Malls Looking Especially Strong in Improving Shopping Center Sector

Though often thought of as a dying breed, shopping malls are thriving in the post-recession environment shopping center industry. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), occupancy rates for shopping centers at the end of 2014 are the highest they have been since 2008 at 92.7%, and occupancy rates for malls specifically are the highest they have been since 1987 at 94.2%. Base rents are also increasing at a healthy rate (6.5% on the year for shopping centers and 17.2% on the year for malls). This is the strongest annual gain for mall base rents since ICSC began tracking the data in 2000.

Not everything is looking up, however; large retailers such as Radio Shack, Sears, J.C. Penney, and Kmart are either declaring bankruptcy or closing a large portion of their stores. These drastic measures are being taken in order to remain significant in the shopping landscape that is quickly becoming an online industry. The majority of endangered locations for these retailers as well as malls, according to FBIC and CoStar, are in smaller markets with less population and income density and regions with widespread economic distress.

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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