Project Backer: City of Charleston Design Division
Around the country, enclosed malls are being redesigned, rebuilt and revitalized. This isn’t anything new: dying malls from Colorado to Virginia to Florida have been redeveloped into new, dynamic places.
The Great Recession caused a temporary stop on the construction of enclosed malls, and in 2007, for the first time in 50 years, no new malls were built in America. Since that time, only one additional enclosed mall has opened, in 2012, in Salt Lake City. This one project notwithstanding, enclosed shopping malls may be a thing of the past for the USA.
Citadel Mall in West Ashley is symptomatic of the larger issues facing malls across America. Its former regional draw has dwindled and it now serves a more local audience. Retail spaces are unleased or underutilized. Rather than see this asset decline, we have studied Citadel Mall and believe it can better serve the community in a revitalized form.
This study envisions a redevelopment of the mall into an open-air, mixed use neighborhood. We have based this concept on built precedents around the country, and believe its overall redesign is feasible under realistic market conditions. While Citadel Mall could go in many different directions for the future, this type of redevelopment would be the highest and best use, creating a place that benefits all residents of West Ashley.
The residents of West Ashley as well as the businesses and retail shops that would benefit from a redesigned non-traditional mall that would hope to revitalize this area of West Ashley .
HURDLES & CHALLENGES
As plans stand currently they have not been endorsed by the owners and managers of the mall; but that they would be interested in considering a plan like the one the city is suggesting.
The community supports the idea of revitalizing the now under used mall and there is potential to work with new businesses and retailers that could utilize the transformed space. Other collaborations could include a hotel that is being proposed as part of this 1.1 million square foot redesign.
Post and Courier Article: “Restructuring Citadel Mall, improving area’s image”