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Standard Malls vs People Places

In a Los Angeles Times column today, entitled "Dying Malls Offer a Chance to Build Something Better", Steve Lopez spoke of the opportunities presented by repurposed shopping malls that offer more than retail and can attract people who don’t even go there to shop. The traditional approach for retail shopping is focused on attracting and maintaining retail tenants. The Times article noted the importance of getting the property owner AND local elected official to support the alternative concept that is instead about the needs and desires of the customer. As readers of this blog may know, that's not an easy task hereabouts -- developers, seeking profit from retail tenants, tend to get easy approval for whatever quick-and-cheap idea they want, regardless of citizen (customer) input. Still, it is instructive to see how other places are finding success by turning their old shopping centers into "people places."

“Anybody who’s smart is looking at reinventing these places

— Tom Safran -- Thomas Safran & Associates, a Southern California developer quoted by Steve Lopez in the LA Times column 6/26/2017

May contain: person, human, pedestrian, path, and building

Westfield Topanga in Canoga Park, CA, is but one of many Southern California shopping centers and strip malls intended as a community-friendly retail environment. {photo credit: RSG commercial real estate}
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