kc-INDYCENTER (2) Independence Center in Independence, MO, is a classic 1970s-era property.

INDEPENDENCE, MO—A lot of people in commercial real estate have lamented the decline of brick-and-mortar retail. Others, however, see underutilized malls and empty storefronts as opportunities. And tearing down these properties often makes less sense than finding new uses appropriate for an era when consumers shop so much online.