In 1956, the first U.S. mall opened in Edina, Minnesota. There are entire generations that spent formative years in shopping malls. And construction trends for more malls kept many companies busy for many years.
Mall Construction Trends: Now What?
As of 2020, Macy’s was malls’ biggest tenant, and Macy’s has a 3-year plan to shut down 125 stores by 2023. Who’s going to replace Macy’s? It’s silly for mall operators to expect another retail chain to fill the void Macy’s will leave, says financial professional Maurie Backman.
There they sit. Plenty of parking, acres and acres of space. Before they become retail graveyards, what can we do? What can we develop?
The first and foremost repurposing idea is to develop medical spaces. Vaccination sites dominate, but pandemic mass inoculation may be a temporary event. Healthcare providers are considering mall spaces for primary care offices, specialty care centers, or oncology treatment facilities.
Other ideas include:
- Churches – Some churches are saying “Hallelujah!” as they take ownership of mall sections. Plus they have room to grow.
- Gamer sites – Epic Games bought a Cary, NC mall and intends to convert the property. Its entire campus will serve as global gamer headquarters for offices and community space.
- Offices – If your company is paying rent for several office spaces, centralization can save money.
- Warehouses – E-commerce/retail fulfillment is big business and even Walmart is seeking space solutions. Modular warehousing can be built inside or added-to a mall space.
Construction Monitor: The Tool for Trend-Setters
Reconfiguring mall spaces will be the construction trend to watch. Or you can be one of the drivers.