Inside the decision to turn a mall into housing

Shopoff Realty Investments' Bill Shopoff
Shopoff Realty Investments' Bill Shopoff (Shopoff Realty Investments)

The mall became an American institution decades ago, anchored by huge stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom, populated by teenagers and accompanied by seas of parking. But then came online shopping, social media and new consumer preferences.

Bill Shopoff at Shopoff Realty Investments is among the developers converting struggling malls into housing, with smaller retail portions, walkable areas and restaurants.

In Southern California’s Orange County, the firm is planning to redevelop the Westminster mall into 1,200 homes.

“You’ve got about a million to 2 million square feet of retail — it’s just simply more than the market needs,” Shopoff said on the May 15, 2023, episode of TRD’s podcast Deconstruct.
“The market probably needs 300,000 or 400,000 square feet total, plus some hospitality.” 

TRD’s Deconstruct chatted with Shopoff about why his firm is pursuing some of these developments — the need for housing in California is a driving factor — and how the retail landscape is shrinking, but not disappearing.

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“It’s better to have less that is doing better than more that is doing poorly,” he said. 

Listen to the full episode, now streaming on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Pandora and wherever else you listen to podcasts. New episodes go live every Monday. 

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