Retail Survival Depends on Trends… COVID-19 Accelerates Plans for Multi-Family Plus Retail… Global Logistics May Not be for Malls

DMM Retail Industry e-News Issue #190

Real-world Retail’s Not at Its End, Survival Depends on These Trends

Ice Cream TruckWe’ve heard all the naysayers and all the dooms-day prophecies, but at the end of the day (or in this case, at the end of the pandemic) people will always still want stuff (right now – not the next day waiting for them on a rain-soaked porch), to eat stuff, to do stuff, to BE. For that, they will still need and crave malls and shopping centers, but not necessarily in the way they know them right now, or even over the last few decades. Commercial Property Executive recently published a list of retail trends that could carry the industry forward beyond 2020. Curbside pickup and drive-through services are among them; convenience store chain Wawa is working on its first drive-thru only location in Pennsylvania. Kenneth Gruskin, principal of Gruskin Architecture + Design (which also designed the new and long-awaited Krispy Kreme store in NYC), said mobile stores are also likely to find success. “Think of the classic 1960s Good Humor truck plying the neighborhoods bringing the ice cream shop directly to the kids, rather than parents having to drive the kids to the ice cream,” Gruskin said.

COVID-19 Accelerates Plans for Multi-Family Housing Plus Retail

Multi-Famiily HousingYour humble e-newsletter editor’s second apartment was a rental in one of those large condo-looking places that featured homes of many sizes, some with garages or not. At the heart of the facility was a pool, a gym, racquetball courts, basketball and tennis courts, and conference rooms that could be used for parties or meetings. There was never an option to purchase a pizza or clothing or anything. Not. One. Chance. College and universities have moved since the editor’s day to feature more options for popular chains on campus. Why couldn’t malls do the same? Live, work, shop, play – all in one place? Seems like a no-brainer, and while it’d already begun, the COVID-19 situation has hastened the process. A recent article in Multi-Housing News suggested what it might take to reimagine a mall as a new property category. “It almost always makes more sense to take down the obsolete mall and then add the new multifamily as a ground-up project. That’s not to say there couldn’t be some very creative solutions that would result in awesome places to live…[T]o make the units the right size and shape, to provide the proper infrastructure and to create an attractive parking solution, saving it might be more work than it is ultimately worth,” said David Senden, principal at KTGY Architecture + Planning.

Lots of Ideas for Malls, but Global Logistics May Not be One of Them

Global LogisticsAs you can see, there are plenty of ideas for malls that are looking to diversify their space. But according to a recent report, logistics may not be one of them. In a recent article, FreightWaves.com, a news website for the global freight industry, reported that San Francisco-based real estate investment trust Prologis Inc. found that conversions of existing retail stores will be minimal. “[They’ll] be small, amounting to 5-10 million square feet per year over the next decade,” the report said. FreightWaves.com’s finance editor Todd Maiden noted, “The company’s exact estimate calls for total retail-to-logistics conversions of 77 million square feet over the next decade out of a total of 7.5 billion of potentially eligible square feet of malls, outdoor shopping centers and strip retail across the U.S.” What do you think? Do you agree with this assessment? Tell us via Twitter or on our “Contact” page.


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DMM e-News - Issue #190

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Westfield Garden State Plaza Paramus, NJ

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