The retail apocalypse has already claimed a number of well-known chains, and now U.S. mall owners are beginning to feel the heat.
Only about $3 billion in retail real estate transactions occurred in April, a 27 percent drop from a year ago and the lowest monthly amount since February 2013, Bloomberg reported, citing the latest data from Real Capital Analytics. Simply put: It’s hard to find a buyer for malls nowadays, even if they’re cheap.
With malls now selling at historically low prices, some opportunists are buying up these properties and redeveloping them into more lucrative and useful spaces. Here are five creative ways dying malls are being used today.
Click through for a look at 19 dead (or dying) malls.
In June 2018, a homeless shelter moved into a former Macy’s department store in the now-closed Landmark Mall in Alexandria, Va. Carpenter’s Shelter, the nonprofit group that moved into the mall, provides 60 beds, hot meals and showers for families and individuals unable to find housing in the pricey Washington, D.C., area, reported The New York Times.
With fewer and fewer people going to malls for shopping, developers are seeking alternative ways to bring in customers. That’s part of the reason why entertainment businesses like Knockerball facilities are thriving.
In October 2017, a Knockerball facility opened at Upper Valley Mall in Springfield, Ohio. Knockerball, which allows players to strap into large, inflatable spheres and play games like soccer and “human foosball,” has also found a home in other malls across America, including Cary Town Center in Cary, N.C., and Gadsden Mall in Gadsden, Ala.
Amazon Shipping Centers
The online retail giant is killing malls, and apparently building over them as well.
From coast to coast, Amazon is expanding. The company is currently constructing a massive, 855,000-square-foot fulfillment center at the site of the now-demolished Randall Park Mall in North Randall, Ohio. The North Randall, Ohio, mayor said he expects the facility to create 2,000 jobs in the area, CNN Money reported.
Once America’s oldest shopping mall, the Arcade Providence in Providence, R.I., is now a series of energy-efficient micro-apartments. The space boasts dozens of one-bedroom units that range in size from 225 to 800 square feet. The micro-lofts come with a kitchen, full bath and shower, built-in beds and on-site laundry facilities, among many other amenities.
Sound good? Most people think so, too. The waitlist for an apartment included more than 4,500 people as of June 2017, according to the Providence Journal.
Hickory Hollow Mall in Antioch, Tenn., shuttered in 2012, but a year later it reopened under a new name — Global Mall at the Crossings. Fast forward to present day, and the once-dead mall now houses something completely different: an ice rink. The Ford Ice Center serves as one of the practice rinks for the NHL’s Nashville Predators and hosts public skate sessions and youth and adult hockey games.
Click through to see retailers that closed the most stores in 2017.
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