Abstract Title

Manufactured Main Streets: Defining and analyzing a new type of retail development

Abstract

As shopping malls decline and the big-box era wanes, a new trend in retail development is emerging. The Manufactured Main Street (MMS) is a mixed-use outdoor shopping center that imitates the look of the traditional small-town main street, but retains the private commercial elements of the shopping mall. This study is an analysis of these sites, which are well-documented in real estate literature, but have not been thoroughly examined beyond this field. A more thorough analysis of these projects, considered through the critical perspective of the urban geography, defines these developments, and creates a typology of the different forms that MMSs in the U.S. take using case studies of projects in Ohio and content analysis of real estate literature. Research shows that MMS are created through three different processes: downtown addition, downtown creation and demalling. Case studies of MMSs indicate a progression from the traditional main street and shopping malls, highlighting the intersection between for-profit development and a nostalgia that permeates our built landscape. This critical reading of the landscape examines issues of privatization of public space and criticisms of resultant urban sprawl.

Modified Abstract

As shopping malls decline and the big-box era wanes, a new trend in retail development is emerging. The Manufactured Main Street (MMS) is a mixed-use outdoor shopping center that imitates the look of the traditional small-town main street, but retains the private commercial elements of the shopping mall. This study is an analysis of these sites, which are well- documented in real estate literature, but have not been thoroughly examined beyond this field. Research indicates that MMSs highlight the intersection between for-profit development and a nostalgia that permeates our built landscape. This critical reading of the landscape examines issues of privatization of public space and criticisms of resultant urban sprawl.

Research Category

Geology/Geography

Author Information

Nicholas MillerFollow

Primary Author's Major

Geography

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Jennifer Mapes

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

5-4-2018 1:00 PM

Research Area

Human Geography | Urban Studies and Planning

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Apr 5th, 1:00 PM

Manufactured Main Streets: Defining and analyzing a new type of retail development

As shopping malls decline and the big-box era wanes, a new trend in retail development is emerging. The Manufactured Main Street (MMS) is a mixed-use outdoor shopping center that imitates the look of the traditional small-town main street, but retains the private commercial elements of the shopping mall. This study is an analysis of these sites, which are well-documented in real estate literature, but have not been thoroughly examined beyond this field. A more thorough analysis of these projects, considered through the critical perspective of the urban geography, defines these developments, and creates a typology of the different forms that MMSs in the U.S. take using case studies of projects in Ohio and content analysis of real estate literature. Research shows that MMS are created through three different processes: downtown addition, downtown creation and demalling. Case studies of MMSs indicate a progression from the traditional main street and shopping malls, highlighting the intersection between for-profit development and a nostalgia that permeates our built landscape. This critical reading of the landscape examines issues of privatization of public space and criticisms of resultant urban sprawl.