In Honor of ICSC 2018 — It’s the Reinventing Retail-Mall Issue!
Vision #1: It’s not the 1970s anymore and people shop and live differently. College graduates see the world differently in 2018 than they did in the Reagan era, when the suburbs grew, and shopping malls grew along with them. So, where’s the growth now? Experts say look to the cities. “There’s an incredible imbalance between urban and suburban locations. Sales per square foot are up 23% in urban areas,” said Suzanne Mulvee, CoStar strategist. Chain Store Age magazine noted in a recent article that “while the lack of starter homes in the marketplace is forcing young adults to seek out small apartments in the city.” Do you agree? Tell us via Twitter or on our “Contact” page.
A Shopping Center’s Plan for Staying in the Suburbs
Vision #2: In Michigan, they’re looking at an upscale retail and residential development planned for Commerce Township as a potential blueprint for how to build an all-new suburban shopping district in an online shopping world. A recent article in The Detroit Free Press detailed the ambitious $100 million-plus project that’s still in the planning stages right now. Known as “Five & Main,” the project would be built on 42 acres of vacant land and it’s being pitched as an open-air lifestyle center. “Five & Main would focus more on services for consumers’ lifestyles and less on brand-name clothing and other goods easily bought online. This will mean more restaurants, gourmet grocers, beauty shops, boutique fitness studios and pet grooming services,” said Robert Bruce Aikens, Jr. of Robert B. Aikens & Associates. “This is kind of the new template for the modern shopping center,” he added.
Taking Something Vintage and Shaping it into Something New
Vision #3: Optimism abounds at the Kalispell Center Mall in Kalispell, Montana. Even their website is different than most malls’, as its opening animation suggests a playfulness that’s been missing from shopping but people tend to crave. Though the mall has been hurt in recent years by the economy and online shopping, the property manager has his eyes on the future, according to a recent article in The Flathead Beacon. “Perhaps the biggest reason for optimism is a plan to redevelop the core area of town. The railroad tracks through downtown will be ripped up and replaced with a walking path, passing directly behind the mall and vast swaths of underutilized land in the heart of Kalispell.” Additionally, the mall has local government in its corner. “Kalispell City Planner Tom Jentz has called the plan to redevelop the core area ‘transformative’ and that the plan’s key to success is intelligently incorporating facilities like the mall with new developments.”