Malls Will Soar Like Eagles, Not Rot Like Triceratops
Dinosaurs are pretty cool. They are huge, they are small. They have giant, menacing teeth, or they have horns on their face. They’re also extinct. They didn’t evolve. Malls are not dinosaurs. They are birds, and they are gorgeous and strong and can fly. That’s right – FLY! Malls are birds, and though the pandemic may have temporarily slowed them down, they are poised to soar once again. That’s the belief of Colin Shaughnessy, the executive VP of U.S. leasing at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. In a piece posted on the Commercial Observer’s website, Shaughnessy outlined his top five trends to watch regarding the future of physical retail, including giving customers more reasons to visit in-person. “Retail developments are not just focused on shopping anymore. We know our space is our biggest asset, and what we do with it and how we rework it with the right combination of tenants is key to our success,” Shaughnessy said. He cited Westfield UTC in San Diego, which recently added a residential tower with 300 residences within the existing development.
Albertsons CEO: Digital Important, Physical Shopping to Remain
As malls evolve, supermarkets are becoming as important to them, or the stores within them, as entertainment and green space. The food industry association, FMI, held its Midsummer Strategic Executive Exchange event last month. The breakout session, “Retail 2021: The State of Grocery,” Albertsons President and CEO Vivek Sankaran said though it is dangerous to predict the future, he suggested there were certain trends that were not likely to be reversed post-pandemic. According to coverage of the event on Grocery Business magazine’s website, Sankaran said that “digital engagement, e-commerce and remote work” could be positive for the industry. Physical retail, however, would still going to be an important component to everyday life. “The desire to shop and the convenience of having something delivered at home or put in the trunk of your car is incredible, and I think consumers never give convenience back, so that trend will only continue,” Sankaran said.
Space Development: Retail May Not Always the Best Use
As we’ve learned people and malls can adapt in a myriad of ways, and there are differing opinions of what the future holds. The blueprint isn’t necessarily the same map every mall or shopping center should follow. In Los Angeles, for example, part of the former Westside Pavilion is being occupied by tech-giant, Google. And the old Macy’s there is being converted into creative office space. In a recent article in the Los Angeles Business Journal, developers are said to be converting some malls and retail centers into medical suites, offices, schools and multifamily buildings, with less of a focus on retail. “The idea is to create multiple uses that are synergistic to make these former enclosed malls now the center of the community,” said Chris Maling, a principal at Avison Young Inc. Settling somewhere in the middle, the folks at NewMark Merrill Cos. Inc., envision community centers that feature charter schools and medical offices, with total occupancy at 40% true retail and 60% service and medical uses.
2 Crossroads Mall
Mount Hope, WV 25880
Gross Leaseable Retail Area
475,100 sq. ft.
Mason Asset Management
Belk, DICK'S Sporting Goods, JCPenney, Rural King, Finish Line, Journeys, Christopher & Banks, Justice, The Children's Place, Aéropostale, Chick-fil-A, Steak Escape, Kay Jewelers, Spencer's, Bally Nails
Crossroads Mall in Mount Hope, West Virginia, is located off of I-77 and within miles of many tourist attractions, including the Bechetel National Family Scout Reserve. Crossroads Mall serves a primary market population of 27,649 with an average household income of $66,967.