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Indoor Shopping Malls a Bygone of 70s and 80s

In this new era of economic development, closed indoor shopping malls are slowly fading as the trend for retail. Knox County Area Partnership President Ken Springer explains:

“There are trends and there are different patterns of development with retail that you can trace back to the last century. It used to be that retail was all concentrated in downtowns, then shopping malls came and went to the outskirts of a community, and now malls are kind of going away. It is just the new era of development. I really like the way that some communities are finding creative uses for those old indoor mall properties. You have seen them turn into libraries, some have been turned into schools, and some are being turned into housing developments. Just because a community has a mall and if that mall is either dead or not doing well, it does not mean that it cannot be reused for something down the road. It is just the idea of an indoor closed mall is kind of a bygone relic of the 1970s and 1980s I think,” states Springer.

Portions of the Sandburg Mall in Galesburg have been repurposed. The former Kmart location is now a climate storage facility operated by U-Haul and a wholesale liquidation store is in the former JC Penney’s.

The former Maytag manufacturing facility in Galesburg is getting reoccupied. Corteva Agriscience will be leasing two-thirds of the building reports Knox County Area Partnership President Ken Springer:

“Corteva, they are actually the largest pure play agribusiness company in the United States. They are a component of the S&P 500. We are happy to see that building get reused. It has been sitting vacant, I think, for about fifteen years at this point. It is just an impactful thing on the community anytime you see a long vacant building start to come back to life. I think that does positive things for a community in terms of aesthetics and just how people feel about the place where they live,” Springer says.

The facility is expected to open later this fall.

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