The last remaining physical space is being clawed away by the online sector. Last year, 50,000 positions were lost in the retail sector and 6 million jobs could be at risk in the long term. Although the retail sector could be seen as suffering, the space they occupy has retained its value. Housing, churches, and ware house space are all greatly needed and looking to take advantage of the empty space coming available in malls. Approximately 15% of all mall space will need to find a new use within the next decade.
A revolution is expected to take place with declining, older malls. Following in Amazon’s footsteps of acquiring Whole Foods, developers see a great opportunity for restaurants inside empty retail space. Physical space is still needed for restaurants and many centers offer great locations near high foot trafficked areas.
The housing dilemma in California has many developers seeing empty retail and mall space as pristine locations for future apartment complexes. Rising prices and state policy has put a constraint on single family homes in the golden state. Land is limited in California’s large cities and developers who take advantage of dying malls could come out on top.