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Reason Foundation

Shopping Mall 2.0

Leonard Gilroy
February 24, 2005, 8:33am

After years of declining influence in the retail sector, the regional shopping mall fights back: Read the article here. Perhaps I'm behind the curve or jargon-challenged, but I was having a hard time visualizing what exactly a "hybrid center" was until I read this: The innovation spurred by commerce and its response to changing consumer preferences never ceases to amaze me. Ten years ago I would have never imagined that someone could drive to one location, have a coffee at Barnes & Noble, pick up some drill bits at Home Depot, hit some bike trails and picnic by a lake, catch a matinee, browse cookwear at Williams-Sonoma, grab a sandwich at a boardwalk bistro, and stroll over to a symphony performance in the ampitheater. And there's an important benefit of this innovation. While not every dying mall will be ripe for retrofit, the emerging "hybrid center" concept is likely to be a major shot in the arm for the struggling regional mall sector and may help to allay fears of the mass extinction of malls and concerns about what to do with the empty shells. Just another example of inexhaustable human ability to find new uses for old things... (Hat tip: Planetizen)

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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