The Light: Retail—Reimagine, Reuse, and Recycle | John Burns Real Estate Consulting

The Light: Retail—Reimagine, Reuse, and Recycle

The devastation wrought by retail closures will bring opportunities for redevelopment. Our consulting group was already considering new, residential options for dated retail spaces, which often feature desirable locations, close to employment, transportation, and services. Historically low mortgage rates will provide a huge boost to residential as a reuse for retail.

. Now is the time to analyze the footprint of commercial assets and find the opportunity to reimagine those spaces. The amount of surface parking, empty stores, vacant big-box parcels, and underutilized parking garages will provide new opportunities. The Mall at Wellington Green in Southern Florida has a Live 360 program that offers studio space as a location for fitness classes, food-related events, or other gatherings. The mall also features a Live 360 Reading Room that opened in a former shoe store, where visitors can take home books to read at no charge and can either bring them back or pass them along to a friend.

Reuse. Malls, hotels, retail, and office parks typically have one common factor: they are in highly trafficked areas where people want to live, work, or play. Now is the time to analyze the space and transform the excess into other asset classes, like for-sale residential, multifamily rentals, or single-family for rent. The new challenge for redeveloping retail spaces will be to determine how to embrace consumer demands for more health-conscious living. Acres of mall parking translates well into a community park!

Recycle. Retail is not dead. People will shop again, although stores may look different in the future. Some of the most popular restaurants and retail stores can be transformed into post-COVID friendly experiences with patio dining, touchless features like automatic doors, and curbside pickup.

It is time to reimagine commercial properties around the country. Many have the best locations and may be ready for a transformation. We have extensive experience in assessing opportunities to redevelop commercial spaces into residential. Please reach out to learn more about how we can help you find the best use for your existing property.


Lesley Deutch If you have any questions, please contact Lesley Deutch, Managing Principal, at (561) 998-5814 or by email.
Ken Perlman If you have any questions, please contact Ken Perlman, Managing Principal, at (858) 281-7214 or by email.