Is commercial real estate really dying, or is it just different?

The Wall Street Journal released an extensive article this week about the Marketplace Mall in Rochester, N.Y. The story explained how the mall would be scrapping its food court, fashion boutiques and even video games and replacing them with a surgery center.  Looks like the generation that walked the malls are now going to use them to get their hips replaced.  

What troubles us at Monarch is that too many react to stories like this with doom and gloom attitudes. Comments are made about how commercial real estate in retail is dying or that it’s a sad sign of the times. Even worse, in our opinion, are those that are waiting and hoping for things to go back in time. 

At Monarch, we read an article like this and see it as evolution and it’s definitely exciting. 

Things change and the mistake is to see these changes as bad or that we are on the decline. Why is it a bad thing if a shopping mall becomes a hospital? Parking lots become stadiums, banks become hotels with funky restaurants in a vault, train depots become coffee shops, and so on… like we said, things change. Rather than see stores like the ones in the Rochester, NY mall as going away forever, at Monarch we believe they are just getting smarter about where they belong. 

For some it will all be online… for others it will be random pop-up shops… and for many, it will simply mean finding a new location where their customer feels more comfortable or find it more convenient.

At Monarch, we see it as an opportunity – not an obstacle. However, you have to be willing to think in new ways. It’s already happening, and you don’t want to be left behind, out of touch, or sadly out of business.

We are challenging our customers to let go of their preconceived ideas about where an office should be and embracing the new conversations around where businesses belong – and yes, sometimes right in the middle of a food court!

We would love to spark these conversations and more with you. Be sure to take our custom Belonging Barometer. This tool asks 37 key questions about your workplace and then combines it with current data and trends from a variety of expertise to generate a custom report. 

Until next time,

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​​Brian + Ben


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