot on Maple that had for rent and for sales signs on it still has a for-sale sign. Another lot in the area that had and still has a Landmark sign, however, has seen changes. Strange concrete structures have appeared on it.

I wondered what they were but then as I was watching the rail crews, I saw a truck pull up and pick up one. The hoist said, "Rensselaer Septic Tanks." Anyone know more?The old Schumacher building has for-lease signs, but part of the building is occupied.

To the west of the highway, the old tattoo parlor north of the Amtrak station has a for rent sign. It also has a building permit in the window.

Returning to the downtown, The Looking Glass Salon, one of Rensselaer's many beauty salons, has filled one of the empty slots. The last office, once occupied by Meridian, is still empty.
There is now more empty space as the result of the renovation of Lafayette Bank and Trust, and the building next to it remains empty. Across the street, the old unfinished furniture building is becoming the new location of Devon's Doghouse. They did not seem to meet their projected opening date of August 3.

In the old Sears building an empty space next to the parking lot seems to be filled. The sign on the interior says, "Envoy Expeditionary Services, LLC." I have no idea what it is, or even if it is a new business.

Nothing else seems to have changed downtown. Moving out the toward the College Square Mall, the 2Bobs space is empty, as is the space formerly occupied by Devon's Doghouse, and across the street the old laundromat building seems empty, but what appears to be a new parking lot is being built between it and the street. I have heard a rumor that two sisters are going to open a restaurant, but do not see the remodeling activity in the building. Anyone know anything about this?
In the College Square Mall the two store fronts that were empty in January are still empty, and have been joined by a third. It was previously a payday loan office, but did not really use much of the space as this picture of the old interior shows.
The former Kentland bank office is now the First Trust Credit Union.

On Drexel Drive there are two empty buildings, the Diversified Filtration Products building and another by the water tower. I am not sure what was in here previously.
I almost forgot the old laundromat building by the Iroquois river, which has a Mexican eatery and will soon have an Italian eatery. Here is a photo of the inside of Ayda's Mexican Cuisine. When it opened it was a combination take-out and small grocery. The owners very quickly got rid of the Mexican grocery business and added some seating. I like the picture on the wall--it gives it a more of Mexican atmosphere than it had previously.
What did I miss?

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