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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.

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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