Across North America, over 50 cities
are submitting bids to become the next home of Amazon. The company announced
last month that it will build a second headquarters, called HQ2, in an undetermined location and bring 50,000 new jobs.
More than 12 cities in north Texas hit the local deadline for proposals on Friday, according to the Dallas Business Journal. They range from a development featuring a bullet train that would offer 90-minute rides from Dallas and Houston to a development that would include Dallas’s tallest skyscraper.
One of the more ironic proposals comes from three Dallas developers, who want Amazon — the e-commerce giant that pioneered the growth of online shopping — to move into the site of the shuttered Valley View Mall.
Local outlet Dallas News reports that the proposal calls for the construction of a 500,000-square-foot office building, which would be a part of a larger 430-acre district. The plan also touts the area’s proximity to Addison Airport, Love Field Airport, and DFW International Airport, since Amazon said it prefers to move somewhere close to an airport.
Valley View Mall opened in 1973, and flourished in the 1980s. But the mall began to experience financial woes after one of its anchor stores, Bloomingdale’s, closed in 1990. The space remained empty until JCPenney came in 1996, but it later closed in 2013. By that time, two out of three of Valley View’s other department stores (Macy’s and Dillard’s) had closed. The last remaining anchor, Sears, closed with the mall’s 130 other stores in July 2017. The building was demolished soon after.
Dallas Midtown developers Hillwood Urban, KDC and Crescent Real Estate are working with land owners EF Properties, Seritage, and Beck Ventures on the Amazon proposal.
Hundreds of malls and thousands of mall-based stores have closed in the past two decades, and many more may shutter within the next 10 years. Many retail experts attribute the decline of malls to the rise of online shopping and changing consumer preferences.
As a result, some dead malls have transformed into buildings with new uses, like apartment complexes, medical facilities, and even churches.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s already dominant share of the US e-commerce market continues to increase. A February 2017 analysis by Slice Intelligence found that 43% of all online retail sales in the US went through Amazon in 2016, a percentage that has nearly doubled since 2012.
Brick-and-mortar stores have suffered a slow demise in recent years, so it would be fitting for Amazon to take Valley View Mall’s place.
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