24 votes

Malls are closing down and I have an idea...

Why couldn't malls in the midwest be redeveloped? Imagine being able to offer a client 5000 sq ft of space...?

The pro's would be that it was contained. In the midwest we deal with weather so bad that it can kill you. So cold.. that any exposed skin is in pain when the wind blows.

The other pro is that malls are big. It could literally have a residential section and a business section. Being able to offer someone a blank canvas that they build out is a plus. Those spaces are designed to make sure that the entire interior can be built out for each tenant.

What do y'all think? How much does a closed down mall cost? Is there a way to catch one right as it closes? What legal hoops?

The irony? I bet there are so many regulations and govt assholes to deal with that it makes it unreal to the average person to deal with.

Here is the link that sparked the thought:


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Or bangs, a Korean word pronounced half-way between bong and pong.

It means room. It's basically renting a room to pretend you have a friend whose house is big enough to have a hang-out where his parents don't barge in a lot. Koreans live with their parents until they marry so the need is great.

And the U.S. is starting to have more multi-generational homes, too. The MidWest would be a great place to start such an enterprise. We about went nuts this past winter with little kids and the local McD's playplace being beyond filthy.

There are

DVDbangs - a place to watch a movie with your friends.
noraebangs - a place to, I kid you not, sing with your friends.
PCbangs - a place to murder Starcraft noobs on fast internet connections
multibang - This is where you pretend your friend is rich and you hang out in his parents' bungalow and have a lot of stuff to do


Lots of countries have bathhouses, but babysteps.

Defend Liberty!

Urban farming

Rooftop farming is still popular in many countries. Why not do that with these malls. Vertical farming is also getting popular. Imagine a high rise with food growing on the outside, and a marketplace on the inside of the building where the elevators are to sell the food. Customers could even pick it right off the plants as it grows. This would be great for the local food movement and help curb the inflation in food prices.

Plumbing a challenge

I would imagine that retro fitting the plumbing needed to support hundreds of apartments would be a seriously expensive challenge.


tired of them claiming that online sales are killing malls. What's killing mall sales is the fact that people's credit cards are maxed out and the costs of living are rising. A record number of Americans are sucking on the tits of government.

From: http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2013/12/online_retail_s...

"It's true that online retail has been growing rapidly. Sales from online shopping have grown 300 percent since the beginning of 2004. It still only accounts for 6 percent of sales in the U.S. retail industry, according to data from the Dept. of Commerce."

"Endless money forms the sinews of war." - Cicero, www.freedomshift.blogspot.com

alternative schools..

Ive always wanted to purchase one & setup a public NGO school. There is one for sale in my home town for less than $150k.

I would love to be apart of a public 'homeschool' project that also incorporated indoor organic food production, as many of these places have quality air filtration systems.

One could also set up 3D print centers, CPU mining rigs... the possibilities are endless.

A big smile on my face could be viewed at a townhall meeting when residents complain about their property taxes going to public education once a large percentage of parents had withdrawn their children from the federal programming/daycare centers...

If anyone is seriously considering something of this sort please lemme know, I would be happy to assist in any small way I can :)

Our big mall that closed turned into another annex for the

Community College.

"Hi, how are you. Haven't seen you around here before..."

"...where are you from"?

"I live over at the mall."

"Uh. Okay."


Sorry, just a bit of humor before I comment. Hey, if you can have a condo complex, why not an entire community enclosed in a mall? There are many examples of mixed use properties in California. In SoCal's Chinatown there are housing units above businesses, and closer to Los Angeles there is a large outdoor mall complex that I know of with large apartments and houses next to and above ground level businesses. Seems like it provides a safety net for the developers, as I'm sure if the business space is vacant, the apartment dwellers covers the costs of the property.

On the other hand, do you actually own a mall or are you just seeking affirmation for an idea that you have no intention or ability to implement? Are you suggesting "someone" force property owners to do something with their property? Are you implying cities should use eminent domain to confiscate and repurpose abandoned or languishing sites? What's the purpose of this post?

I stayed with someone in Germany who lived

at a concert hall. The wife worked for the company and they had a big family (big for Germany, anyway) and there weren't many other options so they lived in a huge apartment there. It was really weird to have to talk my way into a venue where some international star was setting up equipment. We were just as likely to run into the star's security or Polizei as the wife's employees, and even the wife's employees would have to sometimes call a number we gave them and then they'd look all embarassed to have called the boss's home at 10PM at night.

Defend Liberty!

Some other ideas

1. Make it into a museum that highlights the waste of basing a society on hyper consumerism.
2. Clear it out, recycle everything possible and re forest the land. (Just try it. The deer will eat every tree down to a nub)
3. Give up and let the government make it into just another storage parking lot for even more military equipment. (They never stop making it)

Oh hells yeah already broke it

oh yes totally, the thing is we have to be absolutely ultra ironic about it and do a tribe or commune thing. We all get to wear distinctive face paint and special feathers in our hair and we can say things like:


And we shall totally raise post-apocalyptic feral children who are good with weapons and we all get motorcycles.


There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

OK but if we're gonna do this let's do it with pride

1. no pissing in the fish pools or fountains, that's part of our aquaponics thing.

2. no riding motorcycles or shooting guns in the kids play areas.

3. we are totally gonna have a rifle range, a bow range, a missile range, an attack helo range, heck man we're gonna have ALL THE RANGES.

4. we're gonna repair the roofs and keep some areas clean so we have a nice reception area and a 4 star hotel. Screw the bed and breakfast, we're going top notch.

5. We're gonna need a moat full of alligators so....who's good with that?

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

What are you people telling me?

we have NOBODY that's expert in digging moats and filling them with water and populating them with aligators?

I mean seriously? We don't have ONE SINGLE PERSON WITH THIS EXPERTISE?


Has anyone even thought to check and see if www.AreaDenialSystems.com is open? No? Ask yourself why that is.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

Ever here of the Rackspace castle?

Rackspace did this exact thing in San Antonio. It's an amazing office

I read an article about it

I read an article about it right after they purchased the mall. If I'm remembering correctly it was quite huge and they had planned to build out over a period of time. Haven't read any updates, though. So it's now the 'Rackspace Castle'? Nice. Wish they were in my area, I bet they would be a great company to work for.


WE LOVE IT. Imagine a city


Imagine a city without stringent zoning laws.

You'd have coffee shops, light manufacturing, restaurants, grocery stores and apartments, all within spitting distance.

It would be like a European city, where you don't have to crawl through gridlock to get anywhere.

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.


Also author of Stick it to the Man!


On the downside, in the event

On the downside, in the event of a fire, flood or earthquake (depending on the location)...

there's a mall down the street from me...

I live in suburban Kansas City... a place called Overland Park, KS.

One of the malls here is the poster-child for the collapsing mall concept.

Metcalf South shopping center was built in the late 60s when this area was exploding with development. Originally the mall was anchored by Montgomery Ward and a department store called "The Jones Store". (Montgomery Ward was replaced by Sears. The Jones Store was purchased by Macy's circa 2000.)

This mall was 100% full through the mid 90s and then started to decline.
Today the sears is Still there and there's a giant "gift shop" sort of place which sells seasonal decoration type stuff... the rest of the mall, 3 floors, which have to be hundreds of thousands of square feet each sit entirely empty.

I was running a business a few years back and looked into getting space at the mall. In spite of the place being entirely empty they wanted about 10x the going rate for office space in the area... justified the price with (nonexistent) "retail traffic".

I think the best use for these malls would be residential. One could turn each store into an apartment and build a community aimed at whatever demographic... It could be all kid-friendly with playgrounds and such throughout the mall... or aimed at singles and one could add bars and other types of entertainment which would suit the community... or my favorite option: a libertarian utopia... garden-space covering the roof, an almost entirely self-sufficient small town inside with small, locally-owned shops and restaurants as well as apartments.

At their inceptions, the #Liberty, #OccupyWallStreet and #TeaParty movements all had the same basic goal... What happened?

Not just Metcalf South

Indian Springs, Metro North, and Antioch are dead. They razed Bannister and Blue Ridge. Now they build strip malls they can't lease. Then they build more.

yeah.... way worse on the MO side of town

The part that bugs me the most is the way that all of the new development is 100% chain-store. they killed everything that was locally-owned and now all of the profits earned on local commerce leave town to line the pockets of someone in some other city. The P&L district is 100% Baltimore-owned and there are major tax breaks for the businesses in the district for 10 years from the development date... once those tax breaks expire the businesses there will close shop and leave with their profits and local business will never be able to turn a profit in the district with normal tax rates.

I believe this process is playing out in other cities across the country too. A Massive wealth transfer from smaller cities to politically-connected corporations...

At their inceptions, the #Liberty, #OccupyWallStreet and #TeaParty movements all had the same basic goal... What happened?

Twould be awesome if space

Twould be awesome if space could be used for whatever purpose the people paying for it saw fit.

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.


Also author of Stick it to the Man!


Good ideas

I believe that the freer the choices in how we use resources the better. Things that people never imagined can be produced if people are free to do what they want with whatever property they own.

A thread that doesn't make my

A thread that doesn't make my hair hurt, yippee. Interesting discussion.
My experience indicates you are right about this.

The irony? I bet there are so many regulations and govt assholes to deal with that it makes it unreal to the average person to deal with.

10-15 million more voters need to believe in non-interventionism (liberty) at home and abroad to change America. Minds changed on Syria. Minds changing on privacy. "Printing money" is part of the dialogue. Win minds through focus, strategy.

Public Transit Kills Malls

I once talked to a guy who used to own a store in a mall. He told me that once the city extended a bus route to the mall that crime increased both inside and outside the mall. Previously, the only problem he had was the occasional shoplifter -- usually just a kid from the neighborhood. After the bus line was extended, a more professional brand of shoplifter arrived. These were more difficult to catch and would overwhelm mall security. Reports of muggings and carjackings kept middle class and wealthier people away. Eventually, he couldn't make enough money to cover the rent and closed. Soon after, the whole mall shut down and was demolished. The bus doesn't run there anymore and there are no new reports of shoplifting, carjackings, or muggings.

I am sure that there are other factors involved in why malls are failing, but I also often read similar stories (usually in the comments section of a news article on a mall closing). In general, I don't have a problem with public transit. I actually use it when I visit large cities. I think that a lot of people here would agree with me that the way transit is funded needs to change (as in it should be funded 100% by the fare box and not through taxation).

Drain the swamp!

Just economics. Where I'm from, they aren't closing, and they

are doing quite well.

We're also seeing more retail space being built than ever here. (though not in new malls, but rather smaller shopping strips and anchors with out-parcels.)

I think the mall concept is really tough to work and keep vibrant. Smaller strips and the out-parcel model seem more manageable over the long term.

Make them

into indoor Airsoft fields!

That would be awesome!!!

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

online shopping

And tjmax ,ross, discount clothes and shoes help destroy mall shopping .The big three in mall anchor stores are in trouble JC penny ,sear ,macys. With them gone its hard to pay the rent from smaller venders. They pay for the most space in a mall. radio shack, Coldwater creek are going by the wayside. The eighty's period of the big malls are dying.Even strip malls have problem. today. And the big kicker. The middle class is out of cash.

Money talks and dogs bark

There are three basic reasons malls die

They become obsolete and owners don't rebuild.

They are upstaged by a better mall nearby

And crime increases.

The first two are easy to correct.
The third is most difficult.

The first two would be taken care of with a mixed use community.

The third will continue to be an issue and therefore needs to be seriously considered before investing.

I've seen a vibrant mall die because a light rail train was extended to the suburb. All the criminals from the city got their free tickets and came out to shop lift, mug and car jack people.

That mall has undergone a major rebuild. It was renamed a "Town Center". http://www.shophuntvalley.com/
Before: https://www.google.com/search?q=Hunt+Valley+Towne+Centre&cli...
After: https://www.google.com/search?q=Hunt+Valley+Towne+Centre&cli...

I don't think we have a housing shortage

Residential is overbuilt, same as commercial.

Leges sine moribus vanae