It appears that economic challenges and increased nearby competition are forcing Simon Property Groupto sell Independence Center. According to research firm Trepp, the debt-strapped regional shopping mall is in foreclosure and headed for sale to a special servicer next week.
It's no secret that shopping malls and their brick-and-mortar retailer tenants have been hit hard by the e-commerce boom. Here's a snapshot of local expert commentary on the retail climate in Kansas City:
"This news highlights the pressure that all brick-and-mortar retailers are facing to deliver an experience that cannot be matched by online shopping. Everyone is searching for that magic mix of unique dining, amenities and brands that keeps traffic flowing through the doors."
-Dave Claflin, Legacy Development
"Independence Center remains one of only two malls in the greater Kansas City area. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) estimates that of the roughly 850 malls around the country, only the top 550 malls will remain standing in the next five years. The landscape of retail is changing, and many malls are being back-filled with office, hotels, entertainment and residential components."
-Kimberly Tranbarger, Colliers International
"Within the last few years, Independence Center has added a number of stores including Dick's Sporting Goods and H&M and remains home to multiple national, regional and local retailers. The retail market is changing but it's not going away. Retailers are right sizing and even expanding as landlords move toward a strategic mix of retailers, entertainment and restaurant tenants."
-Eric Mann, retail developer and broker
"As 2018 begins, LANE4 anticipates another year influenced by advances in technology and shifts in consumer preferences. As experience and entertainment become key components to successful business, we are eager to learn which tenants can effectively fill spaces formerly occupied by high-profile retailers and which retailers can keep up with technology by enhancing online presence and in-store technology."
-LANE4 Property Group, 2018 Kansas City Retail Report