Supply and Demand for Big Boxes

The market for big box spaces plunged during the recession as companies like Circuit City folded. But demand is very slightly picking up, and in some places it never went away.

Retail Traffic Magazine reports that certain retailers are still looking for the right locations to expand, and that reusing existing space is seen as a money saver over new construction. But even more than before, the selling point is location, location, location.

"During the peak of the market many big-box operators opened locations in emerging areas, hoping to capitalize on future residential growth. Those stores might sit unoccupied for years, until the residential sector resurges, [David Solomon, president of NAI ReStore] notes. In many of those cases, landlords will eventually be faced with options ranging from leasing the space to non-retail uses like schools or government agencies to walking away and giving the keys back to the lender."

Full Story: Expanding Retailers Begin to Look at Big-Box Spaces, but Supply Outstrips Demand



Store size-caps

I strongly recommend store size caps to reign in the often out of scale, oversized nature of these buildings. Capping the size has environmental, cultural and economic benefits.

Here is a resource regarding store size cap ordinances-

You would benefit from reading other parts of their retail section. They offer information about other topics like community owned department stores (which can be located within existing vacant big box stores), chain store design and overabundance, and economic impact assessments.

Most communities are moving towards village design in their commercial districts, parting with the "behemoth" big boxes. Stacy Mitchell discusses this in her book Big Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for Independent Businesses

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