chi-vacant kmart (2) A vacant Kmart in Wilmington, NC. These properties can attract users that could not afford such ground-up construction, but acquisitions are an option.

CHICAGO—An empty building that once housed a major retailer like Sears, Sports Authority or Toys R’ Us has become a familiar sight across the US. And as online shopping continues to erode the traditional brick-and-mortar retail outlet, owners, along with developers and municipal officials, will increasingly face the challenge of finding new uses for these big boxes.

In a way, this provides marvelous opportunities for many non-retail users, most of which could never afford the type of state-of-the-art, ground-up construction once favored by major retail brands. But on such properties, the clock may also be ticking.

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.

More from this author


GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2023Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.