In Florida and across the country, traditional shopping malls are facing difficulties, while other kinds of retail real estate projects are booming. However, the owners of classic malls like the Santa Rosa Mall are looking towards new options to revitalize their storefronts. In addition, by constructing a large apartment complex on the site, mall owners are changing the face of the project toward the walkable, live-work concepts that are propelling large-scale residential construction across the country.
Reflecting these changes, the new tenants at the mall in the Florida Panhandle reflect a wide range of services that move beyond clothing and toy sales. Among the companies coming to the mall include a video and audio production studio, a dance studio and a hair salon. These new tenants are planned as part of the integration into the mixed-use development in progress, which will include housing, restaurants, retail and a wide range of services. These types of developments replicate the classic appeal of a downtown space, even while also including mall-style attributes.
The mall first opened in 1976 and featured 54 stores, including Sears, JCPenney and a Morrison’s Cafeteria. The mall was expanded in 1986 and renovated in 2000, installing skylights that added natural light to the venue. As traditional retail has declined, different kinds of tenants have taken up residence. A church can be found in the mall along with a day care center and several restaurants.
While shopping malls are no longer a major trend in commercial real estate development, communities for shopping, dining and living continue to skyrocket in popularity. Companies that are considering expanding their commercial real estate holdings or revitalizing their existing properties may move forward with an array of contracting decisions. A real estate attorney can provide advice to developers and owners in order to prepare for successful transactions as well as successfully address construction disputes and other issues.