Convenience stores had the idea first - find busy traffic-corner locations, provide quick and easy in-and-out access for cars, and provide a variety of impulse and customer-wanted merchandise.
Now there's another real estate development replacement idea for once-busy corners - especially intersections where automobile gasoline service stations have gone out of business. In one major city builder-developers have been leasing the once-abandoned gas station sites to put in mini-shopping centers.
''We've found the idea really workable,'' said an executive of one firm,'' because what we do is remodel or renovate the buildings - maybe add some inside space - and provide retail areas for from 6 to 10 small shops. Of course, the type of neighborhood determines the tenant mix - whether they will be fast foods , shoe repair, delis, bookstores, or what.''
Curb-area parking accommodates 30 cars in one recently completed small mall.