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From Dead Lots To Gold Mines, Retailers Are Reimagining Parking Lots

Mall operators and big-box stores are finding ways to repurpose unused parking lots to unlock new revenue streams and drive store traffic.


Landlords and retail companies are trying to sell empty parking lots to developers or rent them to businesses that complement retailers, like restaurants, the New York Post reports. A normal Macy’s store owns around 20 acres of land, Macy’s head of real estate, Doug Sessler, told the Post, and Tuesday the retailer went public with plans to repurpose parking lots at 50 of its stores.

Big-box retailers like Lowe’s and Target are also following the trend. Target listed a 1.5-acre lot outside of an Iowa store, while Lowe’s is listing a one-acre piece of land near a store in North Carolina. The end goal of listing these chunks of land is to attract businesses that will increase traffic to their stores, a Lowe's spokeswoman said.

Parking lots are not only a problem for retailers. Office landlords are starting to partner with Uber and Lyft to overcome parking costs and attract tenants, and urban multifamily developers are increasingly cutting out parking garages altogether to save costs and cater to shifting trends.