Malls used to be a hub for socialization and commerce in many American communities. They were where families would go shopping for school supplies before grabbing dinner and catching a movie. Teens would have their first jobs working retail there, and spend their Friday nights with friends. A local mall was an economic boon.
As e-commerce takes over a larger share of the retail market, many malls are closing down – 300 malls will close in the next 4 years and hundreds more will struggle, the windows shuttered, the doors locked, the building abandoned. This sends a negative signal that the economy of the area is suffering. It also attracts criminal elements, who can squat in and vandalize these empty buildings without much interest from local law enforcement.
These giant spaces need to be revitalized in order to spur investment in the local economy and combat the sub/urban blight associated with the closing of a mall.
We need to do all we can to find productive uses for the hundreds of American malls that are going to close in the next four years. Offices, churches, indoor recreation spaces, anything we can do to keep these spaces vital and positive is an enormous win for the surrounding community. We should provide incentives and funds to help more developers reinvent these buildings and spaces. I've been in one giant office that used to be a mall and it was great, with tons of parking.
Problems to be Solved
- When a mall closes down, it hurts the local economy, sends a signal to those considering investing in the area, and becomes a source of blight.
- Economic growth
- Find new uses for closed malls
As President, I will…
- Sponsor the American Mall Act, securing a $6 billion fund to help struggling malls attract businesses, schools, organizations and entrepreneurs to find new uses for the buildings and commercial spaces.