How can we repurpose dead malls and big box stores?
I did a story about Costco’s decision to lease out space at a couple malls around the country. (Listen here.) It got me wondering about other, less lucky malls and big box stores. You know the ones; shopping centers that were consumer wonderlands that quickly faded to empty, or near-empty, irrelevance. (The website deadmalls.com keeps a state by state list of failed and failing malls.)
It turns out that, in some communities, people are trying to repurpose these shopping centers. According to Julia Christensen, author of Big Box Reuse communities are using empty big box stores for everything from charter schools to a Spam museum.
And some malls are being turned into mixed-use housing developments.
One example: the 40-year old Natick Mall in Boston was given new life as the Natick Collection–a a high-end shopping center with 215 luxury condos. The development has struggled, as the Boston Globe reports, developers sold less than 40% of the condos before turning to auction to unload the rest.
Do you know of any successful mall or big box reuse projects? Got any ideas? I’d love to hear about them.
Photo Credit: Flickr user Sean_Marshall
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.