A brief guide to the future of mall construction and renovation

Take a quick drive around town and you may begin thinking that traditional indoor malls have fallen out of favor.

Hard data prove it. Consider these statistics cited in PLACES Magazine last year:

  • Around 25 indoor malls closed between 2010 and 2016 in the U.S. and dozens more were in jeopardy when those data were collected.
  • Only one large mall has opened in the U.S. since 2007. That’s a big shift from 1990, when 16 million square feet of mall space opened in that year alone.

But developers are dialing in on a Millennial-centric strategy that turns the traditional mall paradigm on its head. The modern “mall” means something else now—in fact, it more closely matches what the word actually means.

The Korte Company has had a front row seat building for retail owners for decades. That suits our Design-Build delivery method perfectly for the future of mall construction and renovation.

New mall construction and experiential shopping

The biggest point to make is that new mixed-use developments will never look like they used to. The days of monolithic indoor malls with food courts, escalators and 50-acre parking lots are over.

Millennials might be the main catalysts of changes to traditional retail shopping, but new developments thrive when they offer these powerful buyers something they can’t get from a device.

One example is the PKWY Rampart Tavern and Grille, a one-of-a-kind eatery we built in a mixed-use development of boutique shops and restaurants in Las Vegas.

The District Metropolitan —a 116,000-square-foot mixed-use dining, shopping and office development we built in Henderson, NV— is another great example.

A Whole Foods Market anchors the development that includes additional retail and dining establishments on the ground floors and office spaces above. Tree-lined sidewalks and a park-like central gathering space round out the site.

Developments like The District Metropolitan are successful because they hit on some important ideas developers have learned in recent years:

  • Today’s consumers crave personalization, connection and curb appeal. They take unique, friendly and sincere over corporate blandness every time.
  • Consumer winds can shift drastically. Developments that can shapeshift easily to match ever-changing trends stand the best chance at survival.
  • Shoppers love tech. Brick-and-mortar won’t kill the internet, so it needs to leverage it. Combining e-commerce with physical locations can be a successful one-two punch.

Our Design-Build delivery system is a great fit for mall construction projects because it emphasizes close collaboration between customers and our design and construction teams. It’s a faster method where communication is streamlined. That helps us adapt to design changes and deliver spaces that match customers’ up-to-date visions and expectations.

Existing mall renovation

As the PLACES article states, malls aren’t dead. They just don’t serve the purpose they once did.

Instead, owners are learning that no redevelopment idea is too unique. Malls have become community college campuses, healthcare facilities and office spaces (not to mention a practice facility for the NHL’s Nashville Predators). If you can identify a need in the community and the location is right, chances are you could make it work in what used to be a mall—it may just take some renovation.

That’s where a Design-Build partnership with The Korte Company makes sense. Our mentality on any project is this: Cut costs, streamline schedules and get the job done.

Our experience tells us renovated spaces need to be adaptable. We prioritize designs with customer flows and flexibility in mind, and use construction materials and methods well-suited for sites that may soon require additional renovation or expansion.

Design-Build: The right delivery system

Whether you’re a developer considering new mall construction or an owner in need of mall renovation, our Design-Build method might be the right fit for the job. We’ve completed several mall and retail construction projects over the years—there’s no better way to become an authority on the subject than become immersed in it.

If you want to explore a mall construction or renovation partnership with us, let’s talk. We want to hear more about your project.

Let's talk

Get Build-Smart guidance from our experienced Design-Build team.

Let's talk

Get started