4 Examples of Retail Spaces That Have Been Repurposed

 October 30, 2020

By  Guy Gray

To keep a commercial property, like a retail space or mall, profitable, you sometimes have to think outside the box. This is especially true these days, as more and more businesses are shifting their models. CRE properties that were once popular (e.g. high-traffic, downtown metropolitan areas) are being spurned for affordable properties that are conducive to the current environment (e.g. suburbs). Entire industries are changing when it comes to physical location.

The good news is that just because a property isn’t being pursued by a typical tenant doesn’t mean you can’t rent it out—or that an existing tenant can’t thrive. There are several spaces out there (especially retail) that have been repurposed to fit the new business owner’s needs.

Here are a few real-life examples of this in action:

1. Department Store > Mixed Use Retail/Residential

JCPenney has been struggling for years. The former retail giant has been forced to close stores across the country. In Bellingham, Washington, one of these former JCPenney properties actually sat vacant for 30 years. A couple of years ago, however, a “proposed agreement would repurpose the long-vacant structure into a mixed-use residential, office and retail development, bringing 50 to 90 apartment units, three ground-floor retail spaces, wide-reaching exterior and public space improvements and an underground parking garage.”

2. Retail Location > Fulfillment Center

Bed, Bath & Beyond has been working on several different strategy shifts to save the company millions and reverse disappointing quarterly results. One of those strategies is turning dark locations into fulfillment centers, which helps active locations reduce inventory and improves shipping times for e-commerce orders. It also goes to show that the same company can use a single space for multiple purposes.

3. Mall > Government/Community Use

A light rail station, government offices and a fitness center. Not exactly common sights at a mall, right? But that’s what you’ll find at the former location of the Cinderella City Mall in Englewood, Colorado. This is an example of an entire lot that has been repurposed (the building was demolished, after all). Putting land to good use is an option if you can’t utilize the space.

4. Restaurant > Grocery Delivery

People are always going to need food—that’s never going to change. But going to restaurants is a different story, as we’ve all seen. Some restaurants maintain use of their space during difficult times by turning their restaurant into a grocery delivery hub. Panera, for example, debuted a grocery delivery service in early 2020 and it’s helped the company stay afloat.

In order to transform your space, you need to have the right resources in place to make it happen. Lease management software is the perfect tool to help you analyze your options, visualize your space, and make accurate decisions. Request a demo of Quarem today to see how our suite of lease management features can help you transform and repurpose your space.

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About the author 

Guy Gray

Guy Gray serves as Chief Operating Officer overseeing our technology and client services teams. He is responsible for guiding Quarem application development, networking and security, as well as new client implementations.

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