Saturday, November 24, 2018

A world-famous architect just opened a. $300 million suburban mall in the middle of a retail apocalypse


More than three years ago, Italian architect Renzo Piano attached himself to an unusual project: A $300 million suburban shopping center in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the time, shopping malls were already on the decline, with retail sales beginning to plummet and many stores being forced to shutter their doors.

Things have only gotten worse since then.

2017 ushered in what many have dubbed a "retail apocalypse," with big-box stores like Macy's, JC Penney, and Sears closing hundreds of sites and companies like Payless filing for bankruptcy. By April 2018, Business Insider determined that more than 3,800 stores would close in the United States by the end of the year.

None of this seems to have fazed City Center Bishop Ranch, the brainchild of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, which welcomed its first round of visitors in November. At 300,000 square feet, the mall includes 70 stores and restaurants, along with a luxury cinema and outdoor areas for performances and art exhibits.

The intent is to bring urban-inspired, mixed-use spaces to the suburbs — a trend that's become increasingly popular among today's developers and planners.

Take a look at the inspiration for the site, and what it looks like now.



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