Elliot Feuerstein has decades of experience in commercial property development. Managing several shopping centers in San Diego, CA, Elliot Feuerstein is well versed in the changes taking place in retail real estate.
Shopping malls are experiencing something of a revolution in design. Here are four ways mall developers have switched gears in the last few years, according to Building Design and Construction Magazine (BDC):
1. Built-in “wow” factors. Repositioning their properties to make them preferred shopping destinations, developers have incorporated standout features that call on customers. For example, Triple Five Worldwide has a 5.3 million-square-foot mall in West Edmonton, Canada, that features a water park with the world’s largest indoor wave pool and 17 water slides. In Chicago, mall owners are using unique artwork emblazoned on walls to attract younger shoppers.
2. Expanded common areas. Malls now have grander entrances, inviting customers into a different environment, and more points of convergence. They are allowing more light into common areas to create the feeling of space, and adding attractions to these areas like water features to draw in shoppers.
3. Moved beyond anchor retailers. Today, when people go to malls, shopping is not always uppermost in their minds. Mall developers have incorporated so many leisure and entertainment activities into their centers that many people visit just to have fun. Some of these non-retail attractions include aquariums, performing arts centers, movie theaters, and film studios.
4. Incorporated technology. Mall developers are bridging the digital divide, designing malls that feature, among other technologies, digital beacons that inform shoppers of events and promotions as well as direct human traffic, giant touchscreens with 3D mapping, and software that allows remote parking reservations.