See FAQ No. 3. It should be noted the City would like to have more retail on the site; however, the outlook for traditional brick and mortar retail is not very positive. While good retail locations will continue to do well, underperforming retail sites will continue to lose tenants and face redevelopment pressures as consumer support for traditional brick and mortar locations erode. Nationwide, over 7,000 retail stores closed in 2017, followed by 5,000 stores in 2018. Over 12,000 stores are projected to close by the end of 2019. The most significant trend impacting traditional retail stores is the continued rise of e-commerce retail sales. As on-line retail sales continue to increase, it is estimated that 75,000 more stores will need to be shuttered by 2026.
Orange County Business Council https://www.ocbc.org/research/ocbc-retail-study/
USA Today July 3, 2019 https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/07/03/2019-store-closings-list-these-retailers-shuttering-locations/1597997001/
Coresight Research: https://coresight.com/research/weekly-us-and-uk-store-openings-and-closures-tracker-2019-week-36/
March 2021 Update: The information above was written prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. A variety of news sources have described how the pandemic has accelerated the trends described above. Coresight Research, a leading retail research firm, reports that 25 percent of America’s roughly 1,000 malls will close over the next three to five years. By 2025 experts expect a cumulative loss of over 500 malls. However, Class A malls in high income communities are the most likely to survive. The highly successful Irvine Spectrum and Newport Beach Fashion Island represent Class A competitive malls in the surrounding area to Laguna Hills. Notably, no new malls have been built in the U.S. in many years, with few exceptions.
Examples of malls being “re-imagined” are becoming more frequent. Westminster Mall is an example of how suburban malls are evolving. Although the mall still has Macy’s, JCPenney and Target as anchor stores, the City of Westminster has recognized its future is in great jeopardy. As a result, they started community outreach to develop a new Specific Plan for the 100-acre site that could allow up to 3,000 multi-family units in conjunction with hotel and office and a substantially reduced open air retail center.
Sources: CNBC August 27, 2020 https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/27/25percent-of-us-malls-are-set-to-shut-within-5-years-what-comes-next.html
CNBC March 4, 2021 (video) Why U.S. Malls Are Disappearing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_JiP-j2FwM