The contrast couldn’t be bigger — big data rooms that support e-commerce move into former shopping malls that have been left vacant. So is the Internet going to occupy the shopfronts that the rise of online shopping emptied out before?
As written by the Wall Street Journal, there’s a growing demand for empty buildings by various data centers all over the States. The owners of these buildings are pleased about this development, however, the new data centers won’t be able to replace the jobs and tax revenues that the local communities lost when the stores left the shopping malls.
Even five years after the economic crisis 5.8% of the storefronts in shopping malls are unused on average, and the rents have fallen 16%, too. At the same time business for companies that provide the equipment needed for online shopping is booming. It turns out that the most ‘interesting’ property is found in middle-class neighborhoods where the customers have turned away from spending their money at local retail towards to online shopping.
Nevertheless, the conversion of retail space is not simple since the data rooms have certain preconditions that need to be met, such as access to heavy-duty fiber optic communications cables and reliable and affordable power access. The buildings also need to be able to withstand hurricanes and tornadoes. Windows, on the other hand, are a negative and unnecessary.