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Churches, Housing And Offices: Landlords Aren’t Filling Empty Mall Space With Retail

Dead mall
Randall Park Mall, Ohio

Mall landlords are working to make good use of the space vacated by struggling retailers, with some extending a welcome to rather unconventional non-retail related tenants like corporate offices and chuches. 

Starwood Capital Group bought the Fairlane Town Center mall in Dearborn, Michigan, in 2014, and in a quest to fill that vacant 240K anchor space, Starwood signed Ford Motor Co.  for a 10-year lease, the Wall Street Journal reports. Ford moved its entire engineering and purchasing staff into the former Lord & Taylor space, and landlords around the country are making similar swaps.

Mall owners are filling empty space with anything from churches to for-profit schools, the WSJ reports, while some owners are turning to mixed-use solutions,  putting housing, offices and restaurants into former retail space.