Updated: Nov 6
Repurposing vacant malls leverages the benefits of their central location and building footprint, bringing vitality back to neighborhoods.
The rise of e-commerce has led to a decline in popularity at malls over the years. As a result, many malls have suffered increasing vacancy rates, and some have even been demolished.
There are a number of examples of innovative adaptive reuse projects in the US:
St. Lawrence Centre mall is being considered as an e-Sports arena
Big Snow sits within Jersey’s American Dream Mall
Avalon Alderwood Place will be a 300-unit apartment complex with underground parking
Samsung and Casey Neistat Turned an Abandoned Shopping Mall Into a Winter Wonderland for Kids
San Francisco’s Stonestown Galleria was converted into a mixed-use development that includes apartments, offices, and retail space.
Downtown Burlington High School was once a department store
Minneapolis, Midtown Global Market was converted into a marketplace
Benefits of adaptive reuse include:
Revitalizing public space by bringing new activities to buildings with diminished use.
Economic development, creating new jobs replacing those lost.
Reduced embodied carbon and waste by preventing the demolition of existing buildings.
The decline of many malls presents a new opportunity to create a new vibrant centre of commerce in communities. Adaptive reuse of malls is win-win - contributing to a more sustainable future and an immense revitalization opportunity.