Brick and mortar retailers have struggled with the rise of online retailers and malls, being dependent on retail, have taken a hit as well. As a result, malls looking for ways to expand in ways that are less dependent on retailers.
Two local malls, Montclair Place and MainPlace in Santa Ana, are considering various options. These include adding residential and office components as well as offering more entertainment amenities, like movie theaters and restaurants. The malls want to transform from mainly retail destinations to ‘lifestyle destinations’ that become a hub for the community.
This has also led the malls to start hosting events. MainPlace recently hosted a food festival and a Latin music festival.
“The biggest difference from malls today is malls 30 years ago were retail focused. Now, with computers, people are looking for an experience,” MainPlace’s general manager Jonathan Maher said.
While neither mall have made firm plans, MainPlace is buying surrounding property and Montclair place is considering replacing one of its major buildings.
MainPlace is considering developing the acquired land into a hotel, offices or apartments, presumably, in a bid to to take advantage of these hot market sectors and provide a ‘built in’ supply of shoppers.
Montclair Place recently renovated its food court and is planning to tear down a department store building and replace it with a building to house a movie theater on the upper floors and restaurants on the ground floor.