Friday Edition for 5/29/2020 - Malls, Money & Mysteries

By
Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

"Strip Malls Are History" - Jeff Bezos

 

Jeff (Born 1/24/1964) was a baby still taking baby steps by the time I was in High School in Chicago. Out in the suburbs of Lake County, IL, farmland near the busy Tri-State Tollway, Thomas E. Wilson/Edellyn Farms purchased a chunk of land for $2M located in close proximity to the Great Lakes Naval Base in North Chicago. The Developer planned to build Lakehurst Mall which opened in 1971 before President Jimmy Carter, the man with the somber face and pin-striped suit implemented Gas Rationing in April, 1977 due to the gas embargo during the Arab-Israeli War. By then signs were posted everywhere:

 

SORRY DUE TO ALLOCATION

WE CAN SERVE NO MORE GASOLINE

 

As reported in the news a year prior the handwriting was on the wall.  Whether or not readers believed in the written word as the Gospel Truth or even read the news, gas rationing did come to fruition. Unfortunately, flawed thinking by the wrong people caused a lot of hardship, stress, and economic woes. 

 

Times were tough for young mothers like me with an infant and a toddler. We moved to Lake County and Lakehurst Mall was a blessing. I could do all my Christmas Shopping indoors without having to bundle and unbundle the kids. The mall was thriving with the giant General Cinema Lakehurst 12 movie theater, restaurants, fine department stores and near-by apartment complex. People were proud of the Mixed-Use-Development. By 1983 anchor stores such as J.C. Penney closed and had a ripple effect. By 1986 the entire chain was out of business. Then the great floods came and school children were misplaced. Crime became prevalent. School buildings were destroyed. At the vacant Lakehurst Mall local students were set up in classrooms and there was plenty of storage that served their needs until the the Mall had to be demolished. 

 

In 1991 Gurnee Mills located by the Tri-State, across from Six Flags Great America emerged. Consumers were happy! Shortly thereafter, I moved to Texas. Today, the mall is gone.

 

In TX, Valley View Mall was a fun place to go. Consumers like me stopped shopping when crime made it impossible to shop in peace. The mall is now demolished and developers and city officials launched a plan for mixed use development now called Dallas Midtown. How that's going, I don't know. 

 

Closing Arguments

As the cookie crumbles, so does infrastructure and the economy. While inevitably businesses fail others succeed. People still need to shop. Developers will continue to bulldoze and build. With shelter-in-place and engaged couples not able to have big weddings due to limitations, restrictions and social distancing, I have a feeling and wouldn't be surprised at all, that out of a fresh womb, someone bigger, better, and more bodacious will be born to greatness. 

 

If Commercial Realtors Candice A. Donofrio or Endre Barath, Jr. would like to weigh in on Malls, Money, and Mysteries of Commercial Development, I would love to hear about it and I think the readers would too. Thank you!!!

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                                         Patricia (Peace without Panic) Feager (Faith without Fear)
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Ambassador
3,255,602
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

It is a very scary time to be in retail especially in brick and mortar locations...

Happy Friday Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

May 29, 2020 09:26 PM #33
Rainmaker
2,178,291
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS - Civil unrest is heating up all over, Dallas included. Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, now there's MN, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta. By the time the morning comes, who knows how much worse things will get. Yes! scary times indeed! May you and yours be safe.

I am so thankful I listened to my heart a few years ago and got out of a brick and mortar Real Estate Company.

May 29, 2020 09:43 PM #34
Rainmaker
1,888,271
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Hi Patricia - I'm late to the party, but am glad it is so. Your post definitely should be FEATURED, right ActiveRain Member Support ? Your post and the comments made by so many others are thought provoking and have opened a great dialog.

San Francisco doesn't have many malls, but the surrounding suburbs do, and they are struggling, as are the couple here in SF.

One of the great joys of this city are the various neighborhoods, each with its own unique feel. We love patronizing our local merchants, know them by name, spend time with them. Yes, products cost more than at Amazon or Big Box stores, but its a price we're willing to pay to support our neighbors. Hopefully many of them will weather the shut down.

May 30, 2020 06:16 AM #35
Ambassador
2,013,266
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

It's interesting to note, even before the pandemic, many large stores closed due to the popularity of online shopping. I too wonder if brick and mortar will dwindle in our future. Will kids return to classrooms full-time? My son's company in San Francisco tells employees they will be working remotely, at least, through the end of the year. After that, it remains to be seen. 

May 30, 2020 07:48 AM #36
Rainmaker
2,178,291
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Lottie Kendall - thank you for your vote of confidence. I always appreciate you as a friend and colleague. The dialog from other rainers has been eye-opening and interesting. It seems like there is a common thread about malls cities concerns and sustainability to continue to operate and profit. This is a huge problem across the entire USA. 

I am not an Amazon shopper; however, I read the NextDoor social media and my neighbors who do shop on-line complain daily about packages being stolen from their doorsteps and packages delivered to wrong addresses. I read and feel their frustrations. Those that complain on a regular basis about theft seem to have packages stolen more frequently. You know that old saying, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again? I can't help but wonder if the people having the problem keep ordering from Amazon and if a thief can expect to receive packages on a regular basis around the same time on a regular basis, then he or she is guaranteed another stolen package and the same buyer left with frustration.

I believe in supporting local business owners and knowing who I'm dealing with. I can completely understand if there is a legitimate reason why people can't drive or shop due to an illness or some other disability for good reason. But to make shopping on-line on a regular habit is something I couldn't do.   

I guess your right, it's about price and what people are willing to pay, plus convenience.  

May 30, 2020 08:37 AM #37
Rainmaker
2,178,291
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - It's always good to hear from you and hear your views. I have been observing for some time the number of vacant stores in my area too. I do know that a lot of fees are involved with commercial lease, such as more liability, parking, equipment, triple net, paying staff wages and insurance, etc. The problem is, there never really is enough customers to pledge allegiance to loyalty and there isn't enough profit. I should mention something interesting. A huge grocery store (well known name) closed and vacated the building. For a long time it stayed closed until I saw a Church sign. The most interesting thing about it is, it's a private church not open to just anyone. I can't help but wonder, is it a front for something else??? I don't even see cars in a parking lot on regular days or times like I would normally see at local churches. Hmmmmm????

For what it costs to build and maintain brick and mortar alone, plus foundation, HVAC, plumbing, windows, floors, walls, electricity, etc.,  is very costly. I have a brick and mortar home and nothing is cheap when it comes to repairs. I can't imagine the cost to maintain a big shopping center. 

It's very sad when there is patronage but not enough revenue to pay for the business and upkeep. One slip up or lawsuit can be devastating. I predict there will be fewer and fewer and if stores reopen they will be smaller and smaller. 

As far as schools and classrooms go, I have a big concern. 1) Too many babies started to go to day care as soon as they were potty trained; then transitioned into pre-school, K, and regular school. Adapting to lock-down in their own home without any set up for proper education and just ZOOM is insane. These kids more than likely don't have broadband if they are in rural parts of the country. They probably don't have a proper desk and chair suited for their size. The house may not have adequate lighting. Kids may be alone at home or with parents who never learned how to be parents because they always have and always will be career people. I could add a lot more to this list. Plus, there is no real schedule. Kids need to eat. They get sleepy. They get bored. They are not comfortable being alone and parents (many of them) have no patience because they are focused on making money, money, money to support them and pay their bills. By the way, we had our first TX 12 year old suicide case. Good kid. Smart. Couldn't stand being alone and being bored. Without friends is why he decided to take his own life. My heart breaks for the children. 

I really, truly hope and pray government and school boards don't make the wrong decisions without input from students and looking at potential positives and negatives for all and every child has their needs met with sense of loving beloning and opportunities to learn.  

May 30, 2020 08:56 AM #38
Rainmaker
1,339,077
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Patricia, with online shopping and more people working from home...that does seem to be the way of it and path we are headed down. Good...bad...I don't know, but I can tell you that I will miss walking into my favorite stores, talking face to face with with people I've formed long time relationships with. I'll miss touching first hand the quality of what I was purchasing, picking out my own produce and checking latest expiration dates etc.

While working from home does have certain advantages; my sister for example who lives in Lombard, Ill. and commutes into Chicago is now saved from the long train ride or longer car ride into the city..I also enjoy being able to do much of my work from home. However, I absolute hate buying online and do as little of that as possible...except, of course, when ordering Portillo's or Lou Malnotti's for a little home delivered slice of home...I'm sure you can relate! 

May 30, 2020 09:12 AM #39
Rainmaker
2,178,291
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Nick T Pappas - It's so great to hear from you!!! Yes! I can relate to Portillo's or Lou Malnotti's. It's so much more than a "slice of home," it's like a slice from Heaven!!! 

I think people like your sister will appreciate not having to make that commute with multiple connections with cars, buses, subways, els, and trains. Plus, when it comes to inclement weather and not having to wear snow boots, heavy coats, gloves, etc., a lot won't be missed. But with time, the old yearnings to get out and be independent to travel will be sorely missed. Will there be a need to salt and plow roads for the benefit of keeping commuters safely driving on the road? Will people eventually forget about their senses/need to see, hear, touch, feel and taste that slice of home? If you think about the 80-20 rule. I know many in the 80% (or will it become 90%) be deprived of what life was really all about with generations who grew up that way?

For me, the hardest part may be the inability to be with my loved ones because air/travel restrictions and quarantines and potentially more flight cancellations and astronomical prices for only the most elite? Again, that may be the norm for the 80 or 90%. 

Expired food has always been a problem. Just yesterday I picked up a quart of fresh lemonade. However, when I saw yesterday's date, the store clerk saw me and rushed over to find out why I put it back. So I told her. I watched as she went straight to the back and pulled out one that wasn't due to expire. Stocking shelves will not change in grocery stores. Taking the risk of paying in advance for groceries and having it delivered only to discover (or not discover) the product expired is very disturbing, especially when it comes to salmonella and other potential health hazards. Oh, the thoughts that goes through my head does not stop. I'm already missing so much.  

By nature, I'm an optimist but things are changing... I don't like being shaped by what is being dictated and I don't want to lose my independence and freedom. Now I know more than ever, just how precious freedom is. Please keep in touch. Be safe and well.  

May 30, 2020 10:11 AM #40
Rainmaker
377,843
Brenda J. Andrew
ULTIMA REAL ESTATE - Corpus Christi, TX
Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX

Good afternoon Patricia. What wise words you have and it makes me realize that this too shall pass. I am ready just like everyone else for all of this to come to an end so we can get together with friends and family and have the normal that we’ve always known. I am a people person and the zoom does not work well with me. Have a great day and we will see what the future holds!

May 30, 2020 01:22 PM #41
Rainmaker
2,178,291
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Good evening Brenda J. Andrew - There is strength in numbers and when we are actively engaged with family, friends, and can freely run our business effectively without masks, walls, or constant Windows/ZOOM we gain greater insights and feel connected. For some, Zoom works well; others not. By nature we are in this business to serve people. With an unknown future or someone else pulling our strings and corralling our future it causes discomfort and we wonder how we will get out of whatever this is,  comfort zone or Twilight zone? Achieving quarterly goals and strategic plans has been more of a threat and adapting to change more than the usual challenge. Right now, everything is a mystery. Survivors shall see what happens to malls, money, brick and mortar, big development, commercial, schools, and institutions. Staying alert to change within our community, adapting to people's needs, embracing change for sustainability requires breaking down the walls of perception and courage. But the bottom line is, we are people. 

Take care! 

May 30, 2020 06:19 PM #42
Rainmaker
3,344,419
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Patricia, thank you for the honorable mentions, unfortunately AR has not been notifying me on any of the pings or comments... ironically I have spent hardly any time on the platform. Good thing I popped in for a few minutes. I will come back and comment hopefully next day or two. Just did not want to leave you  without saying anything. BTW we are in Lock Down Mode as of 8:30 pm to 5:30:am tomorrow per Los Angeles an Beverly Hills Mayors... why? well that is another subject...Endre

May 30, 2020 10:29 PM #43
Rainmaker
2,178,291
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Endre Barath, Jr. - Glad to hear from you! I am up right now. It's after midnight my time and I've been seeing the LA burnings and rioting. How devastating! OMG! This is insanity!!! Barr has been on the news blaming ANTIFA and not the Peaceful Protesters. CNN keeps reporting PDJT is silent --- change channels and he's not silent! Dallas has had some uprising, breaking windows at the Dallas Galleria upscale shops, etc. Dallas is on lock down, stores closed, warning signs to stay out of Dallas. Chicago same thing. Philly ditto. MN is smoldering. D.C. fires. Looting all over when all store owners are suffering just pours salt on all of our open wounds. How on earth this country is going to get back on track now is anyone's guess but it's not looking good. What I'm seeing now is worse than what I experienced in 1968 MLK Rioting. Tear gas is very hard on the lungs. Glad you're okay. As for AR - nobody is getting notices. Take care! Be safe!  

May 30, 2020 10:58 PM #44
Ambassador
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Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Yes, the only constant in life is change. All the best to you - my TX friend, Lynn

May 31, 2020 05:36 AM #45
Rainmaker
2,178,291
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Lynn B. Friedman - Here's a gift for you.

Patricia, Texas Friend Forever
xxo

May 31, 2020 06:16 AM #46
Rainmaker
1,459,089
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Patricia,
What a great conversation you started! There is so much great commentary here there is nothing I could add to enhance the conversation. All I can say is I'm looking forward to how we transition going forward.  So many possibilities. It's actually exciting.  All things work for the good for those who believe... and make it so.

May 31, 2020 08:06 AM #47
Rainmaker
3,921,781
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP ,

I love your post is featured and love reading the comments..so much to talk about and and as Lynn B. Friedman stated the only constant in our life and the world as we know it is change.

May 31, 2020 06:21 PM #48
Rainmaker
2,847,229
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I like all three of those things and I’ll be back for more next time. Love and light! I’m

May 31, 2020 11:21 PM #49
Rainmaker
3,344,419
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Patricia I have always felt that Realtors should not take political, religious and sexist positions in public. The intent was not to alienate people who think differently.

Now with that said lately I have went against my own advice and have taken positions. Must be because I am getting older and finding that in the big picture it does not matter, hence spew my own position.

So with that said, I am of the opinion that the Pandemic has been blown out of proportion for political reasons.... now the racial tensions have been created to camouflage the real goal... politicians will do anything to undermine the good of the people for their own selfish gains. No matter how many people will die, no matter how many people will be in poverty none of it means anything to them.... They will lie for their own benefits.... and sadly  many will not see through the smoke screen.

Now if you are still reading my long comment, Malls have been out of business for the past decade. Developers of Malls and Owners of Malls tried to reinvent themselves by putting great Restaurants in to attract foot traffic. Sadly  Malls have been killed off by the Amazon's of this world... just as the Z's of this world have been trying to kill off Realtors... The big picture is to get people to shop on line for everything, including homes. thanks to the Pandemic this goal has been achieved even I shop on line for Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Kitty Litter and the list goes on and on... the translation is JOB loss for the local community so Jeff B can have mega mansions in Brenwood a ritzy part of Los Angeles....

Realtors have been good at fighting the Z's and T's  off by holding Open Houses in person.... now thanks to the Pandemic that is one plus for the Z's of this world... let's see if Malls & Realtors will survive? Time will tell and I am so glad I am on my way out and not have to face that bridge.

BTW in ten year on Active Rain this has been my longest comment.

 Endre

Jun 01, 2020 08:57 PM #50
Rainmaker
483,979
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Patricia, a very thoughtful post! The only constant is change. We all have to learn to adapt to change. Retail has been constantly changing as long as I can remember. As a child and an adult, who would have thought Sears would be gone and replaced by Walmart! I feel sure we will all adapt and move forward!

Jun 02, 2020 04:00 AM #51
Rainmaker
483,979
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Patricia, I failed to mention thatin our small community we have had 2 new strip malls built in the last 4 years.  Strip malls as we knew them maybe changed, but not gone!

Jun 02, 2020 04:12 AM #52
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