What To Do With Malls Once They Close? Make 'Em Into Apartments, Prisons, Health Clinics

With no new malls having opened in the U.S. since 2006 and some malls closing, real estate execs have a growing problem: What to do with those empty stores? And some are coming up with creative solutions. Alabama mall owners are trying to turn their land of sales into a land of cells, with a prison construction. Cleveland officials see a huge building full of herbs and spices. Most interestingly, the oldest mall in America—now bankrupt—is converting its Providence, R.I., building into a series of apartments, with as few cosmetic changes as practical to retain the mall feeling. "You have to see what this space looks like when it's lit, during the evening. It's really spectacular," said one real estate executive. Story