The sale of a former mall in Phoenix may be a harbinger of the future, writes Lauren Thomas for CNBC. With consumers moving away from large-scale retail, it is estimated that “25% of America’s roughly 1,000 malls will close by 2025,” leaving mall owners and cities with massive, vacant properties that formerly served as community hubs.
After the parcel was rezoned to allow for more diverse development, “mall owner Macerich announced Thursday it’s sold a majority stake in Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix, for $100 million, to a joint venture with an affiliate of the Phoenix-based, mixed-use real estate company RED Development. The partners will convert the 92-acre site into a community with homes, offices and a grocery store.”
According to Mark Toro, managing partner at North American Properties, “America’s malls have reached the end of their useful life.” Now, cities are looking for ways to encourage redevelopment and bring back the tax revenue that malls provided. Some former malls are finding new life as e-commerce warehouses and schools. “The future of each struggling mall will likely be case by case, dependent upon the surrounding town’s needs, experts say.” The real estate, often situated on transportation corridors and near residential areas, is often “worth more than the mall itself.”