Newsweek: Is the Mall Dead?
This recent article in Newsweek questions how appropriate the construction of a new megamall, named Xanadu, outside of New York City really is. The mall is scheduled for completion next summer in the New Jersey Meadowlands, just nine miles west of Manhattan.
Xanadu will not just be your average mega monster mall, but the largest and most expensive one ever built in the United States. With an estimated cost of $2.3 billion, the mall will have some 200 stores, the country’s tallest Ferris wheel, indoor surfing, a mini-city for kids, etc., a concept that begs you to ask, what is the point of having a half-mile “retailtainment” center so close to a city with an abundance of both?
The article also mentions CNU board member Ellen Dunham-Jones and her forthcoming book “Retrofitting Suburbia” which focuses on the decline of malls and other commercial strips, explaining how “Last year was the first in half a century that a new indoor mall didn't open somewhere in the country - a precipitous decline since the mid-1990’s when they rose at a rate of 140 a year”. Nearly a fifth of the country’s largest 2,000 regional malls are failing, and a record number of retail outlets (150,000) will close this year, making Xanadu a very interesting choice of investment in this economic climate.
And especially in a city where Ferris wheel rides at Coney Island, surfing at Rockaway Beach, and shopping on 5th avenue are all easily accessible, and in their own ways a part of New York City’s cultural past time.
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