by Daniel Ashworth, Jr., PLA, ASLA, AICP, and Lauren Patterson, PLA, ASLA
The previous article, Evolution and Re-Calibration of the Typical Suburban Retail Environment, was the first one of the Urban Design Professional Practice Network (PPN)’s series on the evolution of the suburban retail environment, which touched on the history of suburban retail and discussed the transformation of retail centers since the turn of the century. Continuing this series, this article presents three case studies that showcase how different municipalities and developers have been looking at the transition of retail centers throughout America. The suburban retail environment is undergoing a “paradigm shift” from car-oriented retail to a new age that supports the changing patterns and lifestyles that have evolved with technology.
Most suburban areas throughout America experienced a time where the indoor mall was a one-stop destination for convenience. Now communities across the country are dealing with the implications of how these large-scale developments function in the new retail age. While there were over 2,000 malls active in the U.S. in the 1980s, there are currently less than 1,000, and that number is falling every year. This article explores how these retail centers have begun a slow transition to adapt to the needs of their communities and transition to profitable centers. The following case studies illustrate different strategies and challenges that occur with suburban redevelopment.
Case Study 1: Winter Park Village
- Location: Winter Park, Florida
- Retail Center: Winter Park Mall—525,000 SF | 1964 – 1999
- Current Condition: Original mall was demolished and transitioned into an outdoor mall in 1999 and is currently a mixed-use center that is continuing to develop.
Winter Park Village is a redevelopment of the Winter Park Mall that was originally built in 1964, and was the first indoor mall in the Orlando region. Located at 432 North Orlando Avenue in Winter Park, FL, the indoor mall was demolished in 1998, and the first redeveloped stores were built and began to open in 1999. The first redevelopment included 350,000 square feet of retail space, including a 20-screen cinema; 115,000 square feet of offices; and 200+ multifamily units, while the original planning documents included more residential uses. The mall’s redevelopment extended Gay Road into the mall redevelopment, and it was designed as a retail main street with a terminated vista on the Regal Cinema.