10 new uses for abandoned malls

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    In some parts of America, the giant malls that once served as community anchors are disappearing.

    People aren't visiting malls like they used to. Blame the economic downturn and a broad shift to shopping online. Blame a new breed of busy shopper who simply doesn't have the time or energy to browse across an enormous mall.

    Shopping centers, and neighborhood strip malls in particular, have closed down as consumers drifted elsewhere, leaving city planners and developers with a vexing problem: What to do with all that empty space?

    Some cities are converting former shopping centers into office space, residences, churches and fitness centers. It's a matter of creativity but also of urgency. No one wants a derelict mall turning into a community eyesore. It's hard to repackage a massive space like that, but urban planners are trying.

    Here are 10 new uses for abandoned malls.

  • Kim Peterson

    Kim Peterson is a financial journalist covering business and the economy. She has written for several online and print publications, including MSN Money and The Seattle Times.