Some of our recent helicopter flying has been with a photographer tasked with getting pictures of shopping malls in the context of highways, cities, etc. What are these for? “Everything is for sale now,” he said. “They’re all going bankrupt.”
Is it actually too late for these spaces? If schools need more square footage to do in-person learning, why not rent the vast department stores to local school districts? Because the schools aren’t actually willing to pay? In Shanghai, a typical mall might have half the space devoted to after-school programs for children, e.g., dance or English-language instruction. Perhaps that can’t work in the U.S. because at any time a governor can make it illegal to operate the after-school program.
Readers: What else can be done with these spaces? If retail and most other forms of gathering are outlawed, what is the value of a lot of climate-controlled space?
- “‘The Big Short 2.0’: How Hedge Funds Profited Off the Pain of Malls” (New York Times, August 24)
- previous post about taking pictures of apartment buildings that are for sale now that it is impossible to collect rent (due to eviction moratoria)