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Urban Malls Are Thriving



These thriving malls are blending right into the urban fabric by offering every need you can imagine.
Exciting times are afoot in the shopping mall sector. A reimagining of what the mall can be by innovative developers and proactive owners has offered up a sneak peek into what the future may hold. In many cases, we can even say that the future is now. Some breathtaking developments have started popping up across the country, and there’s a clear trend at hand. The mall as we know it is transforming into the centerpiece of some amazing urban mixed-use developments. 

As consumer preferences continue to evolve, one thing has become readily apparent. Today’s consumers are increasingly intrigued by the idea of community hubs as gathering places - similar to what the shopping mall of yesteryear was - but with a modern spin that offers up even more. While retail stores and restaurants remain a key component, there are plenty of other needs that can be fulfilled in one complex. As the Guardian shares, these thriving malls are blending right into the urban fabric by offering every need you can imagine. 

 Westfield World Trade Center
Oculus - Westfield World Trade Center

For example, take a look at Westfield’s fantastic Oculus in the heart of New York City. Westfield bets big that a mall could work well in the Big Apple, and it turns out they were spot on. However, this isn’t your average everyday mall, and Westfield has created a structure befitting of its majestic name. It’s nicknamed “The New New York Place to Be,” and that may not be hyperbole. The tagline says it all: “Shop. Eat. Drink. Play. All under one magnificent roof.”

In essence, Westfield has created a mall that’s chock full of all kinds of ethnic shops, name brand retailers, and places to eat and play that’s easily accessible. A city within a city, if you will, and that falls into the larger trend of breathtaking mixed-use developments that are popping up all over the nation. 

“The Westfield mall is virtually indistinguishable from Dubai duty-free,” says Michael Sorkin, professor of architecture at City College of New York. “The effect is compromising and imperial – a real estate formula.”

Las Vegas Downtown Container Park
Las Vegas’s Downtown Container Park

Other malls that are changing the way we think about the whole sector are Las Vegas’s Downtown Container Park and Miami’s Brickell City Centre. They follow the same formula as Oculus and mainly weave themselves directly into the fabric of the surrounding urban enclave. 

Brickell City Centre, Miami
Miami’s Brickell City Centre

Property owners in smaller locales can draw plenty of inspiration from these gems, and it’s not out of the question to create a similar environment - albeit on a smaller scale. Westfield’s simple formula of “Shop. Eat. Drink. Play.” makes a perfect starting point, and it can be adapted based on the surrounding communities needs. For some, that may mean a new high-end multiplex theater. For others, that may mean hotel rooms, offices, condominiums or apartments. 

Think a community hub that the whole surrounding community will revolve around. That was the original thought behind shopping malls, to begin with, and it’s possible to bring them back to that point better than ever. 



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A total of 12 flagship department stores, 90 stores, and more than 60 catering facilities will be located at the complex.
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K in Lautern GLA:224 966 SF
ADDRESS: 67655 Kaiserslautern
Germany . Kaiserslautern
K in Lautern
Shopping City Süd GLA:1 862 156 SF
ADDRESS: Europaring 2334 Vösendorf
Austria . Vienna
Shopping City Süd
AEON MALL Okinawa Rycom GLA:839 585 SF
ADDRESS: 901-2300 Tochi-kukaku seirichinai Awase, Kitanakagusuku Village, Nakagami District, Okinawa
Japan . Ginowan
AEON MALL Okinawa Rycom
Hillcrest Mall GLA:585 758 SF
ADDRESS: 9350 Yonge St, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 5G2
Canada . Richmond
Hillcrest Mall


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