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In Defense of Shopping Centers

David Bodamer August 12th, 2008

On Friday, I linked to a screed about the future of shopping centers. A blog called The Sledgehammer has written a response entitled “In Defense of the Traditional Shopping Mall.” The post is labeled “Part 1” so I'll keep an eye out for any future addenda to Lutz's post.

Contrary to what the article seems to imply, there are no truly dead malls in the Seattle area. For a mall to be truly dead, it has to be either completely or almost completely abandoned. Sure, there are a number of malls that are underperforming with high vacancy rates, but even at Totem Lake (the Seattle Metro area's current poster child for dead malls), most of the upper mall area remains occupied at this time with stable tenants, several of which have been there as long as the upper mall has existed. In fact, Denny's Pet World in the upper mall has been there since Day 1, and is celebrating their 34th anniversary this weekend. They opened in a different space (in what used to be the “mall” portion of the upper mall and is now the Guitar Center store) than they are located in currently, but they were there on Day 1. If you count mergers and name changes, the Big 5 Sporting Goods store (which originally opened as SportsWest, another Pay and Save brand) has been around for just as long.

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