I was just giving some thought to dying industries/technologies and my thoughts went from dead businesses to the structures they will be leaving behind.

Parking Structures

The increase in ride sharing, public transport and the move away from even needing to go out of your house at all will definitely lead to less car sales. I know, it may seem ridiculous if you are from my generation. We put so much emotional energy into our cars. I believe wholeheartedly though that the personal use of vehicles is a dying trend. No, it won’t happen immediately, but the trend will come.

With that will be tens or thousands of huge parking garages sitting mostly empty. Parking lots will be easy to transition to something else, but what about these massive concrete temporary homes we pay to babysit our cars?

I could see them transitioning quickly into apartments/condos/tiny homes etc. and becoming prime real estate for housing development and or entertainment.

Gas Stations

With the shrinkage of personal vehicle usage that will come, there will be a ton of gas stations (and for that matter even drive-up fast food restaurants) sitting mostly unused. I don’t think they will go away as quickly because the hangers-on that still live in their vehicles will still need places to fill up. What will change will be the number of fill-ups a station serves in a day. For that reason, the trend that has already started will continue. That is, to add more services/options for the visiting traveler. Buc-ees isn’t making bank because of their gas. They are rocking it because the offer food staples, sweets, soft drinks, beer, win, tshirts, coolers, hats, yard decorations and all manner of gifts/gadgets and other tchotchkes.

As industries change, our landscape based on a road system of driving from point A to buy item A and point B to buy item B will change as well. With folks like Amazon bringing it all to your front door, look for trips out to be more often based on people and outings and much less about things.

What are your thoughts?

by Chris Doelle

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