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Thread: Strip mall/inline retail oversaturation

  1. #1
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Strip mall/inline retail oversaturation

    Do any communities out there regulate strip malls (inline retail) as Conditional/Special Uses? And then require the petitioner to provide lease agreements for potential occupants as a condition of their approval? The one thing that I believe we have always overlooked was the permitting of a certain type of building/development (inline retail) in comparison to the permitting of the individual tenants (the uses). We are seeing too many new inline retail developments built that can't find occupants. Many will say it's market-driven, but obviously they're not doing their homework.

    Or another problem I see is that a space originally built as a retail space is now occupied by a restaurant, changing the dynamics of the development with peak usage times and parking demands. I've seen some discussion on Cyburbia on the latter part, but nothing in regards to what I would see as an oversaturation.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by IlliniPlanner View post
    We are seeing too many new inline retail developments built that can't find occupants. Many will say it's market-driven, but obviously they're not doing their homework.
    Sounds like you have a zoning/market conflict. How about relaxing the zoning restrictions in the areas where you are seeing these vacant strip malls constructed?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    Sounds like you have a zoning/market conflict. How about relaxing the zoning restrictions in the areas where you are seeing these vacant strip malls constructed?
    Hardly any zoning restrictions here (yet ). That's one reason I don't understand the urge to build these when the market isn't demanding more space. Then the space is eventually leased to a "fly by night" establishment because the rent has gotten so low.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  4. #4
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    My experience is that regualting the use is often more important than the form of the building.

    Most codes do regulate form through setbacks, FARs, height limits, etc.

    I think that making a strip retail building a special/conditional use is stretching police powers to an absurd level.

    Is it really the muni's responsibility to manage the greater reatil leasing market by trying to micro-manage the construction of buildings.

    It is not the muni's place to be so intrusive to require a copy of leases that show a proposed building is mostly or fully leased in order to allow construction of the building.

    The developer's are building the buildings, which increase the property taxes coming to the muni. So what if some leasors have a problem getting spaces filled, that should not be a zoning concern - send it to the economic development people.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I've never seen leasees regulated anymore than just making sure they are all permitted uses in whatever zoning district it is. I know of one development across the street from a high school, and the developer included in his application for rezoning that he will only allow family oriented businesses, and it helped everybody look at it more favorably. It is still the developer's responsibility as far as who goes in there, though. A smoke shop wanted to, and they said "no".

    I can hardly believe we aren't experiencing oversaturation of strip malls where I live. They keep going up and they keep filling up. One intersection I drive through nearly every day has about 6 strip developments, and there are like 5 cell phone stores within a 1/4 mile of each other. It is insane. My husband and I joke whenever we see another one being built "another place for quick phones, quick nails and quick tans". The quick haircut places are popular too.

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