You know how market researchers have been saying for the past five years that there's no room left in the U.S. for brand new regional malls? That might be an exaggeration, according to Stephen J. Kieras, senior vice president of development with Taubman Centers. While it's true that opportunities for ground-up mall construction may be very limited, he notes that in the right markets--commonly in urban cores where the retail infrastructure may be underdeveloped or too old--it's still possible to build new projects. (Taubman is currently working on new construction in Sarasota, Fla., San Juan and Waikiki, Hawaii).
"The beauty of the regional mall is that the fundamental principles that made them so successful years ago are still the same--critical mass, one locations where customers can shop [different stores] and a sense of place," Kieras notes.
If you can provide those elements, you can build a mall.