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View Full Version : A lot of large regional shopping malls are dying across the US - Is your mall dying?


astro
02-17-2014, 08:47 PM
Interesting article (http://www.businessinsider.com/shopping-malls-are-going-extinct-2014-1)here and I have to say I agree with the premise. It will be a slow death roll but a lot of regional malls across the US will die in the next decade or so or be converted to other uses.

Interesting how things change from town center retail in the early to mid- 1900's to suburban malls in the 60's-70's then to regional mega malls in the 80's and 90's and now another re-trenching.

All across America, once-vibrant shopping malls are boarded up and decaying.

Traffic-driving anchors like Sears and JCPenney are shutting down stores, and mall owners are having a hard time finding retailers large enough to replace them. With a fresh wave of closures on the horizon, the problem is set to accelerate, according to retail and real estate analysts.

About 15% of U.S. malls will fail or be converted into non-retail space within the next 10 years, according to Green Street Advisors, a real estate and REIT analytics firm. That's an increase from less than two years ago, when the firm predicted 10% of malls would fail or be converted.

Of the roughly 1,000 malls in the U.S., about 400 cater to upper-income shoppers, he said. For those higher-end malls, business is improving, according to data from Green Street Advisors. It's the lower-end malls that are being hit by store closures.

JCPenney, Macy's, and Sears have all recently announced fresh rounds of closures and layoffs. JCPenney is closing 33 stores, Macy's is closing five, and Sears is closing its flagship in Chicago — the latest of about 300 closures Sears has made since 2010.

As those retailers vacate their hulking, multi-story spaces, mall owners are aiming to replace them with movie theaters, restaurants, and discount retailers like TJ Maxx, Ross Stores, and Marshalls, analysts said.

But if a mall is hit by two or more anchor closures at once, it's harder to stay afloat. That's typically the beginning of a downward spiral leading to ultimate extinction, Lachance said.

Most struggling malls don't go down without a long, drawn-out fight, however — the evidence of which exists in hundreds of communities across the country where vacant wings of various shopping centers are beginning to crumble and decay. States hit particularly badly include Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Illinois, according to Deadmalls.com, which tracks mall closures.

Procrustus
02-17-2014, 08:54 PM
I don't think our mall is hurting, but I haven't been inside in about two years. So, maybe it is

bump
02-17-2014, 08:59 PM
Most of the ones from my childhood are long since defunct or are in a sort of undead state.

Town & Country is long gone and is a mixed use development now. Westwood (SW Houston) is now a community college campus, Sharpstown/PlazAmericas (SW Houston- a few miles from Westwood) is pretty much a sort of zombie- it has a Burlington Coat Factory as it's anchor store, and a metric buttload of low-rent ethnic crap stores

First Colony Mall, West Oaks and Memorial City are still going with real anchor department stores and other stores, but West Oaks is decidedly more low-rent than when I was younger, and First Colony & Memorial City have the decided advantages of being situated in fairly high income areas.

silenus
02-17-2014, 09:42 PM
35 years ago, they tore out a huge hunk of downtown and turned it into a mall. It tanked from the get-go. Now that it is empty, they are going to tear it down and try to restore downtown to the way it was.

installLSC
02-17-2014, 09:54 PM
Most of the malls in the Seattle/Tacoma area are doing well: Southcenter (south of Seattle), Northgate (north Seattle), University Village (same area), Tacoma (no prizes for guessing where that is), and the many malls in the ritzy Eastside suburbs (Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond). The only run that's really struggling is in the Tacoma suburb of Federal Way and that was always kind of low rent.

CalMeacham
02-17-2014, 10:00 PM
The big downtown malls in several cities I have lived in have been torn down or converted -- Midtown Plaza in Rochester NY (the first downtown mall in the country) has been razed. Crossroads Plaza and the ZCMI Center in Salt Lake City (two big indoor malls across the street from each other) have both been taken down (Salt Lake now has City Creek Center, an outdoor "Lifestyle Mall", which makes no sense to me considering Salt Lake winters. Boston had Lafayette Place in the late 80s/early 90s that died a rapid death and is now long gone.

On the other hand, other malls in the same areas seem to be thriving. I mentioned City Creek in Salt Lake, and Trolley Square is still going there. Rochester still has Marketplace Mall south of town (which contributed to Midtown Plaza's demise, as well as Sibley's). Boston still has the connected Prudential Mall and Copley Place, not to mention Quincy Market/Faneuil Hall, and the nearby Cambridgeside Galleria.



I agree that the dying of the big anchor stores can cause the problems, but I can't see them ALL dying -- people have to shop somewhere, and they're not all going to order everything from Amazon. When various department stores kept dying in the Somerville (MA)Plaza, new ones took their places. What had once been a Bradlees has, after several changeovers, become a Target. The nearby Assembly Square indoor mall died, but it has been revitalized, and new malls have moved in not far away in Everett.

usedtobe
02-17-2014, 11:02 PM
Southern edge of Sacramento - the village became incorporated because the county wouldn't let it be built.
They now have their own city (with attendant expenses) assumed with the belief that tax revenue would soon pay all their bills for them.

Here's what came of it:
Elk Grove Promenade (https://www.google.com/search?q=elk+grove+promenade&hl=en&gl=us&authuser=0&tbm=isch&imgil=IyQo5ZXqVrrJkM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcT8s3fR9BD2OPkrHuCyPQ6odp_46b4v3ktZj4DRXceDjDsbtS CW%253B1600%253B1066%253BTsIZLsoCBAuY5M%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.elkgrovenews.net%25252F2010 _11_01_archive.html&source=iu&usg=__6WEkVK1rSyTSvq8a0fDqcDUyA7A%3D&sa=X&ei=9ucCU73RC4W0ygG52IGIAw&ved=0CC0Q9QEwAw&biw=917&bih=457#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=IyQo5ZXqVrrJkM%253A%3BTsIZLsoCBAuY5M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252F2.bp.blogspot.com%252F_uTHQdsksAjk%2 52FTPF_B-rKiCI%252FAAAAAAAAGlI%252Fx_M8WqsPBCc%252Fs1600%252FElk%25252BGrove%25252BPromendade%25252BNovember% 25252B27%2525252C%25252B2010%25252B002.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.elkgrovenews.net%252F2010_11_01_ archive.html%3B1600%3B1066)

terentii
02-18-2014, 12:27 AM
35 years ago, they tore out a huge hunk of downtown and turned it into a mall. It tanked from the get-go. Now that it is empty, they are going to tear it down and try to restore downtown to the way it was.

Even though I will never, ever go back to Minnesota, I wish to hell they would do the same thing in Minneapolis.

chappachula
02-18-2014, 12:49 AM
It doesnt really surprise me: things change, you know.

In the 1950's,society was changing. People began moving to the suburbs, and a new concept was invented: the shopping center, with a big parking lot and stores built around it. It was the perfect match for the new lifestyle. People had money and cars, and wanted to live well.

Then in the 1970's,society was changing, and a new concept was invented: the mall.
It was the perfect match for the new, more modern lifestyle. People had money and cars, and wanted to live even better. So the businessmen took the old shopping center concept and made it an entertainment center, full of restaurants, kiosks, movies.

By the 1980's-90's society changed a bit more.People (especially teens) had even more money, and wanted to live even better. So the businessmen moved all the restaurants to the new "food court", added yet another major retailer , created mall-wide gift cards, and advertised the mall as a Disneyland of fun , a place to meet friends, etc.

And now....society is changing. People have less money, less job security, etc...but want to live well.
So they use their money at the big-box stores, which are never located in the expensive-to-maintain malls. And they don't want to be entertained while shopping...there's enough entertainment now at home.


The times they are a-changin'............................. .

OttoDaFe
02-18-2014, 07:34 AM
Most of the malls in the Seattle/Tacoma area are doing well: Southcenter (south of Seattle), Northgate (north Seattle), University Village (same area), Tacoma (no prizes for guessing where that is), and the many malls in the ritzy Eastside suburbs (Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond). The only run that's really struggling is in the Tacoma suburb of Federal Way and that was always kind of low rent.On the other hand, the "SuperMall of the Great Northwest" in Auburn (which didn't really have an anchor tenant, and seemed about 1/3 empty the few times I went there) recently changed to an "all-outlet" concept. Can't imagine that surviving more than a few years.

Hypno-Toad
02-18-2014, 08:22 AM
We've been getting more malls down here in S FLA. But they're all open-air developments. It makes sense. Why should a mall owner pay for AC when he doesn't have to? Previously, we had one big indoor mall. It still seems to be doing OK, but it is not "The Good Mall" anymore. It benefits from being closer to the middle and lower class residents it serves. The new malls are much closer to the wealthy folks and it shows when you compare the patrons of the old and new malls. The new malls are full of well-off retirees and snowbirds whil the old mall is packed with lower-income and working-class folks.

Boyo Jim
02-18-2014, 08:23 AM
Clearly it's time for more Blues Brothers sequels.

Silophant
02-18-2014, 08:31 AM
In the Twin Cities, it's hard to say. On the one hand, Southdale (the original indoor mall!) is definitely fading, with something like 30% vacancy. Brookdale Mall actually closed entirely in 2010. That being said, Rosedale is doing just fine. As for the Mall of America, one of it's anchors (Bloomingdale's) pulled out two years ago and that spot hasn't been entirely filled, but at the same time, MoA is starting on a massive expansion that will eventually double the size of the mall. So... kinda.

bump
02-18-2014, 08:39 AM
At least in the Houston area, what seems to have happened is that the malls succumbed to a combination of changing demographics in the areas nearby to the malls, and increased competition from other malls nearby.

For example, Sharpstown mall opened in 1961, in what was at the time, a really tony Houston suburb. However, by the late 1980s, Sharpstown was primarily a Hispanic area of town, and a pretty low income one at that. West of the mall, the area was changing as well, with the Alief area becoming more low income as well. Westwood mall was affected by the same exact issues.

However, most of the middle-income people in the Sharpstown and Alief areas had seemingly moved to a couple areas- out past Highway 6 (Mission Bend), or out into Sugarland. That's why the West Oaks and First Colony malls still exist. Same thing happened to Greenspoint and Northwest Malls.

In the DFW area, it seems to have been a mix of changing demographics and sheer over-malling that did many of the malls built around 1970 in. Forum 303 and Six Flags in Grand Prairie, Big Town in Mesquite, Valley View in Dallas and Richardson Town Square are all ones where there was some combination of changing demographics (for the poorer) and competition from newer, bigger malls not too far away (Parks, Town East, Galleria, Northpark) and in the case of Richardson Town Square, just terrible placement away from highways and everything else.

Clothahump
02-18-2014, 08:51 AM
At least in the Houston area, what seems to have happened is that the malls succumbed to a combination of changing demographics in the areas nearby to the malls, and increased competition from other malls nearby.

For example, Sharpstown mall opened in 1961, in what was at the time, a really tony Houston suburb. However, by the late 1980s, Sharpstown was primarily a Hispanic area of town, and a pretty low income one at that. West of the mall, the area was changing as well, with the Alief area becoming more low income as well. Westwood mall was affected by the same exact issues.

However, most of the middle-income people in the Sharpstown and Alief areas had seemingly moved to a couple areas- out past Highway 6 (Mission Bend), or out into Sugarland. That's why the West Oaks and First Colony malls still exist. Same thing happened to Greenspoint and Northwest Malls.
Not to mention the migration westward into the Katy area and the success (to date) of Katy Mills Mall. (http://www.simon.com/mall/katy-mills)

Westbury Square (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westbury_Square) went through a lot of the same problems as Sharpstown, et al, and it is now being demolished.

Doyle
02-18-2014, 09:09 AM
In the New Orleans area, the malls that were struggling were finally pushed over the edge by Katrina.

Enright3
02-18-2014, 09:29 AM
It's a little known fact that malls are dying out simply because there are no more puns left to use for business names. :)
Wok on Water
The Merchant of Tennis
Best Little Hare House
etc etc etc

EddyTeddyFreddy
02-18-2014, 09:50 AM
Boston had Lafayette Place in the late 80s/early 90s that died a rapid death and is now long gone.

Lafayette Place died a well-deserved death. It was a disaster from the git-go -- the corridors were walled with depressingly dark gray tiles, were narrow enough to feel constricting, and they CURVED! You couldn't see what -- or who -- was coming very far ahead; not a comfortable feeling for an urban mall, especially since there were long stretches with no tenants in retail spaces, or just blank walls rather than storefronts. It was more like a dystopian maze than a welcoming mall.

Soylent Juicy
02-18-2014, 09:54 AM
I'm in Ontario, Canada and there are 3 malls in my city. The big one with the high-end brand-name retailers is thriving while the other two low-end malls have both gone straight down the crapper.

One opened around 1986 and was THE place to be for years. I worked there so I got to watch it decline and it was heartbreaking. What happened was Zellers expanded and took over the downstairs level. That's when the decline started - Zellers sucked. Shitty customer service, crappy quality and selection of goods. Then the small stores started closing and the mall kept turning the little spots into big spots for even shittier, low-end discount stores. Long story short, that mall is currently a ghost town.

The current smallest mall used to be THE place to be before the above-mentioned one opened. It had everything an 80's mall needed, including an arcade where all us teenagers hung out. Similar thing happened to it - one anchor store expanded (Canadian Tire) and the other anchor store (a grocery store) closed. The smaller stores closed and those spaces were enlarged to accommodate crappy low-end discount stores. It's currently not as much of a ghost town as the other one but still pretty useless.

The big one, however, became awesome. Cadillac Fairview bought it, expanded it, brought in all the high-end stores that people want and made it THE current place to be. Recently Rio-Can purchased it and it's still going strong.

The big killer of malls in my one-horse town is definitely the "big box stores." A couple of Smart Centres popped up and now people are flocking to those big plaza-like places (where every store has it's own entrance, not all under one roof.)

Finagle
02-18-2014, 09:54 AM
And now....society is changing. People have less money, less job security, etc...but want to live well.
So they use their money at the big-box stores, which are never located in the expensive-to-maintain malls.

They go to the big-box stores, play with the toys, then order them on-line, more like.

CalMeacham
02-18-2014, 09:55 AM
Lafayette Place died a well-deserved death. It was a disaster from the git-go -- the corridors were walled with depressingly dark gray tiles, were narrow enough to feel constricting, and they CURVED! You couldn't see what -- or who -- was coming very far ahead; not a comfortable feeling for an urban mall, especially since there were long stretches with no tenants in retail spaces, or just blank walls rather than storefronts. It was more like a dystopian maze than a welcoming mall.

Most of Lafayette place had walls painted white, and the corridors were wide enough,. Where the heck were they grey? But I agree about the weird layout and the curving corridors. It was also ac weird mix of shops, with a leather store, Encyclopedia Britannica store, WaldenBooks, and other eclectic. It also had an enormous Food Court that I think was a large part of the mall's raison d'etre -- but all the stands were restricted to a tint shop of the same size.

And what was with the classical Greek statues with neon tubes on them?

Chefguy
02-18-2014, 09:57 AM
Nordstrom is closing down their big outlet at the Lloyd Center Mall in Portland. It's been posited that the increasing income gap in America is to blame. The middle class is shrinking as more and more people either become well off or head the other way into low income status. Neither of those groups is going to shop at stores geared to middle class incomes, which is what most malls shoot for. Malls now seem to be little more than a series of discount shoe stores, cell phone kiosks, fast food courts and knickknack vendors. I haven't been in one in a long time, partly because those aren't things I'm interested in, and partly because I don't like having to elbow my way through hordes of teens.

nevadaexile
02-18-2014, 10:06 AM
Here is NE Indiana will both our malls are "sick men" they are assisted by the fact that our city is the economic hub for a 75 mile radius. Only Toledo and Indianapolis have shopping options which meet or exceed this area's.

Both malls are relatively small and the larger enclosed mall has a had several fires and a sewage line break in the past few years that have kept it closed for extended periods. The smaller, open air mall has really been hurt by this year's brutal winter. But it has added a few new businesses and it may yet limp ahead into the next decade.

Here in Indiana, malls don't seem to do the business that shopping centers do. Down in Indianapolis, there are four major malls , but the shopping centers in the NE section of he city do far more business than any of them. Over in NW and Northern Indiana, the same seems to be true as despite the large populations, there are relatively few traditional shopping malls.

Southern and Central Indiana are both lightly populated as compared with the rest of the state so their limited number of malls and their limited business simply reflect that fact.

Vita Beata
02-18-2014, 10:24 AM
Mall of America is expanding, and a huge outlet mall is being built 5 miles south. Paragon Outlet Partners has commitments from retailers for 90 percent of the space at the 409,000-square-foot Eagan outlet mall, opening August of this year.

We Minnesotans must shop to stay warm!

buddha_david
02-18-2014, 10:34 AM
The malls in my town are doing just fine, which isn't any surprise since the San Fernando Valley is Shopping Mall Heaven. Some of the larger malls are actually expanding. There was a bump in the road during the 2007-2010 economic apocalypse, especially one corner mall which used to feature a Borders, Circuit City & Comp USA -- that place was rather depressing for awhile. But it's coming back.

Osiris the 1st
02-18-2014, 10:35 AM
I live in Decatur, AL which is highly industrialized mostly with chemical companies (BP Chemical, 3M, etc.) and very near the Huntville Metro Area (home of Marshall Space Flight Center and countless military and aerospace contractors). The Decatur Mall has changed hands multiple times in the past 10 years. Three years ago or so Dillard's closed after having threatened to do so for several years if the mall didn't build a bigger space for them (it was split into two different storefronts in the mall for a number of years). About a year ago a new state of the art movie theater was added into the mall, but hasn't seemed to increase traffic to the retailers. Back in November the JC Penny outlet closed, and Sears is scheduled to close in April. This will leave Belk as the only anchor store left along with a new sub-anchor called Electronics Express.

From what I hear the malls in Huntville aren't doing very well either, as both stores and shoppers seem to be moving to the rather new Bridge Street Center (basically an open air upscale mall).

bump
02-18-2014, 10:46 AM
Not to mention the migration westward into the Katy area and the success (to date) of Katy Mills Mall. (http://www.simon.com/mall/katy-mills)

Westbury Square (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westbury_Square) went through a lot of the same problems as Sharpstown, et al, and it is now being demolished.

Meyerland is kind of an interesting case I think- it was high-end in the late 1950s, really awful by the late 80s, and they've rebuilt it and it's going strong again. Not sure why it never fell apart myself; we used to go there sometimes as a kid (we lived in Alief), and stopped in about 1984 or so.

ZipperJJ
02-18-2014, 10:56 AM
They're tearing down malls in Northeast Ohio left and right.

Randall Park Mall, in the south eastern Cleveland suburbs, was the first to go. I don't think it got demolished but it was done being a viable mall by the 2000s. Rolling Acres in Akron was shut down in 2008. Everyone is freaking out because Parmatown mall in the western Cleveland suburbs just got shut down last week.

There's still Great Northern Mall in the north east suburbs, which I thought I'd heard was in trouble of being shut down but I can't find info so I guess not. There's Chapel Hill Mall in an Akron suburb which doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Beachwood Place in the near east suburbs which has a Nordstrom so it can't possibly go anywhere - it's pretty chi-chi and not called "mall" but "place" so maybe people don't notice it's a mall. The newest mall from the late 90s/early 2000s out in the far western suburbs, South Park Mall, is doing well I believe.

Seems like the most suburban malls are doing ok but the ones on urban bus lines, not so much.

We do have a few new very fancy uhm...outdoor shopping centers? Where all the stores have outward-facing doors and there's a little patch of grass and a fountain in the middle and very expensive stores. Legacy Village (oddly enough a stone's throw from Beachwood Place, the thriving chi-chi mall) in the east, Crocker Park in the west and First & Main in the south.

Hypno-Toad
02-18-2014, 11:02 AM
I forgot to post this little link (http://www.deadmalls.com/).

ftg
02-18-2014, 11:04 AM
Our local megamall is barely staying alive. Anchors are either pulling out or barely functioning. One of the old anchor spaces is now a cheapo Asian "market".

Why go there? Rarely have anything we want if they do it's overpriced.

It's not just the mall, the whole area around it is dying. There used to be 4 first run multiplexes near it. Now there's just a dollar theater in the "dirt mall" down the road. Strangely, the restaurants in the area are still doing well. And of course not a single bookstore anywhere around.

How bad is it? The local news no longer does the traditional "look how bad traffic and parking is at the mall" stories on Black Friday.

I think its "peak" lasted less than 20 years.

asterion
02-18-2014, 11:13 AM
The Albany, NY area has a number of surprising retail options and quite frankly too much retail capacity overall in the Capital District. I'm surprised that most of it is still open and some is even being re-developed. What surprises me most is the presence of a lot of stores that you might not expect, including some absolutely huge flagship-type stores. I've heard that the area is somehow good for market research, but I can't find anything useful to back that up.

Robot Arm
02-18-2014, 11:20 AM
As for the Mall of America, one of it's anchors (Bloomingdale's) pulled out two years ago and that spot hasn't been entirely filled, but at the same time, MoA is starting on a massive expansion that will eventually double the size of the mall.Dear God, no.

Most of Lafayette place had walls painted white, and the corridors were wide enough,. Where the heck were they grey? But I agree about the weird layout and the curving corridors. It was also ac weird mix of shops, with a leather store, Encyclopedia Britannica store, WaldenBooks, and other eclectic. It also had an enormous Food Court that I think was a large part of the mall's raison d'etre -- but all the stands were restricted to a tint shop of the same size.Where was Lafayette Place? I moved to the area in '98, must have been gone by then.

Also around Boston...

Natick Mall added a whole new wing a few years ago (with apartments, WTF?). The place seems to have pretty good traffic when I go.

The Chestnut Hill area has a few malls of different sorts. The Atrium closed up a while ago (Borders was probably their biggest tenant) and I read that they're turning it into doctors offices. The Chestnut Hill Mall seems pretty stable. The Street seems to have gussied itself up in the last few years. And there's a new development called the Square that's nearly finished, and will have the area's first Wegmans.

RealityChuck
02-18-2014, 11:26 AM
Yes, Albany is a good market for research because it's relatively compact and you can easily cover the area with your ads. But I doubt there's any connection between that and Malls.

In the area, both Colonie Center and Crossgates are thriving; both are upscale. Latham Circle has been moribund for years. Rotterdam Square is struggling a bit, but has three anchor stores that have survived the closings. Several other malls -- 20 Mall, Northway Mall, and Mohawk Mall -- have changed from an enclosed mall to a big box model.

Derleth
02-18-2014, 11:41 AM
Missoula, Montana is apparently a bit behind the curve in this regard. Southgate Mall (http://shopsouthgate.com/), which is every inch the classic 1980s-1990s era mall, is still doing well to all outwards appearances, with Dillard's, Sears, and JCPenney as anchors and two separate Herberger's locations. (http://shopsouthgate.com/mapdirectory/) It had a Radio Shack until someone realized what year it was and replaced it with a Simply Mac, which is simply overpriced. (This happened last year.) It has multiple restaurants, if not the classic food court scene, and two casinos, because that's legal everywhere in Montana.

It's probably important to realize at this juncture that Missoula is one of the largest cities in the state and is the largest city in reasonable driving distance if you live in the same valleys, which becomes important when the passes either are or should be closed. In all candor, this place becomes a city in a bottle sometimes, which allows archaic forms to flourish without being out-competed.

Glazer
02-18-2014, 11:45 AM
We don't have large regional Malls here. We've got a lot of large neighborhood Malls. The lower and mid level Malls are struggling. But the high end Malls seen to be going strong.

purplehorseshoe
02-18-2014, 11:54 AM
^^ Where's "here," Glazer?

CalMeacham
02-18-2014, 12:15 PM
Dear God, no.

Where was Lafayette Place? I moved to the area in '98, must have been gone by then.

Also around Boston...

Natick Mall added a whole new wing a few years ago (with apartments, WTF?). The place seems to have pretty good traffic when I go.

The Chestnut Hill area has a few malls of different sorts. The Atrium closed up a while ago (Borders was probably their biggest tenant) and I read that they're turning it into doctors offices. The Chestnut Hill Mall seems pretty stable. The Street seems to have gussied itself up in the last few years. And there's a new development called the Square that's nearly finished, and will have the area's first Wegmans.

Lafayette place was right at Downtown Crossing. The back of then-Jordan Marsh (now Macy's) opened into it -- the side away from Filene's.

Natick Mall did add a new wing, and is definitely an upper-crusty place, but it used to call itself "The Natick Collection". That it's now calling itself the "Natick Mall" tells me that the economy has taken out some of the pretension. It always is packed, with parking difficult. The Atrium is still empty. While you're on the topic, Shopper's World, down the road from the Natick Mall, is still going strong, although it's not the same as the center of the same name from the 60s. It's also outdoor.

Elsewhere in the Boston area, you've got North Shore Mall, which also added a new wing a couple of years ago, and has been going strong since it reconfigured itself about 20 years ago. Also South Shore Plaza. Burlington is still humming. I'm surprised that Meadow Glen Mall in Medford continues chugging along, despite the loss of several of its stores and the appearance of very local outlets -- that usually signals that The End is Nigh. But it still has Marshall's and Kohl's as anchors, a Party City, and a viable food court.

And there's Square One in Saugus, with Sears, Macy's, Dick's Sporting Goods, T.J. Maxx and Best Buy. It's certainly got a lot more than the New England Shopping Mall it used to be. Despite losing a lot of stores (Waldenbooks, Suncoast Video, Filene's and Filene's Basement), it still keeps going.

Laggard
02-18-2014, 12:21 PM
Mall of America here is doing fine. Some of the smaller malls not so fine.

Spiderman
02-18-2014, 12:28 PM
The big killer of malls in my one-horse town is definitely the "big box stores." A couple of Smart Centres popped up and now people are flocking to those big plaza-like places (where every store has it's own entrance, not all under one roof.)

This is true in more than just one horse towns. The big boxes never want to go into a mall.
There is one mall near me that they've done a lot to bring mid/upscale chain restaurants into new, stand-alone buildings in the parking lot. As for the base mall, you could shoot a cannon down the interior & quite possibly not hit anyone.

FoundWaldo
02-18-2014, 01:19 PM
On the other hand, the "SuperMall of the Great Northwest" in Auburn (which didn't really have an anchor tenant, and seemed about 1/3 empty the few times I went there) recently changed to an "all-outlet" concept. Can't imagine that surviving more than a few years.

I don't think the outlet thing there is all that recent, is it? I don't think I've been to SuperMall since the early 2000s, and I swear it was an outlet mall back then.

Skywatcher
02-18-2014, 01:58 PM
One local mall started as a regional shopping center in '65, converted to a mall in '90, and now stands virtually empty except for the Sears & Macy's anchors while plans to covert it back into a shopping center have stalled.

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
02-18-2014, 03:18 PM
In my little town, only one large mall is still thriving. The other three large malls are still alive, but on life support. One of the small malls still exists, but is basically vacant, and two others have been torn down and redevloped. Same problems as everywhere else. Malls don't adapt easily to changes in shopping patterns and demographics.

purplehorseshoe
02-18-2014, 03:27 PM
What's the difference between a "regional shopping center" and a mall?

Dewey Finn
02-18-2014, 03:45 PM
The mall closest to where I grew up has grown and expanded over the decades. It started as an outdoor mall with stores facing each other but no roof (and this was in snowy Connecticut). Eventually, a roof was added along with another level of stores. Currently there are four big anchor stores, but two of those are Sears and JC Penney (the others are Macys and Target). I'm not sure whether JC Penney will outlive Sears, but I think they're both going to close eventually. I'd like to see Nordstrom there, but the area may not be upscale enough.

KRC
02-18-2014, 03:54 PM
Turfland Mall in Lexington KY hit the skids largely because it couldn't compete with the more popular and impressive Fayette and Lexington malls. The anchor stores abandoned it.

https://plus.google.com/photos/103353440908712928462/albums/5865734205057221361/5869824074673402274?banner=pwa&pid=5869824074673402274&oid=103353440908712928462

https://plus.google.com/photos/103353440908712928462/albums/5865734205057221361/5869824213895392034?banner=pwa&pid=5869824213895392034&oid=103353440908712928462

https://plus.google.com/photos/103353440908712928462/albums/5865734205057221361/5869824334257550818?banner=pwa&pid=5869824334257550818&oid=103353440908712928462

Fayette Mall is prospering but Lexington Mall has long since gone under. (The only store I remember from it sold designer toilet seats.)

In Albuquerque Winrock Mall has fallen on hard times, largely because it didn't attract enough young people. Many of its anchors migrated to the nearby Coronado Mall.

StusBlues
02-18-2014, 04:23 PM
Omaha is an interesting story. Several of our older malls have either gone belly up or, like the once-focal Crossroads, are hanging one virtually in name only - the food court is closed, and over 80% of the really very impressive structure is vacant and blocked off. On the other hand, I thought the Westroads Mall (once on the periphery of the city, now about eight miles of sprawl inside the limits) was a goner about six years ago when many of its stores were closing, but it has made a comeback of sorts, opening a new theater and filling most of its empty bays. On the other hand, what I assumed would be the last mall standing, Oak View, appears to be in pretty dire shape, though the stand-alone stores encircling the mall proper seem to be doing reasonably well. (A couple have closed, but the rest of the dominoes don't appear to be falling yet.)

Truth be told, I rarely go there anymore. Mall bookstores are virtually extinct, so I don't have much reason to be there.

Skywatcher
02-18-2014, 04:32 PM
What's the difference between a "regional shopping center" and a mall?Regarding the one I referred to, it was basically a mall with no roof over the pedestrian walkways. Sort of like the Town Centers that are the fad now but on a smaller scale.

Musicat
02-18-2014, 04:38 PM
We never had a mall of any size. The only one ever tried had space for about 10 businesses (nail salons, clothing stores), no big anchors, and only half indoors. It never reached full capacity even in its heyday. It was never big enough to draw shoppers just for the "mall experience," and there never were any restaurants, fast food or gathering places inside. (IMHO, that's probably why it never took off.)

However, you can reach every store in town with a bicycle, and there's no place that's too far too walk, although most people drive anyway. Parking is never a problem.

That's life in a small town (pop. 10,000).

Skywatcher
02-18-2014, 04:41 PM
What's the difference between a "regional shopping center" and a mall?

Regarding the one I referred to, it was basically a mall with no roof over the pedestrian walkways.These (http://www.historicaerials.com/aerials.php?scale=3&lon=-77.13237579371113&lat=38.815537024522044&year=1979) aerials (http://www.historicaerials.com/aerials.php?scale=3&lon=-77.13237579371113&lat=38.815537024522044&year=2009) should help.

Suburban Plankton
02-18-2014, 04:54 PM
Southern edge of Sacramento - the village became incorporated because the county wouldn't let it be built.
They now have their own city (with attendant expenses) assumed with the belief that tax revenue would soon pay all their bills for them.

Here's what came of it:
Elk Grove Promenade (https://www.google.com/search?q=elk+grove+promenade&hl=en&gl=us&authuser=0&tbm=isch&imgil=IyQo5ZXqVrrJkM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcT8s3fR9BD2OPkrHuCyPQ6odp_46b4v3ktZj4DRXceDjDsbtS CW%253B1600%253B1066%253BTsIZLsoCBAuY5M%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.elkgrovenews.net%25252F2010 _11_01_archive.html&source=iu&usg=__6WEkVK1rSyTSvq8a0fDqcDUyA7A%3D&sa=X&ei=9ucCU73RC4W0ygG52IGIAw&ved=0CC0Q9QEwAw&biw=917&bih=457#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=IyQo5ZXqVrrJkM%253A%3BTsIZLsoCBAuY5M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252F2.bp.blogspot.com%252F_uTHQdsksAjk%2 52FTPF_B-rKiCI%252FAAAAAAAAGlI%252Fx_M8WqsPBCc%252Fs1600%252FElk%25252BGrove%25252BPromendade%25252BNovember% 25252B27%2525252C%25252B2010%25252B002.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.elkgrovenews.net%252F2010_11_01_ archive.html%3B1600%3B1066)

So that's what that is! I've wondered when driving down Highway 99 whether that was 'never finished' or 'not yet finished' construction.

When I was growing up, Sacramento had 5 large Shopping Centers (in the 'Greater Sacramento Metropolitan Area', that is; only two of them were in the city proper). I recall a joke at the time being that the word Sacramento was a local Indian word meaning 'too many shopping malls'. Today, one of those malls is gone, one is going to be torn down to build a new sports arena (pending a lawsuit or three), and one seemed to be on its last legs the last time I was there (probably 10 years ago). The other two are doing reasonably well, as far as I can tell (though I haven't set foot in one of them in probably 5 years), and the only mall that I think is currently thriving is 'new', having opened in 2000.

Motorgirl
02-18-2014, 05:18 PM
The Chestnut Hill Mall seems pretty stable. The Street seems to have gussied itself up in the last few years. And there's a new development called the Square that's nearly finished, and will have the area's first Wegmans.

We've been driving out to the Northborough Wegmans since it opened. A friend is very excited about the imminent Chestnut Hill Wegmans and the upcoming Burlington one, but coming from Cambridge I'm pretty sure traffic to get to either of those will be bad enough we'll end up going back out to Northborough. Sigh.

Chefguy
02-18-2014, 05:39 PM
We Minnesotans must shop to stay warm!

Or to keep from just putting a gun to your heads after what you're going through this winter.

Mr. Duality
02-18-2014, 06:00 PM
So "15% of U.S. malls will fail or be converted into non-retail space within the next 10 years" eh? I'm not at all surprised, considering we are only beginning to recover from The Great Recession." I might have expected that just from the trend toward online shopping. I can't remember the last time I bought anything at Sears or JC Penneys.

smokey78
02-18-2014, 07:19 PM
Town & Country is long gone and is a mixed use development now. Westwood (SW Houston) is now a community college campus, Sharpstown/PlazAmericas (SW Houston- a few miles from Westwood) is pretty much a sort of zombie- it has a Burlington Coat Factory as it's anchor store, and a metric buttload of low-rent ethnic crap stores

First Colony Mall, West Oaks and Memorial City are still going with real anchor department stores and other stores, but West Oaks is decidedly more low-rent than when I was younger, and First Colony & Memorial City have the decided advantages of being situated in fairly high income areas.

Like bump, I'm in Htown and I saw how downhill Sharpstown went. I recall the Babbage store being across from food court and I don't even know if Babbage exists? (and memories such as seeing top ten software sellers and King's Quest and Space Quest reigning!) Town and Country was an actual mall 20yrs ago and it was torn down for strip shopping center. West Oaks the last time was there was in 2009 for a comic-con and they put the artists and sellers in a non-airconditioning working wing. so humid, Felt so bad for them! It was Saturday afternoon and nobody was shopping nor eating in the food court. Once 1st colony and Katy Mills came up other malls went south

Skywatcher
02-18-2014, 08:03 PM
I recall the Babbage store being across from food court and I don't even know if Babbage exists?What was once Babbage's became part of Software Etc. and is now part of GameStop.

Jeep's Phoenix
02-18-2014, 08:38 PM
Raleigh, NC area here...Crabtree Valley Mall appears to be thriving. They did a big expansion a few years ago that added several restaurants, and they've pretty much engulfed the old strip mall that used to be across the parking lot from Belks. There's a big sign at the exit off the Beltline that lights up when the mall's main parking lot is full; this was lit up every time I drove by that exit in December. There's some sort of big new development happening behind the mall now, too.

The Streets of Southpoint in Durham seems to be thriving as well; it's a very, very high-end mall though.

Triangle Towne Center and Cary Towne Center, on the other hand, are both crummy. Both have many empty storefronts, and Triangle's center court had turned into a flea market the last time I was there. I think both malls are owned by the same developer, which might explain a lot.

aceplace57
02-18-2014, 08:45 PM
Yeah, Arkansas' most famous mall, McCain Mall was looking pretty shabby last time I visited. A lot of routine maintenance wasn't getting done.

I used to go there to eat at Lubys Cafeteria several times a month. It closed in 2005. A darn shame.

McCain still has its two major anchor stores. Sears and Dillards. Several dozen small stores inside.

Claverhouse
02-19-2014, 04:14 AM
In the OP's link, is there some reason the photos show the settings for a video game zombie apocalypse ? The average closed building not suffering external harm does not generally start collapsing in five years, even without maintenance.

If ceiling tiles start dropping in that short time I'd assume they could have dropped on shoppers' heads when the mall was a bustling throng of merriment and vivacious fun.


Interesting article (http://www.businessinsider.com/shopping-malls-are-going-extinct-2014-1)

Antigen
02-19-2014, 05:49 AM
The Mall in Columbia (Maryland) is doing quite well from what I can see. It's always crowded, and there are very rarely empty storefronts for long. The only other mall I know much about is a huge outlet mall, and it's in similar shape. Impossible to find parking on the weekends.

buddha_david
02-19-2014, 10:07 AM
In the OP's link, is there some reason the photos show the settings for a video game zombie apocalypse ? The average closed building not suffering external harm does not generally start collapsing in five years, even without maintenance.

It can happen more rapidly than you'd think. All it takes is for a pipe to burst or a leak to develop in the ceiling, and with no maintenance crew on hand to fix it, complete destruction can occur within days.

Check out the TV show Life After People (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1433058/) for some real-world examples, including Pripyat, Ukraine in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

picunurse
02-19-2014, 11:10 AM
Many of the malls in the Seattle area are thriving, but one, in a bedroom community, has been dying a slow, painful death since it opened ~20 years ago. It's called the "Super Mall." Part of the reason for its unpopularity is it's location. You can't get there from here, or from anywhere else, for that matter.
They put it in anticipating a new exit off the highway, but the exit turned out to be very complicated and people just got fed up.

It's morphed into an outlet mall now, but, that's not even doing so well.

SerafinaPekala
02-19-2014, 11:20 AM
I hate malls. As said before, its mostly rude hoodies hanging out unless you go to the ChiChi ones with a Needless Markup store.

But Tangier Outlet Malls seem to be still going strong, esp in thriving touristy areas like Branson MO and Lancaster PA:

http://www.tangeroutlet.com/center/

freckafree
02-19-2014, 11:21 AM
ZipperJJ about covered it for northeast Ohio, with the exception of mentioning Summit Mall in west Akron. The thing I find interesting about Summit is that the did a huge renovation a few years ago during which many of the stores gained outside entrances so you don't have to go into the mall to get to them. That's gotta help business. I hate having to traipse all the way through a mall to get to one specific store.

Skywatcher
02-19-2014, 11:27 AM
I hate malls. As said before, its mostly rude hoodies hanging out unless you go to the ChiChi ones with a Needless Markup store. Nah. You just need to find malls which make an effort to keep the kids out during school hours and require anyone wearing hoodies keep the hoods down at all times. Unless you think this (http://www.ballston-common.com/directory) is "ChiChi with a needless markup".

SerafinaPekala
02-19-2014, 11:32 AM
Even with a curfew for the underage thugs in place, St Louis Galleria is a disaster. Cars get broken into and crime is rampant. It actually has some semi-upscale stores like Nordie but the Metro brings it all right to their doorstep.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/saint-louis-galleria-saint-louis-2

"Needless Markup" is Neiman Marcus. That mall you posted isnt even close!

Skywatcher
02-19-2014, 11:36 AM
Even with a curfew for the underage thugs in place, St Louis Galleria is a disaster. There's your problem. Any "Galleria" not in Houston is vastly overrated. :D

Really Not All That Bright
02-19-2014, 11:39 AM
The two closest to me (in East Orlando) are on the verge of collapse. Only Sears and Macy's are keeping them open; the smaller storefronts are being shuttered every day. However, the Waterford Lakes Town Center, a horribly designed "open air" shopping center, is thriving.

As is the Mall at Millennia, which caters to well-heeled patrons (it has Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Chanel company stores.)

Jophiel
02-19-2014, 11:58 AM
I work in the commercial landscaping industry and all the new mall plans I've seen in the last couple years (Chicago area) have been for the "outdoor living" (i.e. regional shopping center) concept. Open layout, lots of green spaces, small amphitheater for live music, fountains and water features, one even has a boat launch (?!). I think they tend to rely less on major anchor stores as well although that aspect really isn't in my wheelhouse. The obvious goal being to make it seem like a pleasant destination to travel to even if you weren't shopping.

You would think the threat of Chicago winters during Christmas season would push towards enclosed spaces but I guess the success of outdoor spots like Oak Brook Mall and Bolingbrook Promenade showed that's not a big enough concern to warrant the cost of building/maintaining a giant building.

Lamar Mundane
02-19-2014, 03:17 PM
In Colorado, all the old 80's style malls are long gone. They've been replaced with what you could call "shopping districts" that have one big under one roof area with a ton of small stores anchored by a Nordstorm and a Macy's, and a bunch of outlying stand alone stores and even big box retailers. You have to take a shuttle bus to get from one end to the other.

Robot Arm
02-19-2014, 05:37 PM
We've been driving out to the Northborough Wegmans since it opened. A friend is very excited about the imminent Chestnut Hill Wegmans and the upcoming Burlington one, but coming from Cambridge I'm pretty sure traffic to get to either of those will be bad enough we'll end up going back out to Northborough. Sigh.Yeah, getting from Cambridge/Somerville down to that part of Route 9 is not an easy trip. Didn't know they were working on one in Burlington, too.

Is it worth checking out the one in Northborough? (If you've been making the drive, I'm guessing you'd say yes.)