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Irvine Spectrum Center Shows How To Handle Anchor Loss



Instead of looking for another retail giant, Irvine is looking to carve it up to accommodate as many as 20 different retailers.
As a number of retail giants continue to shutter unprofitable locations in a bid to right the ship, those closures result in a perplexing conundrum for mall owners. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Irvine Spectrum Center in southern California recently dealt with that first hand, and how they responded provides a shining example for other landlords to follow. 

Macy’s has announced a wave of store closings, and their location at the Irvine Spectrum Center was one of the ones on the list. The retail giant occupied a whopping 140,000 square feet at the mall, and that’s a pretty frightening prospect for any landlord to have to face. Mall owners Irvine Co. decided to seize the opportunity in front of it, and even referred to it as “a unique opportunity to rebalance.” 

Instead of looking for another retail giant to fill the massive amount of space, Irvine is looking to carve it up to accommodate as many as 20 different retailers. Many other property owners are realizing that may be the way to go when faced with such a daunting amount of space to fill.

Irvine Spectrum Center
Irvine Company announces a major $150-million reinvestment in Irvine Spectrum Center

“When a Macy’s leaves, there is no one else to go to and say, ‘I have this space for you and I’ll give you a great [lease] rate. When these department stores leave there’s a huge hole to fill,” explains  Britt Beemer, founder of America’s Research Group.

Some retail experts are pointing to doom and gloom for malls when the big-box stores pack up and leave, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Proactive owners that seize the opportunity to reimagine the space often find that they have some intriguing opportunities in front of them. Where once there sat a massive store that was somewhat behind the times, that same space can be recreated into something that will resonate with today’s consumers. 

Think expanded food offerings, interactive experiences, pop-up retailers, or even service oriented businesses - who are increasingly lining up to hang their shingles up at the local mall. While it’s certainly daunting and frightening to have so much space to fill in a short period of time, it’s not an impossibility, and the reimagined space can actually open up more possibilities for the property as a whole.   

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