Google as anchor tenant at the mall.

Merry-Go-Round, Bugle Boy, Spencer’s… These and many other brands help define the experience of going to the mall for legions of consumers old enough to recall a time when you actually had to go somewhere to buy stuff (like parachute pants and jackets adorned with meaningless zippers). But now, as traditional retailers like Sears gasp for oxygen, shopping mall landlords are fast at work in redefining and repurposing their existing and future properties. Whole Foods, LifeTime and WeWork represent part of the solution, but only part. That’s because there’s a lot of square footage out there, which is why we think you’ll start seeing health clinics and Big Tech moving in to mall-based properties and driving very favorable terms for doing so. This week, Google affirmed this trend by announcing that it was planning set up shop in a new 584,000-square-foot space at the former Westside Pavillion in Los Angeles.

This article was published as part of Weekly Briefing No. 156