Monday, February 9, 2009

Even Bashas is hurting

How bad is the economy? Even Bashas is shutting down stores and laying people off. Two of the stores that will be shut down are in Mesa. I believe that these stores had been in these locations for somewhere between 20 and 30 years. In both cases, I believe they are one of the major anchors of their development.

As we talked about last week, with so many stores shutting down or relocating, Mesa is going to be faced with a lot of empty boxes in retail strip centers throughout the city. We don't have to eliminate all of the empty boxes, as some will be filled as the economy recovers, but now is the time to think of creative ways to change the dynamics of some of these old shopping centers.

Smaller tenants such as cleaners, nail shops, or sandwich places rely on some sort of draw to attract people to the shopping center so that they will use the other services. Groceries or other retails have done this job in the past, but perhaps its time to look at other models. Office? Education? Fitness?

Mesa has turned a Target into an asian marketplace, a Home Depot into a kids playland, and a movie theater into an art gallery. If anyone has a chance to reimagine this abundance of retail, I would say that its Mesa.

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