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Cities restore lost streets, local charm after razing failed malls

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From Columbus, Ohio to Mesa, Arizona, developments emerge from under enclosed shopping centers

By Jon Kamp and Scott Calvert | The Wall Street Journal

WORCESTER, Mass.—A hotel and apartment complex are rising on a street here that was buried by a shopping mall for four decades. A new office building also opened nearby, replacing a structure that failed to resuscitate this New England city’s core.

Standing on a reopened street, Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said the two-story mall ultimately hurt the city. “We don’t want these big, dead walls,” he said.

At a time when urban centers around the U.S. are enjoying a renaissance, some dead malls are a development opportunity. Cities are reclaiming lost streets and razing buildings that are now panned as poor fits for downtowns.

Related: Fiesta Mall area won’t go quietly into oblivion

The downtown in New England’s second-largest city is enjoying a broader rebound from years of post-industrial era malaise. The population is growing, and apartments and restaurants have also cropped up in refurbished older buildings around the city core.


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  • Published: 12 months ago on March 20, 2017
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  • Last Modified: March 20, 2017 @ 4:49 pm
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