This is not quite the thing that PG usually excerpts. However, after his megapost yesterday, he’ll make an exception.
From The Wall Street Journal:
After Hickory Hollow Mall in Antioch, Tenn., closed in 2011, it became the home of a new satellite campus of Nashville State Community College and a practice rink for Nashville’s professional hockey team. It still has stores, including an ethnic market filled with small immigrant businesses, but on a much smaller scale than before.
In East Austin, Texas, the abandoned Highland Mall was taken over in recent years by Austin Community College, which opened a state-of-the-art lab for teaching math on the second floor of the old J.C. Penney and is building housing for students and others on the old parking lots. With a new light rail stop, the development has also become a magnet for local employers.
As the Christmas shopping season reminds us, the traditional retail sector is undergoing profound change. While Amazon and its e-commerce rivals vie for ever-larger shares of the market, retailers such as RadioShack, The Limited, Payless and Toys ‘R’ Us have gone bankrupt.
. . . .
The so-called “retail apocalypse” is hardly universal. Overall, the sector is still growing at a healthy rate of 3% a year. But the shift in retail has been especially hard on many suburbs and rural areas. Dying malls and shopping centers have meant job losses and a shrinking tax base.
. . . .
When the Villa Italia Mall in Lakewood, Colo., closed and defaulted to the city in 2001, the local government worked with a developer to raze most of the buildings, cut new roads and create a lively hub neighborhood of homes, offices and arts centers, with some new stores too. Belmar, as it is now called, is already generating four times the tax revenue that the old mall did. Eight of the 13 malls in the Denver metropolitan area are being similarly retrofitted and remade.
Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal