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Crestwood Court ArtSpace Deemed 'Innovative' Use for Failing Mall

Owners of the Crestwood mall were praised by The Atlantic Cities for morphing empty storefronts into a public art venue. The mall has one tenant left after the Post Office's closing earlier this week.

Did you think that ArtSpace was a good use of the vacant storefronts in Crestwood Court? 

Since the Crestwood Post Office's closure on Jan. 7, the shopping center--of which the sole tenant is now a LensCrafters--can be offically deemed a dead mall. But an experiment that granted local arts groups mall space for cheap rents is named as an innovative way to revive dying shopping centers.

The Atlantic Cities mentions ArtSpace among seven creative solutions to mall vacancies. Other types of spaces featured included mixed use spaces with residences and retail, a town hall, and outdoor parks with performing arts spaces.

Of course, ArtSpace wasn't a long-term solution to the Crestwood mall's troubles. While dozens of St. Louis organizations and artists took advantage of the opportunity, tenants were asked to leave last February so owners could prepare for redevelopment, according to a report from St. Louis Post-Dispatch. One retail tenant told the Post-Dispatch that the extra foot traffic didn't generate much additional revenue for them.

Centrum Partners presented their plans to demolish the mall and create an entertainment-focused plaza last fall. Crestwood's Board of Aldermen halted discussions on the mall when they declined to approve a planner for the project in December.

Where some ArtSpace tenants are now:

Stephen D January 11, 2013 at 04:00 PM
I think there's something to converting all that mall space into not only retails, but another longer term anchor, say a museum, or even studio space for artists, lofts, small offices. That sort of mixed use, if successful, would also create a customer base for some eateries, coffee place, and the like. I do not think attempting to resurrect the "mall" is going to work. This society no longer has deep credit card pockets, the national spending spree is over, replaced by debt servicing. The old Crestwood Mall land and property needs an entirely new concept and not one totally built on retail. There's already retail-overkill in the area.
earl kliethermes January 12, 2013 at 07:31 AM
Antique Mall? They did it in Independence years agl.
earl kliethermes January 12, 2013 at 07:31 AM
ago.

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