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Old 03-04-2013, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,018 times
Reputation: 217

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Dying Shopping Malls : Where? Why? Remedies



I asked this question on another thread:
Why are Shopping Malls Dying?
Why do you suppose so many Malls are closing across America?
(And so few new ones are being built?)

I got an interesting variety of answers, to summarize:

Recent answers:

+ "Malls are dying a slow death as a result of better prices on the internet resulting from less overhead and more efficient business models." (W2PA)

+ "I think malls are closing because they combine the sterility of big box 'needs' stores, but sometimes they'll have the inconvenient parking you find in a downtown." (CS)

+ "I feel that many (not all) malls are closing because trends change. Just because an indoor shopping mall or an old strip mall close down, does not mean that they are being replaced or should be replaced by facilities without easy, free parking." (KRPL)

Posted somewhere previously

+ "Malls are dying because the economy turned down, and people had less money for shopping."

There seems to be more than one reason provided here. So it is fair to say there are a variety of reasons, or perhaps confusion about the Main reason.

I find it more than a little ironic, that some people seem to think the problem of closing Malls can be solved with more parking.

I have my own reason(s), but I am not going to inflame people by putting it forward in the first post.

On this thread, I want to go beyond the WHY, and also look at the Dying Malls and suggest remedies.

BTW, the Dying Mall phenomenon seems to be most evident in America. Malls in other countries that I have been to seem to be thriving. And that includes malls built around different models than you see in the USA.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,018 times
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Here's another dying Mall


Scenes From A Dying Mall in Alexandria, Virginia - YouTube

Landmark Mall | 5801 Duke Street | Alexandria, Virginia 22304

The mall has been an economic development priority of the city’s for years, and city council approved a new land use plan in 2009 meant to revitalize the area. Part of the city’s Landmark/Van Dorn Corridor Plan called for the Landmark Mall to be turned into a more vibrant mixed-use town center with new retail, residential, hotel and open space.

===
/more: Howard Hughes Corp. advancing Landmark Mall plans - Washington Business Journal
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,018 times
Reputation: 217
Before picking over the corpses, let's also take a quick look at the more successful malls ...
Or at least the largest ones:


Top 10 Largest Malls In The U.S. - YouTube

Top 10 Largest Malls
=====
#1 : Mall of America : Bloomington, MN
#2 : Arizona Mills : Tempe, AZ
#3 : Rodeo Drive : Beverley Hills, CA
#4 : Macy's : New York City, NY
#5 : Fashion Show : Las Vegas, NV

#6 : South Coast Plaza : Coasta Mesa, CA
#7 : Sawgrass Mills, Sunrise, FL
#8 : Ala Moana Center : Honolulu, HA
#9 : The Gallery of Dallas : North Dallas, TX
10 : King of Prussia Mall : King of Prussia, PA
=====

Last edited by Geologic; 03-04-2013 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
550 posts, read 1,090,907 times
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I don't how to save malls but I'm sure you'll say that mass transit and walkable cities are the answer.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EVAunit1981 View Post
I don't how to save malls but I'm sure you'll say that mass transit and walkable cities are the answer.
I haven't said anything yet. (And it seems you don't want me to confuse you with the facts.)

I am interested in what the Mall Owners have decided to do.

Here's one:
The Landmark, in Alexandra, VA:
" Plan called for the Landmark Mall to be turned into a more vibrant mixed-use town center with new retail, residential, hotel and open space."

So far, I don't see that the lack of sufficient parking was the problem - they are aiming to add open space (perhaps by converting a parking area), and add more people, through residential construction, and a hotel.

You say: "I don't how to save malls..." Perhaps the people who own them, and have millions invested (that they want to save), will come up with better solutions than you and I can do.

Last edited by Geologic; 03-04-2013 at 06:01 PM..
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,018 times
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Exploring the Dead Innsbruck Mall : Asheville, NC


Exploring the Dead Innsbruck Mall - YouTube

That escalator ride up at the beginning of the Video may tell the story.

The mall is not readily accessible, and is on the way to nowhere - that was my first impression.
If it was totally dead, then there will be no shops at all - no one would pay rent. This place could have some traffic on the weekends.

Here's an Excerpt from a Jan. 2008 Review:

Innsbruck Mall is an interesting mall: anchored by what seem to be a thriving Big Lots, Office Depot and a dated Ingles, the mall has new aspects (such as what seem to be a brand-new parking lot and recently-renovated exterior), indicating that its owners think it's worth the investment...

Based on the mall's appearance, I'd guess it was built in the 1960s or 1970s, when anything with an enclosed corridor was "all that". It's located in a decent area with some new construction around it, and it is so small that I don't see it as a competitor to Asheville Mall, the thriving regional mall nearby...

Whatever this mall's history, there is absolutely no reason to go there unless you just want to see an odd, half-living, half-dead mall or unless you live in the area. Ashevillians deserve better.


===
/more: http://deadmalls.com/malls/innsbruck_mall.html

That was 2008.
A new Parking lot seems to have not solved this mall's problem. I suppose the other mall nearby captures all the business. What sort of fate awaits this place?

Last edited by Geologic; 03-04-2013 at 06:12 PM..
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Michigan
4,571 posts, read 7,029,475 times
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Most malls go through cycles, as with the economy. New malls are very popular, then traffic begins to die down, then the mall enters a lull phase where anchor stores are leaving/being replaced or the mall simply closes altogether.

One factor is that a lot of malls are built while a suburban area is developing. So most of the time, it's fairly easy to get customers because there's a constant stream of new residents into the area. In an older suburb with sometimes a more mature population, there's going to be less people visiting that mall or malls in the area.

In other parts of the world, malls are in fairly dense and constantly changing communities, whereas American malls are in more demographically homogeneous and slower changing communities. At least that's my theory. It's probably not the most accurate one.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:49 PM
 
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The King of Prussia Mall and Sawgrass Mills are as far from walkable as you're likely to get. KoP is your classic enclosed mall (actually 2) in the suburbs with a sea of parking, now with restaurants, a Crate and Barrel, a big-box strip mall (including a Nordstrom Rack), and a huge movie theatre on the perimeter. Sawgrass Mills is an enclosed outlet mall in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a sea of parking, and containing a ridiculous number of so-called outlet stores, many of them duplicates of each other. Both pull in visitors not only locally, but regionally and even internationally (particularly in the case of Sawgrass Mills).

I'm not sure where they got that list; King of Prussia is bigger than Macy's Herald Square by any measure I can think of besides height. Also Macy's isn't a mall... it's one store.

Anyway, the death of the mall is greatly exaggerated.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Hong Kong
1,329 posts, read 872,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
Most malls go through cycles, as with the economy. New malls are very popular, then traffic begins to die down, then the mall enters a lull phase where anchor stores are leaving/being replaced or the mall simply closes altogether.

One factor is that a lot of malls are built while a suburban area is developing. So most of the time, it's fairly easy to get customers because there's a constant stream of new residents into the area. In an older suburb with sometimes a more mature population, there's going to be less people visiting that mall or malls in the area.

In other parts of the world, malls are in fairly dense and constantly changing communities, whereas American malls are in more demographically homogeneous and slower changing communities. At least that's my theory. It's probably not the most accurate one.
An interesting point - and I can see some validity in it.

If the Mall is most useful in the Suburban Build-out part of the cycle, then perhaps the owners should plan to change the sorts of stores that are in the mall over time. And maybe successful mall owners do that, I really cannot say.

For me, the Mall has a permanent function providing a shopping and eating focus, in just the way that old Main streets used to do.

(And in the way that High Streets in British Cities still do. One problem in the UK has been that rising taxes, and rising rents have choked off vitality of many of the high streets, at a time when shopping revenues fell during a recession. Perhaps taxes have been a problem in the US too.)



US Malls seem to be reverting to the old Main Street model, as many are aiming to recover through retrofitting, which usually means adding residential, and making better (more walkable) connections with the people living nearby.

BTW, we do not see pronounced CYCLES such as you have described in Hong Kong. The malls here thrive. Some service the local population, which mainly walks to them, providing a permanent and non-cyclical demand. While other malls service tourists, mostly from mainland China, who stay in hotels in the area, or commute to the malls by public transport. Some even come in from Shenzhen to shop during the day, and return to China at night. They do not drive, because cars are not easily permitted to cross the border. The HK model (parking-light*) works well here, and also across the border in China. In addition, We are seeing it in many other cities in Asia, and in the UK and Europe too.

=====
*BTW, I am not saying that HK malls do not have parking. Of course they do. But the parking is out of the way, in multi-level garages. The land around the malls is just too valuable to give it over to open-air flat parking lots. US mall owners should be so lucky to see their land go to the values that you see around malls in HK.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:04 PM
 
3,463 posts, read 4,537,374 times
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When I lived in Floridistan, I saw a few close in just a few years . . .

The internet ?
Not as much expendable cash for impulse purchases anymore ?
Traffic is finally bad enough to keep some people away ?

Heres to a quick and painful death to malls and the development companies who build them
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