King of Prussia, Bala Cynwyd Mall Owners Look to Fill Vacant Retail Space with Medical Offices

Image via Federal Realty Investment Trust.
Federal Realty Investment Trust is proposing creating a medical campus at its Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center.

It is no secret that retailers are having a difficult time enduring pandemic conditions. Many stores are seeing their profits down considerably, and a number of noteworthy names have been pushed to bankruptcy.

These developments are likely why some mall owners have begun looking outside of retailers for ways to utilize vacant space within their malls.

Natalie Kostelni reports for the Philadelphia Business Journal that Simon Property Group is looking to convert an out of business JCPenney at the King of Prussia mall into medical space.

That would be 104,065 square feet at a mall going to something totally unrelated to retail. Apparently, it is not such an unusual idea, though, because other real estate groups are considering similar plans.

At the Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center, owners Federal Realty Investment Trust and the Ironwood Property Group have an even more ambitious plan: opening a 320,000 square foot medical campus.

PREIT may soon be getting in on the act as well, with the real estate group currently putting out feelers for non-retail options at their Plymouth Meeting Mall.

Most malls are hurting right now due to a decrease in shoppers. However, one of the few fields that is able to continue with business as usual right now is the medical field. Mall owners may be feeling like switching up their clients could be the only way to continue weathering the storm that is the pandemic.

It is a situation that analysts are following closely. While changing over to medical space could certainly bolster flagging malls in the short term, it begs the question of how such an arrangement would work in the long run?

Once COVID has been gotten under control and people are ready to return to shopping like normal, will the malls that have adopted medical spaces have made a choice that is strong for the long term?

To read in more detail how these vacancies are planned to be filled, read the article from the Philadelphia Business Journal by clicking here.