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Old 01-04-2015, 01:23 AM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,714,031 times
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Great NYTs article and the accompanying slid-show is creepy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/bu...pl-share&_r=0#

Of course, dead malls and their accompanying underperforming parking aprons are prime opportunities and low-hanging fruit for suburban retrofits. These will end up being large blank slates - it's easy to demolish the buildings, cut in some roads, and plat the land. They frequently have all the utilities and more than sufficient zoning in place to develop mixed-use town centers without having to go through NIMBY wards. As far as fixing suburbia, it doesn't get any easier than a dead mall - so each one that dies is a cause for celebration and a hopeful sign of good things to come.

With 1/5th of nation's enclosed malls having large vacancy rates there will be lots of great opportunities in future. If you have a dead or dying mall in your area - consider getting involved and advocate for something really great and urban to replace them.

Enjoy the read!

Last edited by Komeht; 01-04-2015 at 02:05 AM..
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Dying suburban malls are often times great locations for new urbanism projects due to the large amount of land available and the ability to create a new street grid.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:23 AM
 
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Just so I have this straight -- 1/5 of malls have high vacancies, that means 80% are HAPPILY PACKING IN DRIVERS DELIGHTED TO SPEND THEIR MONEY TO WHERE THEY'VE DRIVEN. Seems like this is less an opportunity to raze these malls are start over with "new urbanism" than to just admit that maybe the mix of stores was not right for the area. The mall owners almost certainly are ill-equipped to become developers of hip "work / life centers" where cool kids can stroll from loft like living to loft like work spaces and hang out at craft brew pubs. Far more likely that these 20% of high vacancy malls are simply suffering from a poorly thought out mix of stores or in areas where there are not now and likely never will be enough JOBS to support any kind of development be it residential / retail / commercial...

If you have a dead or dying mall in your area I would advise simply letting its owners try to make a wise economic decision. If the mall owners do an analysis that shows there enough JOBS to support a healthy economy but the mix of stores is not capturing those dollars they'll redevelop to suit the area. There are no signs that urban areas are immune from poorly planned retail malls -- Heartland Real Estate Business There is very likely LOTS more of this sort of redevelopment where an enclosed mall that had the wrong mix of poorly merchandised earring stores and such is switched over to a retail strip center where shoppers can at least buy groceries and get other needed household goods from big box retailers. If the mall owners determine there is no way to make their property attractive even to low margin retailers like grocery stores and you live nearby it almost certainly makes sense to move someplace where there at least enough jobs to support such necessary retail.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,509,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Just so I have this straight -- 1/5 of malls have high vacancies, that means 80% are HAPPILY PACKING IN DRIVERS DELIGHTED TO SPEND THEIR MONEY TO WHERE THEY'VE DRIVEN. Seems like this is less an opportunity to raze these malls are start over with "new urbanism" than to just admit that maybe the mix of stores was not right for the area. The mall owners almost certainly are ill-equipped to become developers of hip "work / life centers" where cool kids can stroll from loft like living to loft like work spaces and hang out at craft brew pubs. Far more likely that these 20% of high vacancy malls are simply suffering from a poorly thought out mix of stores or in areas where there are not now and likely never will be enough JOBS to support any kind of development be it residential / retail / commercial...

If you have a dead or dying mall in your area I would advise simply letting its owners try to make a wise economic decision. If the mall owners do an analysis that shows there enough JOBS to support a healthy economy but the mix of stores is not capturing those dollars they'll redevelop to suit the area. There are no signs that urban areas are immune from poorly planned retail malls -- Heartland Real Estate Business There is very likely LOTS more of this sort of redevelopment where an enclosed mall that had the wrong mix of poorly merchandised earring stores and such is switched over to a retail strip center where shoppers can at least buy groceries and get other needed household goods from big box retailers. If the mall owners determine there is no way to make their property attractive even to low margin retailers like grocery stores and you live nearby it almost certainly makes sense to move someplace where there at least enough jobs to support such necessary retail.
True, some dying malls just need better tenants or better owners or to be rebuilt as a better mall. Though some of them make for good new urbanism projects as well.
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:31 PM
 
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Default Not very likely...

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
True, some dying malls just need better tenants or better owners or to be rebuilt as a better mall. Though some of them make for good new urbanism projects as well.
The NYT article pretty clearly explained that the majority of high vacancy malls are in parts of the country OTHER THAN THE AFFLUENT COASTAL CITIES -- that similarly corresponds to parts of the country that have not taken part in the stock market boom, the growth of white collar employment, or other hip lifestyle shifts.

The continued weakness in traditional low skill employment means that rural areas are falling FURTHER BEHIND the well educated elite white collar workers that are taking a larger and larger share of earning. EVEN with this as a primary driver the article makes clear that there is JUST TOO MUCH RETAIL SPACE and the collapse of regional department stores / near luxury retailers have hurt even traditional affluent suburban areas -- folks no longer need "business attire" from places like Lord & Taylor or Boscovs. The highlighted malls in suburban Maryland also lost anchors like Saks Fifth Ave. The poorly financed chains have left the market and there is no replacement wanted / needed. Heck if it were not for huge infusions of wealthy Seattlites fueling Nordstroms one wonders how well that luxury chain would be doing with the prevalence of "casual attire" in most workplaces...

Urbanism cannot make up for the failure of MANUFACTURING in the the industrial rust belt. A whole host of wrong headed POLICIES that favor landlords in urban areas has shifted wealth to those that exploit the stupidity of post college hip crowd and until fools that think otherwise wake up they'll remain part of the problem NOT THE SOLUTION...

Last edited by chet everett; 01-04-2015 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:38 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,772 posts, read 54,408,375 times
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The data means that 4/5 or 80% of the malls are doing just fine. That's no indication of a trend, since easily 20% of the cities are still having financial difficulties. Here for example, malls are not only doing well but in major expansion, with high-end stores being added and little or no vacancy.
Not that I care, since I avoid them, and buy almost everything online, but there are still plenty of people crowding the malls and filling up their multi-story parking garages. So much so that during holiday shopping season bus routes are changed to avoid the congestion.


Bellevue Square Expansion | Bellevue Square Expansion
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Old 01-04-2015, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,509,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
The NYT article pretty clearly explained that the majority of high vacancy malls are in parts of the country OTHER THAN THE AFFLUENT COASTAL CITIES -- that similarly corresponds to parts of the country that have not taken part in the stock market boom, the growth of white collar employment, or other hip lifestyle shifts.

The continued weakness in traditional low skill employment means that rural areas are falling FURTHER BEHIND the well educated elite white collar workers that are taking a larger and larger share of earning. EVEN with this as a primary driver the article makes clear that there is JUST TOO MUCH RETAIL SPACE and the collapse of regional department stores / near luxury retailers have hurt even traditional affluent suburban areas -- folks no longer need "business attire" from places like Lord & Taylor or Boscovs. The highlighted malls in suburban Maryland also lost anchors like Saks Fifth Ave. The poorly financed chains have left the market and there is no replacement wanted / needed. Heck if it were not for huge infusions of wealthy Seattlites fueling Nordstroms one wonders how well that luxury chain would be doing with the prevalence of "casual attire" in most workplaces...

Urbanism cannot make up for the failure of MANUFACTURING in the the industrial rust belt. A whole host of wrong headed POLICIES that favor landlords in urban areas has shifted wealth to those that exploit the stupidity of post college hip crowd and until fools that think otherwise wake up they'll remain part of the problem NOT THE SOLUTION...
Again, I 100% agree with you.

There is no one solution to fix a dying mall. There are lots of possible solutions.
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Old 01-04-2015, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,509,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
The data means that 4/5 or 80% of the malls are doing just fine. That's no indication of a trend, since easily 20% of the cities are still having financial difficulties. Here for example, malls are not only doing well but in major expansion, with high-end stores being added and little or no vacancy.
Not that I care, since I avoid them, and buy almost everything online, but there are still plenty of people crowding the malls and filling up their multi-story parking garages. So much so that during holiday shopping season bus routes are changed to avoid the congestion.


Bellevue Square Expansion | Bellevue Square Expansion
Bellevue Square has done a very good job of turning itself into an urban mall and being the centerpiece for shopping in downtown Bellevue.
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Old 01-04-2015, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Malls that are dying because they're in a declining area might have a hard time attracting any investment so this won't always work, but sometimes it can.

Here are some from Toronto.

Abandonned:

Honeydale Mall: It's not in a bad area, the neighbourhoods a bit to the east closer to downtown (ex Kingsway) are gentrifying. Probably part of the decline is tied to competition from Sherway Gardens mall which is bigger, more upscale, and expanding again, as well as new standalone big box stores. The area in general has a lot of retail. The owners probably aren't bothering refurbishing their mall because they're hoping to sell to condo developers.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.62933.../data=!3m1!1e3

Downmarket/declined

Westwood Mall: neighbourhood (Malton) has become highly ethnic (mostly south asians and blacks) and a bit rough (by Toronto standards) although that seems to have stabilized now and I'm not sure it was ever really a run-down looking neighbourhood. The mall is now pretty ethnic, probably gone downmarket but still pretty occupied
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.71924.../data=!3m1!1e3

Central Parkway Mall: Has also largely gone ethnic but less successful than Westwood (also it's smaller). Most of the parked cars are for the passport office.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.60235.../data=!3m1!1e3

Woodbine Centre: between Rexdale Mall and Westwood Mall, almost killed off both and then started to decline (i.e. vacancies) itself, I think it might've rebounded a little in the last few years though
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.72014.../data=!3m1!1e3

Galleria Mall: In one of the handful of urban core neighbourhoods of Toronto that haven't been gentrified, dated and downmarket but low vacancy and undergoing renovations to expand the anchor stores.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.66732.../data=!3m1!1e3

Maybe Sheridan Centre and South Common Mall in Mississauga could be included too, they've experienced competition from bigger and/or newer shopping.

Demolished (and redeveloped)

Lots of malls were turned into power centres/big box stores, usually in working class, often somewhat declining areas.

Rexdale Mall: https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.71496.../data=!3m1!1e3
Westside Mall: https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.69265.../data=!3m1!1e3
Morningside Mall: https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.77008.../data=!3m1!1e3
Shoppers World (being partially redeveloped): https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.66549.../data=!3m1!1e3
Trafalgar Village: https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.45508.../data=!3m1!1e3

Warden Woods was redeveloped into a power centre, which was in turn redeveloped into townhouses.
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.70264.../data=!3m1!1e3

Don Mills Centre: in a pretty good area, but still the mall declined (due to competition from other malls and loss of anchors?) and was redeveloped into an open air lifestyle centre with the parking lots in the process of being turned into condos
https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.73431.../data=!3m1!1e3

There's also some smaller strip malls that have declined and been demolished.

Last edited by memph; 01-04-2015 at 03:26 PM..
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:35 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,714,031 times
Reputation: 2538
Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
The NYT article pretty clearly explained that the majority of high vacancy malls are in parts of the country OTHER THAN THE AFFLUENT COASTAL CITIES -- that similarly corresponds to parts of the country that have not taken part in the stock market boom, the growth of white collar employment, or other hip lifestyle shifts.

The continued weakness in traditional low skill employment means that rural areas are falling FURTHER BEHIND the well educated elite white collar workers that are taking a larger and larger share of earning. EVEN with this as a primary driver the article makes clear that there is JUST TOO MUCH RETAIL SPACE and the collapse of regional department stores / near luxury retailers have hurt even traditional affluent suburban areas -- folks no longer need "business attire" from places like Lord & Taylor or Boscovs. The highlighted malls in suburban Maryland also lost anchors like Saks Fifth Ave. The poorly financed chains have left the market and there is no replacement wanted / needed. Heck if it were not for huge infusions of wealthy Seattlites fueling Nordstroms one wonders how well that luxury chain would be doing with the prevalence of "casual attire" in most workplaces...

Urbanism cannot make up for the failure of MANUFACTURING in the the industrial rust belt. A whole host of wrong headed POLICIES that favor landlords in urban areas has shifted wealth to those that exploit the stupidity of post college hip crowd and until fools that think otherwise wake up they'll remain part of the problem NOT THE SOLUTION...
You're completely mistaken that Dead Malls are an affliction limited to industrial rust belt cities - go to deadmalls.com to see hundreds of dead and dying malls from ever corner of the country.
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