In a true sign of accepting reality, our mall converted one of the prime retail spaces into a rest area/mini-library. It’s located at the crossroads of the mall’s two wings, in theory, the busiest spot in the mall. It was once the home of a jewelry chain and when that went out of business, instead of leaving it available for another tenant, the mall tore out all the walls and doors and made it into an open area.

It’s a great space to take a break – if there was anyone around who needed one. I’m not sure if it was designed for walkers, mall employees or the mythical harried shoppers but, like most of the stores around it, it sits vacant.

I think about all the unused space that surrounds us – bankrupt stores, unoccupied office buildings, restaurants that didn’t survive the pandemic, schools with reduced enrollments – there is a wealth of built-up infrastructure that is currently unused. If you’re the owner of such space, rather than allow it to sit vacant to entropy think about a creative new use for your real estate. Can you rent it as a temporary office for parents who need to do Zoom calls with some privacy? Convert it into a studio for those forced to shift from in-person to remote presentations? Offer it as a voting place? Give shelter to some in need?

Space that sits vacant depletes energy from all who see it. Capitalize on the opportunity to give something or someone a new home, even if it’s just for the interim.

Converted jewelry store at the mall

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