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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.

Pacific Retail Capital Partners, for example, recently decided to step in as the operator of Independence Center, an iconic lifestyle shopping center in Independence, MO, just outside of Kansas City. Boasting more than one million square feet of retail space and 12 million annual visitors, Independence Center has been one of the region’s largest shopping centers since opening in 1974, but in recent years it struggled. Last year, Simon Property Group, its previous owner, defaulted on $200 million loan.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.

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