Malls struggle to fill tenant vacancies
A vanacy in a Chicago strip mall
TEXT OF STORY
Bill Radke: Retail sales are tanking, of course, and that is just hollowing out America's shopping malls. Right now in Washington, D.C., the shopping center industry is holding a conference on its future. Marketplace's Ashley Milne-Tyte has that.
Ashley Milne-Tyte: Shopping centers can't get credit the way they used to. And if a tenant has left and the shopping center can't borrow money, it's a problem.
Erin Hershkowitz is spokesperson for the International Council of Shopping Centers:
Erin Hershkowitz: So when stores close, there's no way of renovating that spot, you know or changing the composition of it to fit maybe multiple tenants.
Jonathan Plotkin, a partner in real estate developer the Jaffe Companies, believes many more stores will shut this year. And even the ones that are doing OK aren't expanding much as consumers hold back.
Jonathan Plotkin: That often can mean that retailers who were interested in signing leases in shopping centers, all of a sudden instead of 50 stores next year they may be down to 10 stores for next year.
He says many shopping centers are approaching local parks departments, kiddie gymnasiums and private companies. The message: there's space up for grabs at the mall.
In New York, I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.