Hundreds of malls have shut down in the past few decades, and about 15% of malls could disappear in the next 10 years, according to a recent report.
More than 3,500 mall stores are also projected to close in the first half of 2017, including anchor tenants like Sears and Macy’s — which most malls financially depend on to survive.
Many dead malls still lie abandoned today. But some are luckier — they find developers willing to renovate them into buildings with new uses, like apartment complexes, medical facilities, and even churches.
Take a look at some of those transformations below:
www.Youtube.com – Walk thru the Converted Oldest Indoor Mall
In 2012, it closed for two years of renovations. A dozen or so local shops—no chain stores—still occupy the first floor, but the top two floors were completely gutted and turned into microlofts, tiny one-bedroom apartments now popular in crowded cities. For any teenage mall rat who ever fantasized about living in a mall, this is about classy as it gets.
Opened in 1971, Highland Mall was Austin’s first suburban shopping mall. Highland Mall was jointly owned by General Growth and Simon Property Group until 2011. Austin Community College began acquiring the surrounding land in 2010, assumed ownership of the last parcel it did not already control in August 2011. On April 29, 2015, Highland Mall officially closed its doors.
Now sits the ACC. ACC Highland is now a forward-looking learning environment that anchors a planned mixed-use development with apartments, retailers, businesses, and hotels.
The first phase of ACC Highland is the Highland Campus (HLC). HLC opened in August 2014 and features classrooms, a library, study areas, and the ACCelerator, the nation’s largest computer learning lab.
Miraculously, a Northpark superintendent had the Northpark Mall, which survived the tornado, converted into Joplin High School in just 55 days to serve as a temporary space for students during the 2011-2012 school year. The mall has since returned to its original purpose, but its temporary makeover was pretty impressive.
About a third of the building was renovated, and the building re-opened as the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute with a Barnes and Noble in 2012. The city still owns the other two-thirds of the mall for future redevelopment.