Bill Roark

Sometimes an area can become over populated, not with people but with certain types of commercial development.

A recent visit to Dallas, Texas confirmed this with an ever-growing population of restaurants, with two or three on every major corner and even more in mid-blocks. However, since most households are cooking much less and the population continues to grow and expand, they are able to survive.

The problem occurs when certain commercial types of development occurs without the corresponding population growth.

I looked at our local market and where commercial over population appears to have occurred. While it may make our shopping, eating and services more convenient, does it make the long-term viability for all of these possible? When over population occurs, there will inevitability be a natural survival process.

Let’s take a look at our market where it appears commercial over population has occurred.

• FINANCIAL SERVICES We have gone through a period of “a bank on every corner” it seems. We are now seeing the effects of this with the national banks reducing their presence in our market. They have found it hard to compete with the community banks for the local business. When a community bank enters a market, they may offer commercial financing deals that a national bank cannot compete with due to their regulations. We now see this effect happening.

• RESTAURANTS There is a true saying “in tough times the national restaurants survive and many of the locals don’t”. So, if we have a favorite local, we need to support them especially in today’s time of crisis.

• CAR WASHES We must be one of the dirtiest vehicle places on earth, based on the proliferation of new car washes. Since there are only a few more cars/trucks on the road in our market how will all the new and expensive carwashes survive? I predict they won’t. With some of the older and paid for car wash facilities holding their own with better washes and service we will eventually see a survival of the best, old or new.

• GROCERY STORES Remember when the Walmart Neighborhood Grocery Stores opened four new stores in our market doubling the grocery square footage servicing our market? Many predicted catastrophic consequences for grocery stores. However, I do not remember seeing a single store close. Instead we have seen more conveniences and better prices. They adjusted to a changing market.

On the Local Scene

A NEW MONROE FIRE STATION is the new construction at the corner of Breard Street and Betin Street, Monroe.

A NEW PARISH FIRE STATION is under construction at the corner of Whites Ferry Road and Wall Williams Road, West Monroe.

Bill Roark is a Commercial Associate Broker at Tri State Properties and may be contacted by email to

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