Zoning changes can be crucial to filling large, empty retail spaces

Alternative uses often require action by local officials.

August 17, 2018 |

With empty retail spaces becoming more prevalent in once-thriving shopping centers, property owners sometimes have to consider alternative uses for these spaces.

Businesses such as self-storage facilities, call centers, high tech firms, or light industrial companies may find those empty spaces desirable. In many cases, though, local officials need to change zoning ordinances to enable these new uses.

In such cases, it’s critical for officials to act fast, according to a Michigan real estate specialist quoted in a GlobeSt article. After about 18 months, an empty big box becomes very financially burdensome to maintain and the property can deteriorate.

Of course, the easiest and quickest way to fill a large empty retail space is with other retail. The U.S. has more retail space than it needs, so that option is not always tenable. In such cases, local officials who act quickly on zoning can be a huge help in getting the space filled.

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