The fate of the San Luis boiled down to two choices: preserve a vacant, deterioriating building or demolish it for a new parking lot.
From a city wide standpoint, our approach to dealing with empty deteriorating buildings is an ongoing challenge. Neighbors do not like deteriorating buildings in their neighborhoods. Preservationists do not like demolition after neglect.
The challenge is how to get unmotivated property owners to dispose of or maintain properties that they do not want to operate or maintain? There are plenty of examples of buildings in this state. The NorthSide area has lots of them. The San Luis is one. The Avalon in South City is another.
Our choices should not be limited to vacant and deteriorating or demolition. Urbanists and preservationists should work with the community at large to develop stronger tools to ensure good building maintenance and operations.