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Urbanization is penetrating suburban markets, and retail centers are among the first to be hit. Retail centers and strip malls, which in general are being transformed or abandoned altogether, are transforming into community-oriented town centers. Institutional investors and developers are at the center of these transformations, working to renovate and reposition old and outdated retail into modern lifestyle retail hubs that serve the community.

“The suburbs are the new, new town centers,” Jose Sanchez, retail and mixed-use design leader at the DLR Group, tells GlobeSt.com. “Many cities in their fast growth conceptions failed to properly plan town centers and community hubs. Regional and “strip” malls initially designed to offer basic commodities then filled the void of community meeting places. DLR Group is working with a number of national retail developers and REITS to transform outdated shopping centers into a new generation of dense, walkable, sustainable urban places that can realize multifaceted dreams without displacing the idealistic concepts of suburbia.”

Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Borland is a freelance writer and editor living whose work has appeared in such publications as Travel + Leisure, Angeleno and Riviera Orange County.

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