What Should We Do With All These #@$@& Empty WaMu Branches?

WaMu went on an insane building spree in Chicago a few years ago, and when combined with Chase, already a huge player in the Chicago market, it became obvious that there are just too many damn bank branches. Chase recently announced that it would close almost 300 WaMu locations nationwide — 57 of them in the Chicago-area alone. The bank branches replaced local businesses during the boom, but will they come back during the bust?

Chicago-blog Hyde Park Progress takes a look at a building on Chicago’s South Side that was recently renovated and turned into a WaMu, which, of course, is now closing.

Now we have a landlord at 1364 E. 53rd who had a bank tenant paying $32/square foot and now has nothing; had he kept the paying tenants cut loose in 2005, he would be in a better position. Instead, he signed with a financial institution that has gone down as the biggest bankruptcy in US history, which has caused the credit markets to freeze up, and a recession to accelerate, all of which make it highly unlikely that he will find a new tenant for the space vacated by the bank that drove the businesses out to begin with.

So, what do we do with all these WaMus? Suggestions?

Shuttered Bank Branch on 53rd a Window on Credit Crisis [Hyde Park Progress]