• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Knocking down a 1950s shopping mall for a new power centre

Hceux

Cyburbian
Messages
1,028
Points
22
I hope that this post is in the right section of the message board.

This morning I learned that the Kingston Centre in Kingston is going to be knocked down except for its Loblaws (a grocery store) and a bank. In place of this mall built in 1957 will be a new power centre. There are no words on what will go in, other than that they will be nation chains.

A business prof from the local university said that the transition of shopping malls becoming a power centre is happening everywhere in North America. I haven't seen much of it. Am I wrong to say that it's not happening everywhere? Or is it just more common in the States?

What strikes odd about this initiative is that the Kingston Centre is in the middle of a city, not at the edge of the city or near a highway. It has become an important bus stop, where you can transfer buses there. True, the mall has been dying ever since a power centre was established elsewhere.

Here's the article: http://www.thewhig.com/webapp/sitepages/content.asp?contentid=54896&catname=Local+News
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,887
Points
56
In Ann Arbor, MI, an old out-dated mall was demolished and a power center was built. It works really well, and is at the intersection of a major arterial surface road and a freeway.

It's named Arborland, and has about 6-7 small Big Boxes with outlots.

The powercenter concept is OK, but because the properties are so large and the stores are big, you have to drive from one store to another to get around. I guess in an auto-dependent locality, that's hard to avoid.

The mini-Power Center (PC) is what I like. The typical PC has about a half dozen stores, but I've been to mini-PCs that have two or three stores. The best I've been to had an Old Navy and a Bed, Bath & Beyond, and it was manageable to use on foot.
 

OfficialPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
940
Points
24
In Toronto malls have become an endangered land-use. Nearly all have plans for demolition. The large anchors usually relocate to power-centres first, then the mall is demolished and replaced with a mixed-use type development.

I guess the non-leasable areas and small vendors are no longer worthwhile to the owner.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Another contributing reason why large malls are declining is the reduction in thenumber of mid/upper market department stores (there used to be Eatons, Simpsons, The Bay plus regional chains chains) plus lower end department stores (woolworths, kmart, zellers, sears). These stores would be one of the anchors. With the loss of Eatons(now Sears) and the purchase of Simpsons by the Bay(who also owns zellers) there are fewer chains who can fulfill the role of anchor, as such malls are losing their attraction.

I don't see Sears or The Bay opening a big box in a power centre. I could be wrong though.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
This is an enormously popular trend. The Urban Land Insitute covers it well in Urban Land, and likely has a pdf on the topic that you could access from its web site. Many of these redevelopments are more "new urbanist" than their predecessors.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
donk said:
I don't see Sears or The Bay opening a big box in a power centre. I could be wrong though.
We have a Sears in a power center. Right next to Target and Ultimate Electronics. One thing I don't like about very big power centers, is that they are not intended (intentionally or not) to serve pedestrians. We have one that is about 100 acres. The parking lot has golf cart shuttles, but it just ridiculously big. It's also insanely busy. I can't understand why people like it so much.
 

Jen

Cyburbian
Messages
1,704
Points
26
This is local news too in kalamazoo. the Maple Hill Mall in Oshtemo Twp is being redeveloped as a Strip Mall, individual store fornts with parking in front. .
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
What the heck is a power center? I have visions of an electrical grid transformer lot for some reason.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,887
Points
56
Generally a power center, in my view, is a collection of 5 or more of these:


In a design format like this (within yellow outline):


The above pics are of the Arborland power center in Ann Arbor, MI

A power center is basically a strip mall writ large.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Power centers are generally considered to be shopping districts built for, and dominated by the big box, category retailers like Best Buy, Circuit City, Office Depot, Staples, Officemax, Toys 'R' Us, Borders, Barnes & Nobles, Bed Bath & Beyond, Linens 'n Things, etc.
 

passdoubt

Cyburbian
Messages
407
Points
13
If I wanted to be cynical I could note that "power centers" are shutting down malls because while previously Americans had become too lazy to walk down the street to go to store, now they've become so lazy that they don't even feel like walking through the mall to shop. They'd rather park in front of each huge megacenter and shuttle themselves across the macadam as they make purchases so large that they need a shopping cart for every store and an SUV or a Hummer to get it all home.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
passdoubt said:
...they make purchases so large that they need a shopping cart for every store...
I think you hit on the problem right there. The kinds of purchases made in these category-type stores are large and difficult to carry around, making it difficult to walk through several stores before making a trip to the car. Alternatively, they cater to people with specific interests. A trip to the office supply store is just that, not a shopping excursion to several stores. Add to this the store security concerns, where they frown on people bringing in packages.
 
Top