New Opportunities for Investing in Shopping Centers

New Opportunities for Investing in Shopping Centers

Shopping centers have been changing. Increased spending power in the population is supporting new mall construction and the renovation of existing centers.

Newer and renovated centers are becoming more mixed use, with hotels and office buildings being incorporated into the plans. Larger malls are providing more than just shopping. We are seeing more cultural attractions, medical clinics, health clubs, spas, and other facilities locating there.

Here in Annapolis, the mall now includes a branch of the local library.

Shopping centers are increasingly becoming “town centers”, which is what the original planners had in mind for these facilities in the beginning.

Opportunities For New Thinking

The idea of enclosing a shopping center came about many years ago. Since then there have been many other innovations. We now have super regional malls, high-rise downtown centers, off-price shopping malls, anchorless strip shopping centers, centers with unconventional anchors, fashion centers, mini-malls, shopping center condominiums, underground climate-controlled shopping centers.

Opportunities may abound for the innovator who can make some significant changes in an older, more conventional center. We may be on the brink of a return to urban shopping. The trend could bring three problems:

  1.  There may be difficult times ahead for the existing older shopping centers.
  2.  Developers may be overbuilding new suburban shopping centers.
  3.  The days of the downtown pedestrian shopping mall may be numbered.

Renovation can be the answer to help minimize the hard times for older suburban shopping centers. The renovator might look at the area and ask himself what he would do if he were working with a vacant piece of property – and a new shopping facility was being constructed nearby. He must identify his retail market. Then the existing center can be renovated with the features that will appeal to his particular market today.