Alive and Clicking
Langan engineers zombie malls into eCommerce fulfillment centers
Reports of retail’s death have been greatly exaggerated, but the rise of “zombie malls” has not. Top performing malls around the country are still incredibly valuable, but many properties continue to decline, in large part because of the rise of online shopping. In some cases, mall owners and enterprising developers have transformed traditional malls into a variety of new uses, including ecommerce fulfillment centers.
In Ohio, two such properties – Randall Park Mall (1971-2006) and Euclid Square Mall (1977-2009) – illustrate the birth, growth, and demise of what we know as the American Mall. Less than 30 minutes apart, both malls once thrived with strong tenancy and loyal customers. However, in the latter part of last century, Randall Park and Euclid Square fell victim to changing times and new shopping methods. High-end stores gradually vacated, and each experienced the telltale signs that signify the downward spiral toward blight.
Fortunately, in the past decade, developers involved in ecommerce, ironically one of the factors that contributed to the fall of the mall, resuscitated Randall Park and Euclid Square. Today, each site now consists of nearly 900,000 square feet of state-of-the-art fulfillment centers. Langan provided fully integrated engineering and environmental services for both projects.
“Both of these Ohio malls experienced the boom and bust of the market, and I am extremely proud that Langan played a role in their re-birth,” said Bill Boron, Senior Associate and leader of Langan’s Cleveland office. “Each site presented myriad technical and regulatory challenges, but thankfully our clients stuck to their vision, and we were able to erase what had become eyesores in the communities, and build attractive, economically successful facilities that employ thousands of residents.”