Critics of Asheville Mall Plan Weigh In


asheville mallAsheville City Council delayed action on approving a redevelopment proposal for a section of the Asheville Mall that includes the now-defunct Sears building. The $45 million dollar project would include retail space, a movie theater and more than 200 units of housing.

Critics of the project say it lacks the streetscape and infrastructure needs of the area, as well as for the anticipated addition of new residents.

The redevelopment plan reflects a national trend that’s been called the “death” of American shopping malls. It even has its own hashtag — #deadmall. Suburban retail has largely fallen out of style in the last decade, due to increasing online sales and a generational shift toward walkable, urban communities. That’s left many cities including Asheville facing the question of how to repurpose massive vacant department stores, like Sears on Tunnel Rd.


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