July 25, 2017

Google Street View Takes You Back in Time

It’s been ten years since Sugar Creek used the threat of Eminent Domain to seize the homes of residents who lived near the intersection of 24 Highway and Sterling in order to build what they called the “Sugarland Center,” a 225,000 square-foot retail center that they promised would include a winery, multiple restaurants, a 45,000 square-foot supermarket along with other popular retail stores.

Some residents happily took the generous payouts offered for their property by the City of Sugar Creek, while other homeowners went down fighting. Some were unwilling to see homes that had been in their families for generations be demolished in the name of commercial progress. In the end, after spending millions of dollars, the City of Sugar Creek won the battle for the right to demolish 33 properties.

But like so many ideas that sounded good to developers in 2007, the economic collapse put an end to Sugar Creek’ lofty shopping center plan and ten years later what was once a sweet, quiet neighborhood now stands truly desolate and blighted.

Thanks to Google’s Street View, though, anyone with a computer can go “back in time” and look at the homes and streets that Sugar Creek claimed were “blighted.” Just go to http://maps.google.com and type in “24 Highway and Smart Ave” and click on the Street View image. Use your cursor to navigate to the “NOW” image above, click the forward arrow that will appear and Voila! You’ll be
transported back to 2007 where you can make the loop around Smart Avenue and see a few of the nice little houses where families once lived (and paid property taxes -- which the city no
longer receives -- adding to the multi-million dollar losses). If your web browser allows it, you'll see the image below. Just click on the road and go back in time.

Ten years later hundreds of acres of wasteland are all that remain at a busy intersection on 24 Highway. Click here to see some ideas for bringing this corner back to life!

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