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

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.