Contract - July/August 2011 - (Page 126)
A coauthor of Retroﬁtting Suburbia describes a paradigm shi in retail real estate, with creative retroﬁts of dead malls and commercial strips
By June Williamson, RA, LEED AP
Changing shopping preferences and patterns, evolving suburban demographics, and the challenging economy in recent years have resulted in many examples of “ghost box” stores, dead malls, and tired strip shopping centers. The recent liquidation of all Borders
A prime example of retroﬁtting of a dead regional mall (right) is in Lakewood, Colorado, where a new plan for the Belmar (bottom, le ) development allowed the 100-acre property to be redeveloped with a mix of uses, three times the built density, and 22 walkable blocks. An urban intersection in Belmar has street-facing retail (bottom, right) where the mall once stood.
Shopping center growth has nearly ﬂatlined. Nationwide, the shoppingcenter indust grew by only 0.2 percent in 2010―according to statistics compiled on behalf of the International Council of Shopping Centers by CoStar Group―marking the slowest U.S. indust growth on record since consistent data had begun to be tabulated in 1971. The era and inﬂuence of the retail-only, car-dependent shopping center with large-footprint anchor stores is waning, if not over.
Suburban retroﬁts: The ﬁrst generation
All of the strategies employed in the ﬁrst generation of suburban retroﬁts in the past decade suggest that the face of suburban retail may be quite diﬀerent in the future.
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contract july/august 2011
Photos courtesy of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Original sources: Elkus Manfredi Architects (bottom, le ); Continuum Partners (center; bottom, right)
For eve man, woman, and child in the United States, estimates suggest, there is 50 square feet of leasable retail space. That is about the size of a typical 6-by-8-foot work cubicle for each American. More than half of the space is in shopping centers, most of which are in suburbia, and in recent years a fair amount of that area has become surplus—redundant, obsolete, dead—a trend accelerated by the ongoing recessiona economy.
book stores and Circuit City stores alone, for example, has resulted in thousands of acres of vacant big-box stores with surface parking— forelorn real estate that is prime for a new use.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - July/August 2011
Contract - July/August 2011
Product Focus: Change it Up
Product Focus: Angling for Attention
Product Focus: (Good) Writing on the Wall
Product Focus: Come Together
Best of NeoCon® 2011
Making a Marc
Ray of Light
A New Home
Bloomie's New Edition
Shring to Fitness
Practice: Smaller, Sustainable Retail
Trends: Retail Retrofit
Designers Select: Fabrics
Contract - July/August 2011