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Will Cincinnati Mall’s Turn Warehouse?
A look into the iconic Cincinnati Mall.

If you live in Cincinnati than you know all to well the emptiness of the Cincinnati Mall. Many people have written about its eerily quietness and forgotten beauty as it lays mostly dormant. The former Forest Fair Mall used to be all hustle and bustle with its high-end retailers, movie theater, games, and of course the rides. I remember being ecstatic when I knew we were making the trip as a small child to not only go the mall but be entertained. Now this landmark has sat empty for many years with only a few stores keeping the doors open. Recently the news started spreading that the 2,000,000 SF building would once again be placed for sale. With that much space and the dying concept of malls, it easy to start thinking of all the creative ideas they could use for this building. One concept written by NAI Global was the idea that shopping malls will soon be turned into warehouses. With more and more online shopping, an e-commerce warehouse could make since not only for this gigantic Cincinnati property but for others all over the USA. The current sellers have said that places like Amazon have been invited to tour the building but nothing has been concrete on how this space will be developed and what type of use will soon take over.

Check out this article from NAI Global’s Lindsey Imperatore, explaining the future of malls:

Over the course of the next few years, nearly 30% of all American malls are expected to close their doors and focus more heavily on online sales. It’s no big surprise that with the rise of offline to online shopping increasing at a fast pace, retailers are focusing their efforts on e-commerce business rather than the physical shopping experience. What’s to come of these empty shopping malls? New space for warehouses to launch e-commerce facilities.

More shopping center and mall spaces are being re-purposed for industrial distribution as e-commerce begins to take market share from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. A large amount of space is coming online as retailers continue to speed up store closures. This trend is having a major impact on both brick-and-mortar and online retailing. Brick-and-mortar retailers are converting their closed shops and re-purposing the space in existing stores to serves as distribution centers. Online merchants such as StubHub are opening physical locations to expand their reach to customers to offer in-person pickups and returns.

Shopping malls that are located in affluent areas and high population density could be easily re-positioned with additional delivery and pickup amenities. In areas where land is scarce, retailers who are looking to increase the speed of their delivery have considered warehouse space in former shopping malls located near residential communities.

Shopping Malls Turned to Warehouses

The site of the Dallas area’s first shopping mall is now a warehouse for packing shipments for FedEx. In the last ten years, more retail business has moved from storefront to online as consumers turn to the Internet to make purchases more often than they do the mall. As they say, clicks are replacing bricks when it comes to retail.

A proposed $177 million Amazon fulfillment center in Cleveland at the former Randall Park Mall site will take up 69 acres and is expected to give the old mall new life. Amazon has used a multitude of former mall sites as renewed spots for fulfillment centers. This is another example of how shopping malls turned to warehouses and distribution centers is a trend that the commercial real estate industry will continue to experience for years to come as shopping malls decline.

The L.A. Times published a recent report that said up to 25 percent of U.S. shopping malls may close in the next five years, creating ample opportunities for companies such as FedEx and Amazon to snatch up these spaces to use as warehouses and distribution facilities, since they will already be located in prime locations near neighborhoods.

Is CRE On to Something?

As the retail industry shifts to more e-commerce driven sales, bigwig companies like Amazon are taking notice of the new space becoming available as malls die out. Shopping malls offer the space and location many e-commerce companies are seeking out for their next distribution or warehouse facilities. The commercial real estate industry will continue to expand on this trend and bring new life to old shopping malls.

NAI Global – Shopping Malls Turned Warehouse? CRE Might Be Onto Something


Other Articles Regarding the Cincinnati Mills Mall:

Journal News – New uses proposed for big — and mostly empty — Forest Fair Mall

Cincinnati Refined – I went Mall Walking at the Eerily Quiet Forest Mall and This is What Happened

YouTube mysticblu999 – Dead / Abandoned Malls – Cincinnati Mills – Forest Fair Mall / Cincinnati Mills – 2010 article talking about the “could be’s” of the mall


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About NAI Bergman

Founded as Bergman Group, Inc., NAI Bergman is a leader in Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky, Southeast Indiana and Dayton markets. NAI Bergman is a family-owned and operated full service commercial real estate brokerage, property management, development and construction management firm. Spanning over 65 years and four generations of commercial real estate experience, NAI Bergman has steadily grown by meeting client needs and partnering with others to promote mutual growth and prosperity in all aspects of commercial property ownership.

NAI Bergman clients have a distinct advantage in commercial real estate services. Whether real estate requirements are in one market or many, we help you understand the market, acquire, dispose of, develop or manage your property. Our clients appreciate local area expertise, personalized service, and Internet-based project management. Clients can control their project management assignment activity – 24/7, anytime/anywhere.

Call on NAI Bergman when you need sales, leasing, property management, facilities management, asset management, consolidation, build-to-suit, development, construction management or investment services. Use our services with confidence. We take pride in our ability to produce results with the highest standard of client serve and ethical practice. We will listen and tailor our services to your specific requirements. We will suggest and implement solutions through a seamless partnership to help you accomplish your objective.  NAI Bergman is dedicated to building long-term relationships.

NAI Bergman provides comprehensive brokerage, leasing, property management, receivership services, and facility/construction management to the Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana commercial real estate marketplace. Our collaborative services platform, expansive, yet nimble responsive structure which enables efficient, full services delivery of all elements of Commercial Real Estate Services to the region.  NAI Bergman’s four generations of success is a direct result of its unwavering commitment to provide the best possible service to each and every client.

NAI Bergman is involved with the leasing, selling, and property management  throughout Cincinnati, Dayton, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. Our skilled professional specialize in office, retail,industrial, land, multi-family, special-purpose, medical, and other properties.

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About NAI Global

NAI Global is a leading global commercial real estate brokerage firm. NAI Global offices are leaders in their local markets and work in unison to provide clients with exceptional solutions to their commercial real estate needs. NAI Global has more than 400 offices strategically located throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific, with over 7,000 local market professionals, managing in excess of 425 million square feet of property. Annually, NAI Global completes in excess of $20 billion in commercial real estate transactions throughout the world. Whether you need to buy, sell, lease, finance, or manage commercial property in your town, across the U.S. or in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and beyond, your nearby NAI Global local office is your local point of entry into a world of creative solutions in commercial real estate.

Exceptional global commercial real estate solutions begin with local market leadership and expertise. NAI Global offices are respected local-market roles models that are passionate about the commercial real estate business. With long histories of success across market cycles, NAI Global offices have a hard-earned, unusually deep level of local market knowledge and insight beyond the commoditized data you find elsewhere. This depth of knowledge is borne from their local relationships nurtured for generations-relationships that give our local-market leading offices the edge with the know-how, who, what, where, and when to achieve exceptional results for clients.

As an organization, NAI Global actively manages this industry-leading platform of local market knowledge and leadership, providing support and services that yield seamless integration and the consistent delivery of exceptional services to clients worldwide.

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