March 16, 2021 at 7:55 pm #4706CKHParticipant
I have a dream of buying an operational laundromat someday, hopefully soon! But tonight as I was driving my kids to soccer practice, I noticed an empty retail space for lease and it got the wheels turning, and I don’t know if it’s an amazing location or the world’s worst! Are you intrigued by that? Well here’s the deal:
About five miles from my house, there is a commercial park. It is anchored by a Walmart, Lowe’s, various other big box stores, and a Dollar Tree. It also has a soccer and baseball complex run by the parks department, where mostly upper income families bring their kids for game, although there are some lower-income leagues as well. There is a DMV branch right next door and a Bottle Drop, where people who collect bottles and cans go and exchange them for cash. This tends to have a line that is literally hundreds of yards long on some nights. There is an Amazon Distribution center, a Motel 6, and a little outside the area is a large Fairfield Inn by Marriott. That all sounds good, right? Well, there’s more you should know.
See, this area is the site of a MASSIVE homeless encampment. In fact, you can’t call it one encampment. There are probably four or five sections all geographically spread out. The Bottle Drop attracts them. All of this big box retail is completely surrounded by tents, burned out RVs, and so, so much garbage everywhere. I cannot possibly understate the garbage. Imagine the worst thing you can and then multiply it by 10. Moreover, this is not a residential area. There is an apartment complex and a mobile home park. A little to the north there is also a houseboat area and some more hotels. The area is really rough, but the Walmart and Lowe’s are thriving. Other businesses are not, though. Two restaurants have been forced to close down entirely, although they were never really good in the first place. The owners of those places blamed the bottle drop and homeless population for making the zone unattractive to customers. And they have a point.
So, given all this, what do you think? Is it a genius location or an insane idea?
March 20, 2021 at 7:03 am #4727Sherrie MyersParticipant
Hi CKH, My name is Sherrie Myers I live in Las Vegas NV and we also have a huge homeless population here.
I would start by asking you to reflect on a few questions.
One of the Podcasts recommended that you go to your prospective location at night and get out of your car and walk around.
Would you do that?
Then I watched a Video about Caring for the community https://youtu.be/7SfTnBdHpw0
This video and some of what Jordan says brings up a lot of questions.
Are you prepared to be a community advocate?
Are you prepared to be community security/police?
Are you wanting a business that is attended, full time and community driven or
Are you wanting a side hustle where you can spend a few hours a day and collect quarters?
Whether this area is good for a Laundry business depends on what kind of business you want your Laundry to be?
If you think that you might want the challenge, then I would connect with a organization that is providing services to the homeless encampment and tag along with them. The local police should be able to give you some names.
I am also looking for my first laundry
March 21, 2021 at 12:03 am #4760CKHParticipant
Thanks for that video link! I have been wanting to know more about how to serve the homeless when I get my first laundromat, so this was inspiring.
March 21, 2021 at 7:17 am #4761Jason DodgeParticipant
Laundromats can thrive in low income neighborhoods with older stock apartments. The problem is that homeless people aren’t low income, they are no income. They also don’t have clothes to wash and they aren’t renters. Unfortunately homeless people can cause major headaches for a laundromat. They shower in your bathroom, they do drugs and pass out in your store, and they scare away paying customers. The majority of your customers will be women with children and they need to feel safe or else they will go somewhere else.
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