News | Research Webinar: Optimizing Opportunities for Housing from Failing Shopping Malls

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Event Overview

California, along with most of the country, is facing a transformation in retail. Increasing Internet shopping has ushered the closing of anchor stores and the increasing closure of regional shopping malls, a trend that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend offers opportunities for the redevelopment of failing malls to address California’s pressing need for housing, especially affordable housing.

This webinar will present findings from a recent study of ten case studies of distressed malls in California’s metropolitan areas to assess their potential for mixed-use development, including housing. The case studies included malls with and without current redevelopment plans, and illustrate issues that could hinder or facilitate such redevelopments. The webinar will also present sustainability criteria by which to measure the benefits and costs of redevelopment.

 

Speaker Overview

Dr. Hilda Blanco is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington’s Department of Urban Design and Planning. Dr. Blanco’s research areas include sustainable and livable cities, urban growth management, cities and climate change, water policy, and renewable energy policy.  From 2010-2016, she was a research professor and Interim Director of the Center for Sustainable Cities at the University of Southern California, and is currently a researcher at Metrans Transportation Consortium at USC. Dr. Blanco holds a Master’s degree and Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Guest Respondents

Casey Kempenaar is the Community Development Director for the City of Citrus Heights. Casey brings nearly 20 years of public and private sector experience in land use planning, community development, CEQA, and infill development. Casey has been with the City of Citrus Heights since 2007.  Casey recently managed the specific plan process to redevelop Citrus Heights’s aging 100-acre Sunrise Mall into an economic engine and regional destination. Casey holds a Bachelor’s in City and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, a Master’s in Public Administration from Golden Gate University, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

 

Meghan Huber is the Economic Development and Communications Manager for the City of Citrus Heights. A mission-driven leader, Meghan brings over 15 years of public and private sector experience in economic development, business development, communications, and marketing. In her role, she leads strategies to foster a strong, diverse, and resilient local economy in Citrus Heights through business attraction and retention, marketing, start up support, and real estate redevelopment. Meghan is currently spearheading Sunrise Tomorrow, the vision and specific plan process to redevelop Citrus Heights’s aging 100-acre Sunrise Mall into an economic engine and regional destination. Meghan also support business attraction in the Sacramento region through her service on the Board of Directors of Greater Sacramento Economic Council. In addition to Economic Development, Meghan kick-started and oversees the city’s new Communications Division. Created in 2019, the department has already won campaign awards from the Public Relations Society of America and California Association of Public Information Officers. Previously, Meghan served in Economic Development for the City of Rancho Cordova. Prior to her career in Economic Development, Meghan was an executive sales leader in hospitality sales and marketing with international brands including Marriott and Hilton hotels.