The Boynton Beach Mall has an unconventional new anchor tenant: Christ Fellowship.
The church, which is the nation’s 15th largest in terms of membership size, opened its new location at the mall on Sunday, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Christ Fellowship takes over an anchor space previously occupied by department store Dillard’s. It already has South Florida locations in Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach and West Palm Beach.
Church officials hope the Boynton location boosts membership beyond its existing 1,000 members in the region.
For the mall, leasing space to a church is unusual but can have substantial benefits, Christopher Geralch told the Sun-Sentinel. Geralch is director of public policy and research for the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Mall owners “are dealing with persistent bankruptcies,” Geralch said. “If churches can bring traffic to a mall on Sunday, it can be a benefit for a mall especially if they’ve had some vacancies.” [Sun-Sentinel] — Eric Kalis