What traditionally is the busiest season of the year for retailers likely will be the death rattle for the Lloyd Center, the huge shopping mall in Northeast Portland with 1.3 million square feet of retail, office and restaurant space.
Macy’s, the primary retail “magnet” at the mall’s most desirous location, will close Jan. 1. The few shoppers showing up this holiday season are greeted by glaring yellow signs offering the sale of store fixtures, along with all other retail inventory. Likewise, the GAP is closing its Lloyd Center location. Gossip from the mall suggests that several others are likely not going to renew their leases in January.
Many of the mall’s small
retail shops are already vacant, while those that remain are struggling, at
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While the original mall was a had a creative Mid-Century Modern cachet, the inevitable tinkerings of the retail world managed to snuff out its original architectural charm. However, since
While the original mall was a had a creative Mid-Century Modern cachet, the inevitable tinkerings of the retail world managed to snuff out its original architectural charm. However, sinceone of the goals of preservation is to save the environment from wasteful demolitions, one can think of other potential uses for much of the center as it stands.
Perhaps the easiest option is to convert all the smaller shops to office space. The third floor along the major concourses always held offices for doctors and dentists. A compromise might be to consolidate retail on one level, leaving two other levels for offices.
Housing also could be a realistic possibility along the long, three-story concourses that run east and west from the ice rink. All those small shops already are equipped with plumbing, which would make the transition easier to apartments or condominiums. Removing the roofs that were added about 1990 would open apartments or condominiums to fresh air.
Covered parking could be available to tenants. Some of the existing shops could become offices for doctors and dentists, or barber shops, hair salons, small eateries and convenience stores with built-in constituencies. Since these areas are served by escalators and elevators, they would provide accessibility for a senior housing community.
At two and three stories, the largest former retail outlets pose more of a challenge for repurposing, given their size and limited natural light. One possibility as a major tenant might be a large home improvement center. Home Depot snooped for a site in the Hollywood District almost 20 years ago before backing off in a recession.
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