Larry Wilson of the Pasadena Star News suggests converting malls to multifamily housing with commercial uses as a way to provide affordable housing and inject new life into failing malls.
“Merchants and shopping-center developers are wondering what to do with these huge pieces of real estate that seemingly have outlived their usefulness.
For once, there is an unusually easy answer: If you can’t shop in ’em, live in ’em.
“… the factor that most aggravates Southern California’s housing crisis is the lack of supply for the demand. Developers aren’t building nearly enough new multi-family to meet the need because of a combination of lack of open land and zoning codes and NIMBYism that make it hard to expand on existing sites.
Just as ground-floor retail, grocery stores, restaurants and bars still thrive in eastern cities more accustomed to density, there will still be room for some commercial in these repurposed places — especially when more people live right next door.
And, yes, that answer includes providing subsidized former-mall housing for those now living in cardboard-tent cities in our riverbeds and on our sidewalks.”