There are roughly 1,000 malls remaining in the United States. Of this rapidly dwindling number only about 400, the malls that cater to high income neighborhoods, are projected to remain open at the end of this decade. The rest will be closed, or re-purposed into offices and other commercial space.
The Factory Merchants Outlet in Branson, Mo, is a perfect example of a vacant mall in need of re-purposing. But instead of turning into a mega-church, office space or a storage facility, the rebirth of the Factory Merchants Outlet will attract the same clientele that once filled its shops.
Hamilton Chang, who recently acquired the property, has a vision for the mall as a landmark baseball facility for youth teams.
Construction will soon begin on Ballparks of America, Branson, a $24 million design that will feature two-thirds replicas of some of the most prominent Major League Baseball stadiums of past and present. Youth teams will have the chance to field one off the Green Monster or play in Tiger Stadium, Wrigley Field and others. The facility will initially host 24 to 48 youth baseball teams for tournaments throughout the year, but those behind Ballparks of America, Branson expect those numbers to increase dramatically.
As more communities seek new uses for their vacant shopping malls, or worse, watch helplessly as they sit vandalized in disrepair, I'd love to connect you with the team behind Ballparks of America; to learn about the way they are fighting “mall decay” by proactively boosting their own local economy.
Article from KOAM News, Branson, MO