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Before the pandemic, the biggest uncertainty in the commercial real estate market was how to redevelop indoor malls. Malls have been waning in popularity for years, and many have already been repurposed into other asset classes. Research from CoStar shows that these properties are prime candidates for redevelopment thanks to rapidly increasing vacancy rates, which are expected to continue to grow this year.

Mall vacancy rates fell 150 basis points last year, and CoStar expects that they will decline an additional 170 basis points in 2021. “Throughout a substantial portion of the pandemic, up until the vaccines were made widely available, many consumers were hesitant to be inside with large groups of people,” Robin Trantham, senior consultant at CoStar Advisory Services, tells GlobeSt.com. “Given that most traditional malls across the country are enclosed, foot traffic to malls dropped dramatically during the height of the pandemic.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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