Amazon Looking At Repurposing Mall Anchors Into Warehouses
Could a former mall anchor store be converted to a warehouse distribution site? That's what Amazon is exploring, according to multiple reports.
A CNN report quoting the Wall Street Journal says Amazon is talking to Simon Properties, the largest mall owner in the country. Simon owns two properties in Michigan, only one being a mall, Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor. (Their other Michigan property is Birch Run, which is an "premium" outlet shopping center.) The focus of the report is former Sears and JC Penney stores that have already closed. In fact, CNBC says Simon and Brookfield Property Partners, the owner of Crossroads Mall in Portage, are in a joint effort to keep JC Penney in business.
Both Sears and JC Penney are still struggling in their fight to survive. But for mall owners, the upside of this is generating income from the leased space that now sits empty. While a warehouse won't draw customers to the mall, any income is better than empty space not generating any.income at all.
And, there is nothing stopping Amazon from negotiating with more than one property owner. Lakeview Square Mall in Battle Creek was once a thriving mall before malls were decimated by the likes of Amazon. Given its proximity to two major interstate highways, might this not be a perfect location for a distribution hub? Amazon's purpose for cutting these deals is to speed up its deliveries. It seems like that location would make a lot of sense.