CBRE forms team to help malls reposition themselves

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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PREIT is one of several mall owners adding residential developments to its properties, like the Moorestown Mall in New Jersey.

Malls are filling emptied anchor spaces and parking areas with everything from apartment complexes to medical facilities to casinos, but it can be difficult to decide which option’s the correct one for a specific property.

To insert data-driven intelligence into this difficult decision-making process, CBRE announced this week that it has formed a specialized team within its Mall and Large Format Retail practices to help owners reimagine and renovate their properties. The determinations they make are guided by CBRE’s in-house Location Intelligence technology.

“This is a proprietary database we’ve build that leverages mobile data and provides all the demographics and psychographics within a market area surrounding a specific property,” said Todd Caruso, the senior managing director of Retail Investor Services at CBRE. “We could then come back and say, hey, this is a great location for last-mile logistics or senior housing or a medical facility.”

Leading the new team will be Mark Hunter, CBRE’s managing director of the large format practice, which has compiled a database that covers 1,200 malls in the United States.  

“This has been in the making for some time at CBRE, long before the pandemic hit,” Hunter said. “Our intelligence team has been compiling this over the last six months and we can get on a Zoom call with any mall owner in the country and let them know how a property rates as a site for multifamily housing and how they can obtain assistance from local government agencies.”

The new team also includes senior CBRE managers in capital markets, project management, capital markets and mall tenant representation.