How Often Does Empty Big Retail Space Transform Into Something Else?

Published: Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 2:40pm
Updated: Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 3:13pm

(Photo by Adam Baugh)
(Before) An empty retail space on McDowell Avenue in Phoenix ...
(Photo by Adam Baugh)
(After) ... The space has been turned into something new.

What does a shopping center do when a big box store turns into a big empty space? Increasingly in the Valley, they’re looking for other ways to fill it, instead of replacing one massive retailer with another.

There are, of course, challenges in doing that, from finding the right fit, to making the zoning work.

Adam Baugh is a land-use and zoning attorney with the firm Withey Morris.

Jeff Geyser is with Lawrence and Geyser Development, a commercial real-estate development and investment firm.

How prevalent is this idea of taking a big retail space and turning it into something else? Is this something we’re seeing a lot of here?

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