One-third of U.S. malls are projected to close in coming years, and it is imperative that the Dayton Mall adapt to a changing marketplace and industry consolidation, Chris Snyder, board member with the Miami Twp.-Dayton Mall Joint Economic Development District, said today.
With an occupancy rate between 95 to 98 percent, the Dayton Mall is far from dying, Snyder said, noting that malls on life support tend to have a rate of 70 percent or below.
But as consumer preferences and the marketplace change, the Dayton Mall area — recently rebranded as the Miami Crossing District — likely will need to add housing, offices, entertainment and other diverse uses that attract people and their dollars, Snyder said.
The redevelopment focus is on the area by the Sears on the eastern end of the mall. The proposal is to crate a main street corridor that stretches from Mall Ring Road to Lyons Road, with a variety of new uses.
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Here’s a few things to know about the Dayton Mall area and some possible scenarios for its future.
1. THE MALL, THE DISTRICT: The Dayton Mall has about $200 million in annual sales and 1.4 million square feet of retail space. The mall is home to more than 140 businesses, including a diverse mix of food, retail, electronics, department stores and plenty else. The Miami Crossing District is a marketing brand and plan for a 2.2-square-mile area around the mall. Miami Crossing is home to more than 400 businesses, 3.7 million square feet of retail space and 200,000 square feet of restaurant space. Miami Twp. and Miamisburg adopted a master plan for the area that calls for more than $200 million in investment.
2. THE RETAIL APOCALYPSE: Why adapt? Because malls have been hit hard in the last couple of years. Thousands of retail stores across the nation, many in malls, have closed as part of an upheaval dubbed the "retail apocalypse." hhgregg in the Dayton Mall has closed and a Payless ShoeSource store across from the mall is closing, Snyder said. The Family Christian store near the mall also is gone. The United States is home to about 1,200 malls, and 20 percent of those facilities produce 72 percent of mall revenue, according to Snyder. Malls that are not high-performing on the revenue side are at real risk of closure. Individual store closures also can greatly harm malls. A 156,000-square foot Macy's at the Upper Valley Mall, with a $5 million appraised value in 2012, was bought by the Clark County Land Bank for $200,000. The Macy's at the Dayton Mall, which is 263,560 square feet, is valued at $7.5 million.
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3. WHAT'S TO BE DONE: The Miami Crossing area would benefit from new community spaces, more diverse uses and improved pedestrian connectivity, Snyder said. The suburbs can be reinvented to feature pedestrian-friendly infrastructure elements that were left out during the original development, he said. The primary redevelopment focus is on the area south of Sears (the store sits on about 15 acres), which features is a large parking lot. Snyder shared four redevelopment scenarios.
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4. THE 4 SCENARIOS: The proposals are for between 300 to 500 residential units; between 25,000 to 45,000 square feet (SF) of retail; 15,000 to 95,000 SF of public green space; 25,000 to 100,000 SF of entertainment; 10,000 to 15,000 SF of office. All scenarios call for making Lyons Ridge Drive a main street. But one calls for creating a "Central Park" from Mall Ring Road to south of Kingsridge Drive (95 SF of green space). Another scenario calls for a new entertainment complex (80,000 to 100,000 SF). The plans are expected to change, but the market can support up to 1,200 new housing units in that immediate area, Snyder said.