Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by pseudo3d »

pseudo3d wrote: November 25th, 2020, 12:18 pm As for me, the local mall is Post Oak Mall, which has seen better days. It opened in 1982 with a second phase in 1985, and when it was complete it had Foley's, Bealls (TX), Sears, JCPenney, Dillard's, and Wilson's. None of the anchors were particularly big, the Foley's being the biggest (about 100k sq. ft. on two levels), basically the mall was a scaled-down version of the larger malls in Houston.

Later on, the Foley's became Macy's, the Wilson's became Service Merchandise before it closed in 1999 and became a "split anchor" Dillard's, and of course Sears closed a few years ago. The slide I guess started 15 years ago when a block of stores between Sears and Dillard's became Steve & Barry's University Sportswear, and rent started to increase to the point where smaller stores fled to nearby shopping centers. Also during this time, Chuck E. Cheese moved into a space into the front of the mall where a restaurant was, but didn't connect to the mall proper, so it's a ghost town as soon as you walk in.

The food court is also pretty sad with maybe about four or five places to eat and a smoothie shop (down from over a dozen).

Nowadays, the mall is a mish-mash of the few national retailers that still manage to stick around (Bath & Body Works, etc.), stores that respond to the demographic shifts that the mall has faced (a Melrose store that took up another block of stores), stores that take up a lot of space (H&M, Shoe Dept. Encore which took the former S&B's, aforementioned Melrose), and a bunch of local stores that don't stick around for very long. Even with the "big stores", the mall is maybe 85% full in terms of storefronts.

The anchors are a disaster. Macy's converted most of their upper level into the Backstage area, which is usually a mess, the JCPenney is outdated with mirrored columns and dirty, falling-apart dressing rooms, the Sears closed and partially converted to Conn's HomePlus (not sure if it opens to the inside), and the Bealls became Gordmans and went out of business shortly afterward.

Obviously there's some inherent problems, like aforementioned demographic shifts but also the fact that was very isolated. A shopping center was built next to it (but the mall deliberately blocked connections to it) early on and for years it struggled after losing its main tenant (a Weingarten store, which lasted all of three months) until it finally managed to gain a foothold with TJMaxx, Hobby Lobby, and Toys R Us. On the other side of the highway is a Sam's Club and a movie theater, but they don't really affect the mall that much.
The only other big change since I first posted this is Macy's closed. JCPenney is still open but even during Christmas one of its main exterior entrances was closed. The mall is clearly trying to fill space with whatever they can get, and as a result, it always looks spotty. One of their "wins" in recent years was a store called Nerdvana which sells vintage toys and has a backroom of arcade games (have to pay to get in for unlimited play), but many of them aren't even original machines, just "MAME machines". There's also a store called "Perfume X" with just a painted-on name...no cut-out letters or lighting.

Even last Christmas, the mall directories were out of date (from 2020, including "coming soon" and still having Gordmans), and the Christmas crowds, even accounting for COVID, were abysmal. There's rumors that some zoning laws that prevented the mall from adding non-retail tenants (call centers, office space, etc.) were put in place years ago and are considering to be repealed as Macy's, Gordmans, and half of Sears is vacant.

I'm not sure what the long-term "solution", if any, there is, the best thing the mall could do right now (besides use some underutilized space in the front to get an A-tier restaurant) is try to score a coup by attracting some wanted retailer (like Trader Joe's or Apple) to the center.
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by architect »

pseudo3d wrote: January 24th, 2022, 5:27 pm
pseudo3d wrote: November 25th, 2020, 12:18 pm As for me, the local mall is Post Oak Mall, which has seen better days. It opened in 1982 with a second phase in 1985, and when it was complete it had Foley's, Bealls (TX), Sears, JCPenney, Dillard's, and Wilson's. None of the anchors were particularly big, the Foley's being the biggest (about 100k sq. ft. on two levels), basically the mall was a scaled-down version of the larger malls in Houston.

Later on, the Foley's became Macy's, the Wilson's became Service Merchandise before it closed in 1999 and became a "split anchor" Dillard's, and of course Sears closed a few years ago. The slide I guess started 15 years ago when a block of stores between Sears and Dillard's became Steve & Barry's University Sportswear, and rent started to increase to the point where smaller stores fled to nearby shopping centers. Also during this time, Chuck E. Cheese moved into a space into the front of the mall where a restaurant was, but didn't connect to the mall proper, so it's a ghost town as soon as you walk in.

The food court is also pretty sad with maybe about four or five places to eat and a smoothie shop (down from over a dozen).

Nowadays, the mall is a mish-mash of the few national retailers that still manage to stick around (Bath & Body Works, etc.), stores that respond to the demographic shifts that the mall has faced (a Melrose store that took up another block of stores), stores that take up a lot of space (H&M, Shoe Dept. Encore which took the former S&B's, aforementioned Melrose), and a bunch of local stores that don't stick around for very long. Even with the "big stores", the mall is maybe 85% full in terms of storefronts.

The anchors are a disaster. Macy's converted most of their upper level into the Backstage area, which is usually a mess, the JCPenney is outdated with mirrored columns and dirty, falling-apart dressing rooms, the Sears closed and partially converted to Conn's HomePlus (not sure if it opens to the inside), and the Bealls became Gordmans and went out of business shortly afterward.

Obviously there's some inherent problems, like aforementioned demographic shifts but also the fact that was very isolated. A shopping center was built next to it (but the mall deliberately blocked connections to it) early on and for years it struggled after losing its main tenant (a Weingarten store, which lasted all of three months) until it finally managed to gain a foothold with TJMaxx, Hobby Lobby, and Toys R Us. On the other side of the highway is a Sam's Club and a movie theater, but they don't really affect the mall that much.
The only other big change since I first posted this is Macy's closed. JCPenney is still open but even during Christmas one of its main exterior entrances was closed. The mall is clearly trying to fill space with whatever they can get, and as a result, it always looks spotty. One of their "wins" in recent years was a store called Nerdvana which sells vintage toys and has a backroom of arcade games (have to pay to get in for unlimited play), but many of them aren't even original machines, just "MAME machines". There's also a store called "Perfume X" with just a painted-on name...no cut-out letters or lighting.

Even last Christmas, the mall directories were out of date (from 2020, including "coming soon" and still having Gordmans), and the Christmas crowds, even accounting for COVID, were abysmal. There's rumors that some zoning laws that prevented the mall from adding non-retail tenants (call centers, office space, etc.) were put in place years ago and are considering to be repealed as Macy's, Gordmans, and half of Sears is vacant.

I'm not sure what the long-term "solution", if any, there is, the best thing the mall could do right now (besides use some underutilized space in the front to get an A-tier restaurant) is try to score a coup by attracting some wanted retailer (like Trader Joe's or Apple) to the center.
As a former student at A&M, I can attest to one of Post Oak Mall’s biggest obstacles to success being the proximity of far superior shopping centers in both the Houston and Austin areas, both an easy drive away. When I was in school, many students from major metro areas would do the majority of shopping while home on breaks, etc. Furthermore, if someone was looking for higher-end shopping during the semester, both the Woodlands and Willowbrook malls north of Houston were just a bit over an hour away, and were popular shopping destinations for both students and locals alike. Although the Bryan-College Station area is a growing and overall wealthy market, much of the shopper traffic generated by the market doesn’t stay within its boundaries. Lastly, Post Oak Mall isn’t exactly located close to campus, further limiting potential student traffic.
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by pseudo3d »

architect wrote: January 25th, 2022, 10:33 am
pseudo3d wrote: January 24th, 2022, 5:27 pm
pseudo3d wrote: November 25th, 2020, 12:18 pm As for me, the local mall is Post Oak Mall, which has seen better days. It opened in 1982 with a second phase in 1985, and when it was complete it had Foley's, Bealls (TX), Sears, JCPenney, Dillard's, and Wilson's. None of the anchors were particularly big, the Foley's being the biggest (about 100k sq. ft. on two levels), basically the mall was a scaled-down version of the larger malls in Houston.

Later on, the Foley's became Macy's, the Wilson's became Service Merchandise before it closed in 1999 and became a "split anchor" Dillard's, and of course Sears closed a few years ago. The slide I guess started 15 years ago when a block of stores between Sears and Dillard's became Steve & Barry's University Sportswear, and rent started to increase to the point where smaller stores fled to nearby shopping centers. Also during this time, Chuck E. Cheese moved into a space into the front of the mall where a restaurant was, but didn't connect to the mall proper, so it's a ghost town as soon as you walk in.

The food court is also pretty sad with maybe about four or five places to eat and a smoothie shop (down from over a dozen).

Nowadays, the mall is a mish-mash of the few national retailers that still manage to stick around (Bath & Body Works, etc.), stores that respond to the demographic shifts that the mall has faced (a Melrose store that took up another block of stores), stores that take up a lot of space (H&M, Shoe Dept. Encore which took the former S&B's, aforementioned Melrose), and a bunch of local stores that don't stick around for very long. Even with the "big stores", the mall is maybe 85% full in terms of storefronts.

The anchors are a disaster. Macy's converted most of their upper level into the Backstage area, which is usually a mess, the JCPenney is outdated with mirrored columns and dirty, falling-apart dressing rooms, the Sears closed and partially converted to Conn's HomePlus (not sure if it opens to the inside), and the Bealls became Gordmans and went out of business shortly afterward.

Obviously there's some inherent problems, like aforementioned demographic shifts but also the fact that was very isolated. A shopping center was built next to it (but the mall deliberately blocked connections to it) early on and for years it struggled after losing its main tenant (a Weingarten store, which lasted all of three months) until it finally managed to gain a foothold with TJMaxx, Hobby Lobby, and Toys R Us. On the other side of the highway is a Sam's Club and a movie theater, but they don't really affect the mall that much.
The only other big change since I first posted this is Macy's closed. JCPenney is still open but even during Christmas one of its main exterior entrances was closed. The mall is clearly trying to fill space with whatever they can get, and as a result, it always looks spotty. One of their "wins" in recent years was a store called Nerdvana which sells vintage toys and has a backroom of arcade games (have to pay to get in for unlimited play), but many of them aren't even original machines, just "MAME machines". There's also a store called "Perfume X" with just a painted-on name...no cut-out letters or lighting.

Even last Christmas, the mall directories were out of date (from 2020, including "coming soon" and still having Gordmans), and the Christmas crowds, even accounting for COVID, were abysmal. There's rumors that some zoning laws that prevented the mall from adding non-retail tenants (call centers, office space, etc.) were put in place years ago and are considering to be repealed as Macy's, Gordmans, and half of Sears is vacant.

I'm not sure what the long-term "solution", if any, there is, the best thing the mall could do right now (besides use some underutilized space in the front to get an A-tier restaurant) is try to score a coup by attracting some wanted retailer (like Trader Joe's or Apple) to the center.
As a former student at A&M, I can attest to one of Post Oak Mall’s biggest obstacles to success being the proximity of far superior shopping centers in both the Houston and Austin areas, both an easy drive away. When I was in school, many students from major metro areas would do the majority of shopping while home on breaks, etc. Furthermore, if someone was looking for higher-end shopping during the semester, both the Woodlands and Willowbrook malls north of Houston were just a bit over an hour away, and were popular shopping destinations for both students and locals alike. Although the Bryan-College Station area is a growing and overall wealthy market, much of the shopper traffic generated by the market doesn’t stay within its boundaries. Lastly, Post Oak Mall isn’t exactly located close to campus, further limiting potential student traffic.
There's also a large outlet mall in Cypress that takes a lot away in terms of the potential traffic. The mall's early success was probably due in parts that the malls in Houston were much farther away than today. Willowbrook is as old as Post Oak Mall is, but it took a while for the mall to build out and take off, and The Woodlands Mall provided a closer mall than Greenspoint, which even though it had a high occupancy rate and was the largest mall in Houston, already had a rough reputation by the time The Woodlands Mall opened.

Post Oak Mall had no true competition into the 2000s and 2010s. There were some smaller big-box anchored shopping centers that peeled shoppers off, most notably a center one exit up with Home Depot, PetSmart, Circuit City, and Linens N Things initially, and another center redeveloped with a Kohl's down Harvey Road. But in the late 2010s, the first realistic competition it has faced in some time, Century Square, opened. Century Square is actually pretty small but it takes the same market share that Post Oak Mall would've had, including several restaurants, a few higher-end shops (including sniping Lululemon), Star Cinema Grill, and of course, being literally right across from campus.
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by luckysaver »

A portion of the abandoned Hawthorne Plaza (Hawthorne CA) mall was on fire earlier this month. I believe the City of Hawthorne currently owns it and leases out some of the former store spaces for filming. The City has been working on redevelopment plans for it but at last check it was put on hold indefinitely. Just like the defunct Carousel Mall in San Bernardino, it ended up becoming a haven for the homeless. I heard was a second-alarm fire in one of the wings but the P.I.O from the Los Angeles County Fire Department hasn't described to the local media what the conditions were like inside.

https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/pu ... ing-center
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by storewanderer »

A mall that has been abandoned for decades in Linda, CA recently had a fire. The fire has been deemed arson.
https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2021/10 ... mall-fire/

I am sure they can go ahead and build more apartments on the site, 4-5 stories high with only 50% of the parking needed for such density and zero work to the surrounding roads to handle the increased traffic. Perhaps they can call it "affordable housing" too. Forget it was zoned retail to generate jobs and sits along a freeway (that is the place for retail, not housing). Seems to be all anyone is building anymore.

I found this vacant mall to be extremely creepy.
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by rwsandiego »

An article about dead mall redevelopment appears in this week's Phoenix Business Journal. The fact of the matter is most malls are antiquated but people want to live near shops and restaurants. Although not discussed at length in this article, the plan for Christown Spectrum is rather ambitious, with Target and Walmart remaining and much of the original mall structure to be replaced by housing. The site happens to be adjacent to a transit center served by Valley Metro Rail, which is being extended to the site of the former Metro Center mall. The Metro Center site is also being redeveloped into a mixed-use development.

PS: If the Business Journal's paywall doesn't allow viewing of the article and anyone wants to read it just PM me.
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by storewanderer »

rwsandiego wrote: February 3rd, 2022, 2:07 pm An article about dead mall redevelopment appears in this week's Phoenix Business Journal. The fact of the matter is most malls are antiquated but people want to live near shops and restaurants. Although not discussed at length in this article, the plan for Christown Spectrum is rather ambitious, with Target and Walmart remaining and much of the original mall structure to be replaced by housing. The site happens to be adjacent to a transit center served by Valley Metro Rail, which is being extended to the site of the former Metro Center mall. The Metro Center site is also being redeveloped into a mixed-use development.

PS: If the Business Journal's paywall doesn't allow viewing of the article and anyone wants to read it just PM me.
On paper the concept of converting malls to housing seems perfect. You can keep some retail in the mix, you can build higher/more density, and roads already in place were meant for very high traffic retail (which probably generated more traffic in its day than the new developments will). But I am not sure if people actually want to live in places like this or not... adjustments will need to be made to make them more pedestrian friendly, for one. Some malls were built in the same space of airplane landing flight paths for example and people aren't going to want to live under those.
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by ClownLoach »

storewanderer wrote: February 1st, 2022, 12:31 am A mall that has been abandoned for decades in Linda, CA recently had a fire. The fire has been deemed arson.
https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2021/10 ... mall-fire/

I am sure they can go ahead and build more apartments on the site, 4-5 stories high with only 50% of the parking needed for such density and zero work to the surrounding roads to handle the increased traffic. Perhaps they can call it "affordable housing" too. Forget it was zoned retail to generate jobs and sits along a freeway (that is the place for retail, not housing). Seems to be all anyone is building anymore.

I found this vacant mall to be extremely creepy.
This is what I've been saying. These retail spaces are being lost to homes and eventually we are going to realize that we don't have enough space for stores to service the needs of these new homes. I still suspect that the same deep pockets that fund Amazon and e-commerce in general are heavily invested in the companies that do these builds of apartments 5 stories high with inadequate parking. After all, if they just tear down all of the stores instead of trying to win by running better stores doesn't it accomplish the same goal for Amazon and others?
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by storewanderer »

ClownLoach wrote: February 4th, 2022, 2:03 pm
This is what I've been saying. These retail spaces are being lost to homes and eventually we are going to realize that we don't have enough space for stores to service the needs of these new homes. I still suspect that the same deep pockets that fund Amazon and e-commerce in general are heavily invested in the companies that do these builds of apartments 5 stories high with inadequate parking. After all, if they just tear down all of the stores instead of trying to win by running better stores doesn't it accomplish the same goal for Amazon and others?
I suppose it is also more efficient to do fulfillment in these high density type of locations. Some efficiency loss may happen if you have to go up and down stairs to deliver stuff (popular development thing at present in Reno is to do 3 story apartment complexes with multiple buildings and no elevators...). Do Amazon Lockers get placed in high density apartment complexes in larger metro areas?
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Re: Dead/Dying Malls in Your Area and Predictions

Post by ClownLoach »

storewanderer wrote: February 5th, 2022, 12:39 am
ClownLoach wrote: February 4th, 2022, 2:03 pm
This is what I've been saying. These retail spaces are being lost to homes and eventually we are going to realize that we don't have enough space for stores to service the needs of these new homes. I still suspect that the same deep pockets that fund Amazon and e-commerce in general are heavily invested in the companies that do these builds of apartments 5 stories high with inadequate parking. After all, if they just tear down all of the stores instead of trying to win by running better stores doesn't it accomplish the same goal for Amazon and others?
I suppose it is also more efficient to do fulfillment in these high density type of locations. Some efficiency loss may happen if you have to go up and down stairs to deliver stuff (popular development thing at present in Reno is to do 3 story apartment complexes with multiple buildings and no elevators...). Do Amazon Lockers get placed in high density apartment complexes in larger metro areas?
They're starting to. New 1900 unit complex opened across the street from me and every building has a set of lockers.
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