CHICAGO-The mall is dead. Long live the mall. Or more specifically, the single-story, enclosed, regional mall is dead, and long live the mixed-use lifestyle center, said Steiner + Associates Inc. CEO Yaromir Steiner, in his keynote speech before the ICSC 2008 Conference on Mixed-Use Development Tuesday afternoon.

To be fair, it was a mixed-use conference, so it’s understandable that the praises of collection-style developments would be praised at this conference. Steiner told the audience of about 200 retail professionals that mixed-use projects, touted for the past three to five years as the next fad in retail, are now officially mainstream, so much so that communities are insisting on the product type. “Planners now are requiring mixed-use components with many new projects,” he said.

He broke down the growth cycle of mixed-use, retail-led projects into three time periods. From 1985 to 1995, there were new developments such as Horton Plaza in San Diego or CocoWalk in Coconut Grove, FL, where developers experimented with leisure, attraction anchors such as movie theaters, by moving these destination tenants to the front rather than the rear of the property. “This is about the time we started to hear about urban entertainment centers, and when we learned how to make the parking requirements co-exist,” Steiner said.

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