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(CNBC)   25% of U.S. malls are expected to shut within 5 years. The most logical remedy? Storage and fulfillment centers   (cnbc.com) divider line
    More: Ironic, Shopping mall, Retailing, Department store, Neiman Marcus, America's dead malls, Real estate, Shopping malls, old retail space  
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288 clicks; posted to Business » on 27 Aug 2020 at 11:35 AM (21 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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TWX [TotalFark]
2020-08-27 11:07:35 AM  
no it isn't.

One of the local malls claims to have 1,200,000 square feet, or around 27.5 acres, of retail space on two floors.  The land it sits on and directly uses (as opposed to land considered used by the outbuildings around the perimeter of the parcel) around 78 acres.  Additionally not only is the way the interior is subdivided for retail problematic for large warehousing operations, but the second floor has giant openings in the pedestrian malls to let light from the glass skylights shine down to the first floor pedestrian malls, and it wouldn't surprise me if the floor load is too light on the second floor to support the kind of higher density storage that a warehousing operation would call for, both for stacked shelving with the minimum spacing between shelving and for the weight of forklifts constantly running around.

Too much land relative to building, building unsuitable for the desired new use.
 
2020-08-27 11:16:56 AM  
Mine has fast food on one level and doctors offices on the other.
 
2020-08-27 11:24:10 AM  
Only 25%?
 
2020-08-27 11:30:24 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: Mine has fast food on one level and doctors offices on the other.


When you check in for your prostate exam, do they ask if you want fries with it?
 
2020-08-27 11:43:10 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: Mine has fast food on one level and doctors offices on the other.


same in my neighborhood
 
2020-08-27 11:47:03 AM  

TWX: no it isn't.

One of the local malls claims to have 1,200,000 square feet, or around 27.5 acres, of retail space on two floors.  The land it sits on and directly uses (as opposed to land considered used by the outbuildings around the perimeter of the parcel) around 78 acres.  Additionally not only is the way the interior is subdivided for retail problematic for large warehousing operations, but the second floor has giant openings in the pedestrian malls to let light from the glass skylights shine down to the first floor pedestrian malls, and it wouldn't surprise me if the floor load is too light on the second floor to support the kind of higher density storage that a warehousing operation would call for, both for stacked shelving with the minimum spacing between shelving and for the weight of forklifts constantly running around.

Too much land relative to building, building unsuitable for the desired new use.


Precisely.

The worst thing about malls is they can't be anything but malls. So when they aren't malls anymore they all become eyesores.

I don't know of a single old mall that isn't a dilapidated wreck in need of full teardown & redevelopment. Huge wastes of land.
 
2020-08-27 11:50:21 AM  
It's the US so I would have guessed prisons.
 
2020-08-27 11:51:25 AM  
Grain storage?
 
2020-08-27 11:51:42 AM  
Malls are a relic of the baby boomer generation when 'shop till you drop' and 'who ever dies with the most toys wins' were the mantras everyone followed.
 
2020-08-27 11:52:13 AM  

TWX: no it isn't.

One of the local malls claims to have 1,200,000 square feet, or around 27.5 acres, of retail space on two floors.  The land it sits on and directly uses (as opposed to land considered used by the outbuildings around the perimeter of the parcel) around 78 acres.  Additionally not only is the way the interior is subdivided for retail problematic for large warehousing operations, but the second floor has giant openings in the pedestrian malls to let light from the glass skylights shine down to the first floor pedestrian malls, and it wouldn't surprise me if the floor load is too light on the second floor to support the kind of higher density storage that a warehousing operation would call for, both for stacked shelving with the minimum spacing between shelving and for the weight of forklifts constantly running around.

Too much land relative to building, building unsuitable for the desired new use.


Welcome to the next big thing:

external-content.duckduckgo.comView Full Size
 
hej
2020-08-27 11:53:22 AM  
I don't think that's "ironic" so much as "kinda makes a ton of sense".  The irony will be when we decide "hey, wouldn't it be cool if we could go pick up our stuff from the fulfillment in person."
 
2020-08-27 12:00:25 PM  
FTA:
i.imgflip.comView Full Size
 
2020-08-27 12:00:59 PM  
Both the dead ones in my city had the single story parts torn down, the 2 story department stores renovated. One medical offices, one a megachurch (they also built new around it)
 
2020-08-27 12:09:29 PM  

GregInIndy: TWX: no it isn't.

One of the local malls claims to have 1,200,000 square feet, or around 27.5 acres, of retail space on two floors.  The land it sits on and directly uses (as opposed to land considered used by the outbuildings around the perimeter of the parcel) around 78 acres.  Additionally not only is the way the interior is subdivided for retail problematic for large warehousing operations, but the second floor has giant openings in the pedestrian malls to let light from the glass skylights shine down to the first floor pedestrian malls, and it wouldn't surprise me if the floor load is too light on the second floor to support the kind of higher density storage that a warehousing operation would call for, both for stacked shelving with the minimum spacing between shelving and for the weight of forklifts constantly running around.

Too much land relative to building, building unsuitable for the desired new use.

Precisely.

The worst thing about malls is they can't be anything but malls. So when they aren't malls anymore they all become eyesores.

I don't know of a single old mall that isn't a dilapidated wreck in need of full teardown & redevelopment. Huge wastes of land.


I always figured an old mall would serve as a great micro city. Have the city buy it for pennies on the dollar and move their administrative and civic offices into one of the large department stores, then redevelop the rest of the mall into a combination of apartments, retail, recreational centers and other uses (schools?). It would be an ideal spot for low rent housing, yeah the view would be nonexistent but it would potentially have other benefits being literally connected by an indoor space to other things.
 
2020-08-27 12:13:06 PM  
Rezone it as residential and turn it into high-density housing? No snark, is this feasible?
 
2020-08-27 12:17:22 PM  

GregInIndy: The worst thing about malls is they can't be anything but malls. So when they aren't malls anymore they all become eyesores.


Yup. You can turn the "anchor points" (ie. the dept stores that either have been or soon will be closed) into light storage and maybe "showcase displays", sorta like a mini-IKEA, but the rest of the mall is functionally useless.

They wouldn't even make good residential reclamation projects, the way that old factories and warehouses have been used, because the work and money needed to make a bunch of habitable apartments is not worth it.
 
2020-08-27 12:20:44 PM  

Joe_diGriz: GregInIndy: The worst thing about malls is they can't be anything but malls. So when they aren't malls anymore they all become eyesores.

Yup. You can turn the "anchor points" (ie. the dept stores that either have been or soon will be closed) into light storage and maybe "showcase displays", sorta like a mini-IKEA, but the rest of the mall is functionally useless.

They wouldn't even make good residential reclamation projects, the way that old factories and warehouses have been used, because the work and money needed to make a bunch of habitable apartments is not worth it.


Yeah, you can't just make any building a warehouse. None of these places are designed to sustain the weight demands of warehousing goods or clearance/safety demands of forklifts & other stock systems. They're often very cheaply-built stucco boxes. Best thing is typically to pull down & rebuild.
 
2020-08-27 12:28:38 PM  

doctorguilty: Rezone it as residential and turn it into high-density housing? No snark, is this feasible?


High density housing seems to not be what people want any more.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-27 12:31:05 PM  

keldaria: I always figured an old mall would serve as a great micro city. Have the city buy it for pennies on the dollar and move their administrative and civic offices into one of the large department stores, then redevelop the rest of the mall into a combination of apartments, retail, recreational centers and other uses (schools?). It would be an ideal spot for low rent housing, yeah the view would be nonexistent but it would potentially have other benefits being literally connected by an indoor space to other things.



doctorguilty: Rezone it as residential and turn it into high-density housing? No snark, is this feasible?


Already being done with some of the older (and more attractive on the exterior) malls out east.

https://www.businessinsider.com/ameri​c​as-first-shopping-mall-is-now-micro-ap​artments-2016-10

"Not only does it [the central atrium] provide filtered light to the units, but it becomes the 'public street' connecting neighbors," Abbott says.
 
2020-08-27 12:37:57 PM  

Liadan: keldaria: I always figured an old mall would serve as a great micro city. Have the city buy it for pennies on the dollar and move their administrative and civic offices into one of the large department stores, then redevelop the rest of the mall into a combination of apartments, retail, recreational centers and other uses (schools?). It would be an ideal spot for low rent housing, yeah the view would be nonexistent but it would potentially have other benefits being literally connected by an indoor space to other things.


doctorguilty: Rezone it as residential and turn it into high-density housing? No snark, is this feasible?

Already being done with some of the older (and more attractive on the exterior) malls out east.

https://www.businessinsider.com/americ​as-first-shopping-mall-is-now-micro-ap​artments-2016-10

"Not only does it [the central atrium] provide filtered light to the units, but it becomes the 'public street' connecting neighbors," Abbott says.


Nice link, this is exactly the sort of thing I was envisioning but looks like they went primarily with housing. Would love to see a mixed setup. Just because it's failed as a pure retail location doesn't mean it wouldn't be extremely popular to have your home connected to bars, shopping and indoor recreation space by indoor streets. Just as long as there was enough separation to make sure residential areas were mostly quiet and somewhat private you'd be all set.
 
2020-08-27 12:50:57 PM  
I figured they would become detention camps.
 
2020-08-27 12:55:38 PM  

doctorguilty: Rezone it as residential and turn it into high-density housing? No snark, is this feasible?


If the city lets you, yes.

But NIMBYers tend to scream very loudly.
 
2020-08-27 1:00:09 PM  

keldaria: Liadan: keldaria: I always figured an old mall would serve as a great micro city. Have the city buy it for pennies on the dollar and move their administrative and civic offices into one of the large department stores, then redevelop the rest of the mall into a combination of apartments, retail, recreational centers and other uses (schools?). It would be an ideal spot for low rent housing, yeah the view would be nonexistent but it would potentially have other benefits being literally connected by an indoor space to other things.


doctorguilty: Rezone it as residential and turn it into high-density housing? No snark, is this feasible?

Already being done with some of the older (and more attractive on the exterior) malls out east.

https://www.businessinsider.com/americ​as-first-shopping-mall-is-now-micro-ap​artments-2016-10

"Not only does it [the central atrium] provide filtered light to the units, but it becomes the 'public street' connecting neighbors," Abbott says.

Nice link, this is exactly the sort of thing I was envisioning but looks like they went primarily with housing. Would love to see a mixed setup. Just because it's failed as a pure retail location doesn't mean it wouldn't be extremely popular to have your home connected to bars, shopping and indoor recreation space by indoor streets. Just as long as there was enough separation to make sure residential areas were mostly quiet and somewhat private you'd be all set.


The article says the first floor is still retail and restaurants.
 
2020-08-27 1:08:08 PM  

GregInIndy: I don't know of a single old mall that isn't a dilapidated wreck in need of full teardown & redevelopment. Huge wastes of land.


In my city (Riverside, California), both malls, one dating from the 1950's (The Plaza), were doing fine prior to Covid, with near 100% occupancy.  The older one is an outdoor mall, the (somewhat) newer one (Tyler) is an indoor mall but because of that I think it's shut down completely due to California Covid regulations (haven't bothered to go there to see exactly what parts are open and what parts aren't; the department stores may be partially open).

There's a third mall in the neighboring city of Moreno Valley that was a bit sadder.  However, it was oversized when it was built in the early 1990's and has sections that have never been occupied (so it's always been kind of sad).  It's located where the old Riverside raceway used to be for reference.

Of course, Riverside is a growing city and always has been.  If you live in some shrinking midwest rust belt hell hole, things are different.
 
TWX [TotalFark]
2020-08-27 1:11:19 PM  

great_tigers: Welcome to the next big thing:

external-content.duckduckgo.com


And that's potentially even higher density than a warehouse with pallet-racking, so even more mass per unit of floor space.

The only practical reuse-uses I see for malls are all things that require fairly large amounts square footage but low density, but the open railings on the upper floors would pose problems for just about any other use.  They'd have to spend money to remediate this in addition to other remodeling.  With nets it could probably be done reasonably inexpensively, but I expect to really do it nicely would be expensive.
 
2020-08-27 1:12:13 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Mine has fast food on one level and doctors offices on the other.


So easy to get help after a coronary?
 
2020-08-27 1:37:50 PM  
There are two dead malls near me.  One is having Emory Healthcare move its offices into the Sears building along with 1,600 employees.  The other was used for RL Stine's Goosebumps movie.

Fark user imageView Full Size


The owner wants to tear down the mall and build condos and a Costco, but the NIMBYs say it will bring too much traffic.  Presumably, this would be more traffic than when it was a functional mall 25 years ago.
 
2020-08-27 1:40:08 PM  

Geotpf: keldaria: Liadan: keldaria: I always figured an old mall would serve as a great micro city. Have the city buy it for pennies on the dollar and move their administrative and civic offices into one of the large department stores, then redevelop the rest of the mall into a combination of apartments, retail, recreational centers and other uses (schools?). It would be an ideal spot for low rent housing, yeah the view would be nonexistent but it would potentially have other benefits being literally connected by an indoor space to other things.


doctorguilty: Rezone it as residential and turn it into high-density housing? No snark, is this feasible?

Already being done with some of the older (and more attractive on the exterior) malls out east.

https://www.businessinsider.com/americ​as-first-shopping-mall-is-now-micro-ap​artments-2016-10

"Not only does it [the central atrium] provide filtered light to the units, but it becomes the 'public street' connecting neighbors," Abbott says.

Nice link, this is exactly the sort of thing I was envisioning but looks like they went primarily with housing. Would love to see a mixed setup. Just because it's failed as a pure retail location doesn't mean it wouldn't be extremely popular to have your home connected to bars, shopping and indoor recreation space by indoor streets. Just as long as there was enough separation to make sure residential areas were mostly quiet and somewhat private you'd be all set.

The article says the first floor is still retail and restaurants.


That's what I get for just skimming the article.
 
2020-08-27 1:44:04 PM  
great_tigers:
Welcome to the next big thing:

[external-content.duckduckgo.com image 850x614]


Better hope nothing ever falls out of a bin or that thing is going to take somebody hours and hours to unjamb.
 
2020-08-27 1:59:49 PM  
Or housing... We could turn it into desperately needed housing
 
2020-08-27 2:00:11 PM  
I've long thought that malls would make great retirement communities, as long as there's some public transportation available.
 
2020-08-27 2:40:48 PM  
I'd imagine that most towns with malls aren't set up for the amount of truck traffic that a warehouse would bring and that the people who live in the area wouldn't want that traffic either.
 
2020-08-27 3:44:27 PM  
Housing for people? Schools?

Mega McMansions for the ultra wealthy?
 
2020-08-27 3:59:58 PM  

The_EliteOne: Housing for people? Schools?

Mega McMansions for the ultra wealthy?


Jade Helm
 
2020-08-27 4:10:00 PM  

GardenWeasel: The_EliteOne: Housing for people? Schools?

Mega McMansions for the ultra wealthy?

Jade Helm


An indoor mall would make for some fun paintball.
 
2020-08-27 4:14:12 PM  

Liadan: keldaria: I always figured an old mall would serve as a great micro city. Have the city buy it for pennies on the dollar and move their administrative and civic offices into one of the large department stores, then redevelop the rest of the mall into a combination of apartments, retail, recreational centers and other uses (schools?). It would be an ideal spot for low rent housing, yeah the view would be nonexistent but it would potentially have other benefits being literally connected by an indoor space to other things.


doctorguilty: Rezone it as residential and turn it into high-density housing? No snark, is this feasible?

Already being done with some of the older (and more attractive on the exterior) malls out east.

https://www.businessinsider.com/americ​as-first-shopping-mall-is-now-micro-ap​artments-2016-10

"Not only does it [the central atrium] provide filtered light to the units, but it becomes the 'public street' connecting neighbors," Abbott says.


We're getting closer and closer...
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-08-27 4:14:16 PM  
Education, testing, and accreditation centres.
 
2020-08-27 4:34:02 PM  

TWX: no it isn't.

One of the local malls claims to have 1,200,000 square feet, or around 27.5 acres, of retail space on two floors.  The land it sits on and directly uses (as opposed to land considered used by the outbuildings around the perimeter of the parcel) around 78 acres.  Additionally not only is the way the interior is subdivided for retail problematic for large warehousing operations, but the second floor has giant openings in the pedestrian malls to let light from the glass skylights shine down to the first floor pedestrian malls, and it wouldn't surprise me if the floor load is too light on the second floor to support the kind of higher density storage that a warehousing operation would call for, both for stacked shelving with the minimum spacing between shelving and for the weight of forklifts constantly running around.

Too much land relative to building, building unsuitable for the desired new use.


The walls are not a problem - most of them are lightweight divider walls, and will come out in no time at all. Malls don't put in heavy construction, so they can change tenants on (relatively) short notice.

The two-level thing is more problematic, but the solution is to make that level a sorting/packing/offices layer, with the first level as storage. Or just rent it out as some other business. There's a proposal to convert the big mall down the street from here into a mixed-use business/apartment/entertainment facility.

A first-generation Arcology, in effect.

Of course, most malls aren't two-level monstrosities in the first place. They're just big concrete slabs with relatively lightweight buildings dropped on them. While they won't be the most efficient for warehousing, for their square footage, they'll be so cheap to buy that it could be worth it.
 
2020-08-27 4:38:47 PM  

Rapmaster2000: There are two dead malls near me.  One is having Emory Healthcare move its offices into the Sears building along with 1,600 employees.  The other was used for RL Stine's Goosebumps movie.

[Fark user image image 850x637]

The owner wants to tear down the mall and build condos and a Costco, but the NIMBYs say it will bring too much traffic.  Presumably, this would be more traffic than when it was a functional mall 25 years ago.


The current Emory Covid testing center is in the former Kohl's building. If they move enough admin staff over there, then a daycare/preschool extension would make sense - the other 2 Emory/CDC day schools have a huge waiting list.

With enough employees, a small grocery and other such stores become feasible.

As the JC Penny's went under last month there is even more space to occupy. Retrofitting for primary care wouldn't be cheap but it is closer to major freeways than The main Emory hospital
 
2020-08-27 4:42:36 PM  
Funny enough, I was walking around a mall today as I was getting my car inspected at a nearby shop (so the first time I've stopped in this mall in a little over a year). Holy hell, I noticed like 5 or 6 (at least) stores that have all closed fairly recently (signs still up, windows not covered over)-- in a mall that already has many vacancies--but somehow Still has half a Sears store, go figure, and a couple more were in the process of having going out of business sales. The only real crowds were around the Apple store and the food court, everywhere else was a ghost town. I bought absolutely nothing.
 
TWX [TotalFark]
2020-08-27 4:49:31 PM  

cirby: TWX: no it isn't.

One of the local malls claims to have 1,200,000 square feet, or around 27.5 acres, of retail space on two floors.  The land it sits on and directly uses (as opposed to land considered used by the outbuildings around the perimeter of the parcel) around 78 acres.  Additionally not only is the way the interior is subdivided for retail problematic for large warehousing operations, but the second floor has giant openings in the pedestrian malls to let light from the glass skylights shine down to the first floor pedestrian malls, and it wouldn't surprise me if the floor load is too light on the second floor to support the kind of higher density storage that a warehousing operation would call for, both for stacked shelving with the minimum spacing between shelving and for the weight of forklifts constantly running around.

Too much land relative to building, building unsuitable for the desired new use.

The walls are not a problem - most of them are lightweight divider walls, and will come out in no time at all. Malls don't put in heavy construction, so they can change tenants on (relatively) short notice.

The two-level thing is more problematic, but the solution is to make that level a sorting/packing/offices layer, with the first level as storage. Or just rent it out as some other business. There's a proposal to convert the big mall down the street from here into a mixed-use business/apartment/entertainment facility.

A first-generation Arcology, in effect.

Of course, most malls aren't two-level monstrosities in the first place. They're just big concrete slabs with relatively lightweight buildings dropped on them. While they won't be the most efficient for warehousing, for their square footage, they'll be so cheap to buy that it could be worth it.


Nearly all indoor malls here are two-story monstrosities.
 
2020-08-27 5:17:19 PM  

Joe_diGriz: GregInIndy: The worst thing about malls is they can't be anything but malls. So when they aren't malls anymore they all become eyesores.

Yup. You can turn the "anchor points" (ie. the dept stores that either have been or soon will be closed) into light storage and maybe "showcase displays", sorta like a mini-IKEA, but the rest of the mall is functionally useless.

They wouldn't even make good residential reclamation projects, the way that old factories and warehouses have been used, because the work and money needed to make a bunch of habitable apartments is not worth it.


This.

Where I live, they kept some outbuildings and parking garages but razed the mall itself when redeveloping Northgate into high density.
 
2020-08-27 5:23:09 PM  

TWX: Nearly all indoor malls here are two-story monstrosities.


Well, maybe where you are, but we're talking about the whole US mall economy.

The "supermalls" in bigger cities are often multilevel, just to cut down on walking distance and (expensive) land area, but there are a LOT of mid-sized malls, all over the country, that are just one floor - especially the older ones that are the first to get shut down.

For every million-square-foot mega-mall, there's at least a dozen "suburb" or "mid-sized town" malls half that size or less. Very few of those are more than one floor. If it's under a million square feet, and land is cheap, there's no reason to build up.

You also have a lot that are big-but-not-super malls, and have only a limited amount of "second floor" space, which is often just the food court. Like the one a mile down the road from here.
 
2020-08-27 5:26:48 PM  

GardenWeasel: I figured they would become detention camps.


Still might
 
2020-08-27 5:54:17 PM  
Turn them into wildlife preserves for lost and displaced mallrats.
 
2020-08-27 6:15:33 PM  
I envision dead malls becoming cyberpunk oases by squatters living off the grid and assorted homeless characters like a Gibsonian vision of a happy dystopic techno future.
 
2020-08-27 6:49:57 PM  
Well, at least 2020's not all bad news. Hopefully we can bring those numbers up a bit next year.
 
2020-08-27 10:25:43 PM  

doctorguilty: Rezone it as residential and turn it into high-density housing? No snark, is this feasible?


That's what they're doing at British Columbia's largest mall, Metrotown. One whole section, consisting of maybe 50 stores, was demolished and rebuilt with retail and high rises.

The old Sears will soon be torn down and replaced.

There's a 30 year plan to replace the whole mall.
 
2020-08-27 11:59:35 PM  
keldaria:

A retirement complex if you could get the tax incentives to work right.

Food court, administrative offices, indoor walking areas, wide enough for wheelchairs/scooters, and the stores are basically doctors offices or specialty clinics. Convert the anchor stores into 1 bedroom apartments, and then slap up some do not open sensors around the main entrances to prevent escapes (like nursing homes have for alzheimers patients now with the ankle bracelet).

Some minor green space plus a lot of benches and you've got a mini city, like you described.
 
2020-08-28 12:07:13 AM  

GregInIndy: TWX: no it isn't.

One of the local malls claims to have 1,200,000 square feet, or around 27.5 acres, of retail space on two floors.  The land it sits on and directly uses (as opposed to land considered used by the outbuildings around the perimeter of the parcel) around 78 acres.  Additionally not only is the way the interior is subdivided for retail problematic for large warehousing operations, but the second floor has giant openings in the pedestrian malls to let light from the glass skylights shine down to the first floor pedestrian malls, and it wouldn't surprise me if the floor load is too light on the second floor to support the kind of higher density storage that a warehousing operation would call for, both for stacked shelving with the minimum spacing between shelving and for the weight of forklifts constantly running around.

Too much land relative to building, building unsuitable for the desired new use.

Precisely.

The worst thing about malls is they can't be anything but malls. So when they aren't malls anymore they all become eyesores.

I don't know of a single old mall that isn't a dilapidated wreck in need of full teardown & redevelopment. Huge wastes of land.


How about just tear it down for parks? Or, retirement homes/apartments since people keep spitting out crotchfruit.
 
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