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Old 01-05-2015, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Lynn, MA
325 posts, read 402,142 times
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This was a great article but the whole issue is overblown, suburban malls aren't going anywhere. I think what happened was that larger malls gobbled up smaller malls, and many mall owners are upgrading current successful malls rather than building new ones. I do think it's clear we've reached "peak mall" though, unless they can expand on the concept.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,103 posts, read 4,272,808 times
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It sounds to me like too many malls were built, and now theyre scaling back to the "right fit" per capita. Here in Jax we had too many built too close to each other. So one of the major malls that was too close to a lower income area closed down. Another was bought by the local Community College and turned into a campus.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:47 AM
 
28,441 posts, read 71,017,319 times
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Default That is probably true, but the problem with threads like this is the "I only have a hammer, everything must be a nail" -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Tolkienish Figure View Post
This was a great article but the whole issue is overblown, suburban malls aren't going anywhere. I think what happened was that larger malls gobbled up smaller malls, and many mall owners are upgrading current successful malls rather than building new ones. I do think it's clear we've reached "peak mall" though, unless they can expand on the concept.
It should be clear that malls in AFFLUENT AREA be they suburban or more dense are DOING FINE. In contrast in the areas where there are not enough people and too many stores the solution is NOT to get rid of cars but to allow the mix of stores / people who can support them to come into balance.

Sadly zealots that see cars as the only problem are just like maniacs that wield a hammer against everything that needs fastening. Only rarely will it make sense to nail something with a hammer. Wise urban planners that do not fall in love with fads cautiously approach every problem.

Those that mindlessly hate cars and see the removal of freeways as some kind of "magic bullet" do nothing to address the root causes of the "over retailing" that leads to failed malls. Quite the opposite a comprehensive approach to improving intra-urban transportation OFTEN requires improving roads so that people can easily get into areas with shopping malls and other kinds of concentrated retail.

The NYT article showed that with 80% of malls having no issues with vacancy this is really a problem that effects some specific situations -- loss of certain anchor stores was highlighted and folks that study why some department stores succeed where others fail often come to the conclusion that it really is a question of how well the mix of products match the demands of consumers. Some high end stores (notable Nordstroms) are exceptionally good in serving the desires of their clients. At the other end low priced stores like Wal~Mart seem to meet the needs of customers to find good they need at a price they can afford.

That bifurcated distribution is also borne out by the articles I linked to regarding Austin's demographics -- folks with good jobs in high tech sectors just do not shop in the places that low income folks do. Freeways won't change that...
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:21 AM
 
3,959 posts, read 3,489,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post

I personally don't care if Detroit had a say in where GM built their headquarters, I was only speaking in hypothetical, as in the past has already happened and there is no changing it, but in hindsight, it would have been better for Detroit to have all that office space and workers within downtown rather than outside of downtown. The highway loop was unnecessary except that it connected to GM making it so the employees never had to set a single foot in downtown Detroit.

You seem to think I am saying Detroit should have forced GM to build it's office space within downtown. I am not saying that, I am just saying it was a mistake that it wasn't built within downtown.

As for what is downtown Detroit? Detroit defined that when it built the freeway loop that encompasses it's downtown. Anything outside of that loop, I don't consider to be downtown Detroit. The loop surrounding downtown basically functions as a wall that separates it from the surrounding neighborhoods it once was connected to.

Also, I am not promoting forcing anyone to do anything. The fact that you think I am forcing anyone to do anything against their will is absurd.
I know this is off topic, but how is GM's headquarters not downtown Detroit? They moved from their New Center location in 1996 to the Ren Center because it was an amazing deal and they wanted to have a more central presence in the cities revitalization. Also the freeway system you say Detroit built (Which GMs headquarters is within) was put in place in the late 50s/ early 60s almost 40 years before GM located to the riverfront. This makes no sense.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:40 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,348,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
correction: I never said all freeways are bad. Freeways that connect productive places are very good things. Freeways that plow through and destroy productive places are very bad.
So what was productive place was destroyed by I-5 in Austin - and what's "productive" about any neighborhood?
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:45 AM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,714,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
So what was productive place was destroyed by I-5 in Austin - and what's "productive" about any neighborhood?
I-35 cuts a football field sized swatch through the heart of Austin and condemns about another amount of that land on either side to low intensity uses (adult book stores, gas stations, lingerie modeling studios, fast food joints, etc. tend to be the businesses willing to locate there) Compare that with the value and contribution to the community of the neighborhoods that are several blocks off the freeway and you'll see a world of difference.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:17 AM
 
1,915 posts, read 2,048,279 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Oh, indeed, the property owners rarely have the expertise to do this well (I mean, look at the disasters they built - horrific). But with the right zoning and helpful local governments those dead and dying malls can become awesome acquisition opportunities for people who do have this expertise. It's up to the municipalities to set a high vision for what the city can and should become.
Statements like this are sadly revealing. Don't let property owners make decisions for themselves--Party Commissars must do it. Do they have red star hats too?

We have seen THAT future, and it didn't work.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,416 posts, read 11,917,166 times
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I've said this before, but malls have many issues which make them hard to operate.

One of the major issues is the structural form itself. In a traditional urban commercial area, a strip mall, or a modern "lifestyle center", the circulation space between stores is out in the open, meaning it is not climate controlled. In contrast, in a mall it is indoors, which requires it to be lit, heated in the winter, and air conditioned in the summer. It has additional disadvantages shared with strip malls and lifestyle centers, but not traditional commercial downtowns, such as parking and cleaning of common areas being paid for via rent, rather than provided for through public taxes.

A traditional urban downtown can deal with say a 20% vacancy rate okay, if the remainder of businesses are generating commercial traffic. The direct owners of the vacant storefronts may be losing money, but the amount may be nominal, amounting only to the annual property taxes paid on the building. Neighboring properties which are fully leased will only feel the effects of this vacancy minimally, if at all.

In contrast, a mall with 20% vacancy is in big trouble. Since there are fixed operating costs for the mall - the heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning, and other infrastructure-related costs - a mall with 30% vacancy has to make tough choices. If it cannot find some businesses willing to enter its vacant storefronts, it may be forced to raise rents on the remaining stores, which will probably push a few more out, and thus make the issue even worse, potentially leading to a "death spiral."
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:36 AM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,714,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickB1967 View Post
Statements like this are sadly revealing. Don't let property owners make decisions for themselves--Party Commissars must do it. Do they have red star hats too?

We have seen THAT future, and it didn't work.
How is the city allowing a higher level of development to occur in any way related to what you are saying.

Y'all have a bizarre read on things. There are few things on earth as tightly controlled or mandated than suburban sprawl. Every parking space, lighting poll, sign, bio swale, curb cut, curb radius, height, setback, lane width - the entire kit and caboodle is precisely to code.

All we're talking about is a better code.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:45 AM
 
2,824 posts, read 3,348,447 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Hey sparky. Great to hear from you. But boy are you out of your depth. Two things:

1. I didn't say all malls were dying. The article pointed out that 80 percent are still alive. Some of those are even thriving. The ones that are dying present an amazing opportunity for cities to do better.

2. The Domain isn't a traditional mall at all. It's mixed use district with retail, groceries, commercial office and housing...in other word a a town center type development that is replacing the traditional malls. So, thanks for pointing that out.

Try to keep up kiddo.
Just another way to say "all commercial". The housing is apartments renting for $1,100 - $3,300/month. Although the site touts "live, work" in the Domain the apartments certainly aren't the homes for all the retail sales clerks in the Domain. The folks staying in the hotel aren't there for extended time periods. The people that do live there drive elsewhere to work. The place touts itself as "sustainable" whatever that's supposed to mean. Promoters seems to promote endless spending on rent, restaurant, and entertainment. The "green" in "Green Urbanism" means your money. Funny that Komeht is so opposed to malls. It would seem that the Domain is nothing but a suburban mall that includes rental housing and office space.
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