Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Return of the Mall


The enclosed regional mall—the uniquely American retail property that sprang to life in the 1950s and 1960s—has been declared dead (or dying) for years.
Stephen D. Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL & Associates Properties Inc., a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based regional mall REIT with an 82.1-million-square-foot portfolio, recalls conversations with tenants in the not-so-distant past in which retailers insisted their future lay elsewhere—at lifestyle centers or town centers or mixed-use projects. The experience was not limited to CBL—mall executives across the board were having similar discussions with their tenants. At the time, many believed the format had outgrown its usefulness and was out of step with modern customers. “A lot of the retailers went so far as to say they prefer lifestyle centers over regional malls,” Lebovitz says.
The list of grievances was long.
Malls were too large.
Their temperature-controlled environments were too artificial.
Department stores—the original conceit around which the concept was developed—were not the draws they once were.
Mall parking lots were too sprawling and mall parking garages too arduous to navigate.
Formats like power centers, lifestyle centers and mixed-use facilities were newer, hipper and more convenient.
And, of course, there was the constant growth of internet retail, which continues to slowly eat away at traditional retail channels.
In response to these factors, mall owners ...

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Master planning begins for Rio South Texas research, education park

Source: McAllen Economic Development Corp 

A research and education park for the Rio South Texas region is becoming a reality now that the master planning process is underway. Broaddus Planning of Austin is expected to complete the master plan by fall 2011. 
The park will be located on 400 acres of public and private land near the McAllen Foreign Trade Zone. Located across from Reynosa, Mexico, it is one of the nation’s most active trade zones. 

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