They should have thought of this at Mugger Mall in Carlsbad before throwing millions at it – hat tip daytrip:
In the San Fernando Valley, there are plans to level a nearly vacant mall and replace it with some 1,400 homes, boutique retail shops and a concert venue.
In Orange County, an aging mall will give way to a mixed-use development with more than 900 homes. And in the South Bay, hundreds of homes are planned to replace a struggling mall that opened in the mid-1980s.
An old adage implores investors to “buy land; they’re not making it anymore.” But in a way, in cities across the country, they are.
Acres of prime real estate are opening for redevelopment as America’s malls struggle to compete with Amazon and other online giants, offering developers a rare shot to remake swaths of land in the country’s built-out metropolises.
In particular, real estate experts say, the demise of retail centers provides one of the best chances to add needed housing in California’s urban regions, where a shortage has left nearly 30% of renters in the state paying more than half their income on housing.
“It’s a huge opportunity — probably one of the biggest,” said Adam Artunian, a vice president with John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Irvine.
The redevelopments are likely to face hurdles from residents concerned over the changing character of their neighborhoods, but as Americans increasingly buy T-shirts, purses and electronics online experts say something needs to be done with all the massive retail centers that popped up during the postwar era before they become neighborhood blights.
A recent report from Credit Suisse predicted the trend will result in 20% to 25% of America’s malls closing in the next five years.
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