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Why Mall Reuse is Just Beginning



A new report provides some data points to show seriously promising signs.
There’s no question that the regional mall landscape is changing, and that opens up a ton of questions about how things will be changing as we move forward. The retail environment continues to evolve quite quickly, but owners and property managers can’t simply wait for things to shake out before they implement some changes. 

Regional mall

A new report from Transwestern entitled “Why Mall Reuse is Just Beginning” shows that despite all of the doom and gloom news, owners are proactive when it comes to creating value for their spaces. Also, the report provides some promising data points to show that occupancy and productivity in malls are showing some seriously promising signs.
  • Mall occupancy across the U.S. was above 95% in December 2016, equating to 848 million sq. ft. of space.
  • Mall productivity has remained relatively steady and rose 0.7% in the last year to $465 per square foot.
Brian Landes, the report’s author and Director of GIS/Location Intelligence for Transwestern, provides some more insight into what they uncovered in their report. 

“The assumptions that all purchases are moving online, all retailers are going bankrupt, and all millennials reject the suburban mall, and the lifestyle it represents are grossly exaggerated,” said Landes. “Furthermore, we’ve seen that when malls are reconsidered and repurposed for other uses, their value may far exceed their use as conventional retail space.”

Nick Hernandez, Managing Director of Retail for Transwestern, notes that the proactivity on the part of owners and managers is helping to fill the gaps created by store closures. 

“While we’ve seen store closures increase in 2017, for the most part, malls are attracting new tenants through strategic marketing and property enhancements,” he added. “And in cases where a retail mall no longer makes sense, we have seen many owners successfully adapt to the changes in their trade areas by repurposing the mall for another use.”

Add it all up, and there’s plenty of promising signs for regional mall owners and managers. Those that are proactive and adapt to the times will go on to survive, while those that fail to do that run the risk of becoming a statistic. 

“Mall reuse has a high chance of success because they typically are located in desirable areas with good traffic patterns, high visibility, and ample parking,” Landes continued. “A creative approach based on a thorough analysis of the market data is allowing the regional mall – which really took off in the 1950s – to evolve into a new type of gathering place that meets the needs of its community.”Read 

Read the full report "Why Mall Reuse Is Just Beginning."

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