I just love this article in the WSJ…and it applies to commercial districts as well. Malls Get Facelift to Pull In Shoppers (Wall Street Journal, 12/18). Here are a few choice quotes that inspired me to think about how these same principles apply to urban commercial districts and traditional downtowns.
The good news….
- “Making what you already have as good as it can be is the best way to go.” My thoughts…Commercial districts need to continually improve and upgrade. It’s critical to remain relevant to your customer base.
- “Landlords and analysts say the improvements can generate annual income of as much as 10% to 12% of the cost of the upgrades.” My thoughts…this is a great argument to use with local property owners and business owners.
- “Mall owners are adding more restaurants, upscale movie theaters, supermarkets and other tenants that offer goods and experiences that can’t be found online.” My thoughts…the good news is that downtown and urban areas already offer the experience and tenant mix described here…it’s an asset to build from!
…and the bad.
- “The retail-property industry has a long history of throwing good money after bad by trying to save shopping centers facing tough competition and growing vacancy rates.” Does this meant that already flailing commercial districts may not make good investments??
- “most redevelopment is taking place at the country’s top-performing malls” Convincing mall owners to invest in lower performing malls proves as challenging as convincing property owners to invest in properties in communities that are seemingly struggling…