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Archive for the ‘I-95’ tag

Young's Plantation Inn / Ramada Inn / Palmetto Inn, 3311 Meadors Road (Florence): 2020   1 comment

Posted at 11:09 pm in closing

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I don't normally grab a lot of pictures that aren't mine and put them up, but in this case they seem to have mainly come from a ".ru" site, so the cork is probably already out of that bottle, and I think it makes an interesting contrast:

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I ran across this former Ramada Inn off I-95 exit 157 in Florence a few weeks ago, took a few drive through pictures, drove off, thought about it, and came back for a walk-through.

What I find interesting, apart from the general decrepitness is that the property seems to have operated well into 2020, judging by the COVID signs on the office (where the lights are still on). In fact, many of the rooms still look ready to go, though others, of course, do not. If it did run that late, I would put the closing date as well *after* the swimming pool fill-in date, as that looks to have been done a good time ago given the plants in the hot tub area, and the patchy grass on the pool itself.

Apparently at the end, the manager lived in-house, as there is a second story room with an irritated sign saying no knocking after 8PM as it is not an office.

To me the architecture with its fence around the top of the building and the corner towers looks a bit like a stalag, and I can't imagine what purpose the enclosed huts on top of those served. I would say AC, but the rooms appear to have had standard outside-wall AC units:
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I'm not sure what Young's Plantation is, or why it merits a shout-out on the sign.

LoopNet says the property is six acres and at one time was on the market for $495,000, although it is apparently no longer for sale.

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Shell Station, 3967 West Palmetto Street (Florence): 2007   1 comment

Posted at 11:21 pm in closing

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The earliest Google Steetview I can find for this lot is from November of 2007, and shows the station still standing here, though apparently already closed. The next view from January of 2008 already shows the building the the process of being torn down.

LoopNet says it is a 1.1 acre site, and has been sold, so presumably a new convenience store/gas station will go up here as it is on an I-95 exit (Exit 157).

Written by ted on October 7th, 2021

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Darien Outlet Mall, 1111 Magnolia Bluff Way (Darien Georgia): 2016-ish   no comments

Posted at 11:30 pm in closing

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This outlet mall is in Darien Georgia on the west side of I-95 Exit 49 (across the interchange from the old Cafe Risque). I used to stop there from time to time on my way to Fernandina as they had one of those overstock "Giant Book Sale" storefronts where I picked up an interesting title or two over the years.

Starting around 2015 however the place started going downhill fast. I'm not sure why, as at the time the decline started, the buildings were still well maintained and attractive, and I-95 was certainly as busy as ever. I suppose it was part of the general Internet-based retail hollowing out that we have seen in many places. Now the entire place is vacant, and even the antiques store, which I thouht might still be going, is just abandoned stock from the defunct operation, though it does host a large colony of feral cats.

Apparently there have been a number of things that have *almost* happened here, with one of them, International Decor Outlet getting as far as opening their doors before folding. I'm not sure exactly what went wrong, but the whole concept which seems to be something like connecting manufacturers in China with US storefronts seems odd and hard to understand, and the company also got into trouble in a Jacksonville mall and downtown Jacksonville as well.

In mid-2020 another developer passed on the mall due ostensibly to COVID-19. I suspect that is what led to Ruby Tuesday giving up the ghost. As I recall, it was still open when I drove to Fernandina in December of 2020, but the building is now a local sports bar. Along with the restaurant, several gas stations and convenience stores a victim to the mall's closure, and I may feature some here later.

You can see the mall in happier times in some nice pictures at this real estate site and note the demographics that make this place really dependant on Interstate custom: Less than 20,000 people live in a ten mile radius of the site.

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Written by ted on August 9th, 2021

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Arby's, 2821 Paxville Highway Manning: Spring 2015   4 comments

Posted at 12:19 pm in closing

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As I was heading out to my vacation last month, I noticed this closed Arby's in Manning, not too far from the I-95 interchange. I'm pretty sure it was not closed around Easter, or I would have noticed it then, but by this point it had obviously been closed several months.

That actually makes it rather unusual, as chains which are still around tend to get their signage down pretty quickly from closed stores. In this case the signage is still up, even on the drive-through, and the furniture is still inside.

UPDATE 9 February 2018 -- Now a Cookout:

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UPDATE 17 February 2018 -- Better pictures of the new Cookout:

Written by ted on August 21st, 2015

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Indian River Fruit Stand, A1A Yulee Florida: mid-1970s   no comments

Posted at 1:25 am in Uncategorized

I wish I had gotten better pictures of this place. Heavens knows I had enough opportunities over the years, but I never thought about it until quite recently, and the last few times I was in the area, it was either evening or heavily overcast, otherwise it might have been a picture on my Roadside Florida calendar.

This fruit stand was on A1A in Yulee Florida between I-95 (exit 373) and US-17. If you look closely on the door, you can see a Master Charge logo which dates the place to before 1979, when Master Charge changed to Master Card.

I like the shape of the building from the sides, and the wood cutout lettering and fruit shapes. It's the type of place that, while you may find its like still in service, is not being built anymore.

The fruit stand and an abandoned service station of the same vintage (about which I may do a closing eventually) stood on adjacent lots. As you can see in the later pictures, both have now been knocked down and the land is for sale (apparently interest is not high, as the price has been reduced).

And not to worry about being able to find Indian River citrus and Florida souveniers in Yulee.. Across the street from this stand's former location, a converted Stuckey's still offers all you could wish for:

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Written by ted on October 10th, 2012

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Cafe Risque / Victory Lane, I-95 Darien Georgia: 1 April 2009   10 comments

Posted at 10:02 pm in Uncategorized

If you drove I-95 to Florida in the 90s or 2000s, you could hardly miss the plethora of billboards with the come-on We Bare All dotted up and down the highway. Darien's Cafe Risque may not have out advertised Dillon's South of the Border, but you'd have to be driving in your sleep to be unaware of it -- until recently, that is.

Having not noticed the billboards lately, I decided to check into what had happened to the place on my drive back to Columbia last week.

The building is at Georgia exit 49 off of I-95 (Georgia Highway 251) on the other side of the Interstate from an outlet mall, and like many roadside attractions turns out to be much smaller than you might expect from the massive billboard campaign.

I really arrived too late in the evening to take good pictures, but these flash and longer exposures turned out well enough to show the current state of the place. Interestingly, after a month of being around marsh and woods, this parking lot was the only place I had a real mosquito problem -- the moment I got out of the car, they descended on me en-masse and I was scared I might pass out from blood loss getting these shots :-)

This Florida Times Union (Jacksonville) article tells the story of the end of Cafe Risque, and its beginning. Apparently the owner hoodwinked the town into approving a cafe on the site, and didn't mention the mealtime entertainment he planned to provide, and since there was no alcohol involved, there was little the town could do about it. (The article headline implies the town eventually shut it down, but the text makes clear it was lack of business).

As far as I could tell from I-75 signage, a sister Cafe Risque is still in operation in Micanopy Florida, just below Gainesville.
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Written by ted on August 25th, 2011

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