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Struggling Malls to Become Apartments?

Malls, once the shining symbols of American prosperity, have fallen on hard times in the past decade. Certainly, the decline of the retail industry (e.g. Macy’s, JCPenny, Sears) has driven many malls to the point of bankruptcy. Add Covid-19 to the mix and it may be time to say bye-bye to the mall.

But wait! Could the mall get a second life? Can the mall be repurposed?

At the Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, a suburb north of Seattle, an adaptive reuse project is in progress, turning the empty retail space into affordable housing. In the future, mall owners who used to get rent checks from Forever 21 and H&M, could be getting checks from Todd and Emily Pierson.

Randy White, CEO of White Hutchinson Leisure and Learning Group, a consulting firm focused on location-based entertainment thinks Alderwood is smart. “Right before the pandemic,” he says, “a lot of these malls thought restaurants and entertainment would be their savior, the new anchors. Those hopes are dashed. There’s even a question if movie theaters are going to survive.”

Mr. Willig engages and coordinates a professional team of real estate brokers, general contractors, leasing agents, and property managers in order to rehabilitate, lease and maintain the properties he acquires for SpringView Investments. He has over 20 years of finance and accounting experience.

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