To convert an indoor mall into an open-air shopping center where stores have street-level access and which may also include non-retail buildings such as apartments. Also: de-mall.
In some cases, the surgery has been radical. In California and other balmy states, developers have been demalling old covered shopping centers. They are lifting the roof off and turning the stores to face outward, re-creating the folksy look of Main Street.
—Marci McDonald, “The pall in the mall,” U.S. News & World Report, October 18, 1999
The current push to demall existing shopping centers can be traced to several trends, starting with intense competition caused by market saturation. Centers with strong “anchor” stores can force rival malls to wither. The presence of Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s at Sherman Oaks Fashion Square was a factor in the decline of the Sherman Oaks Galleria, which was anchored at the end by two Robinsons-May department stores.
Demalling is also a sign that popular pedestrian-oriented shopping streets, such as Old Pasadena and Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, are becoming the way to go in the retail industry.
—Morris Newman, “In Rise and Fall of Mall, Weaker Ones Get ‘Demalled’,” Los Angeles Times, December 14, 1999
Like many communities around the country, Oak Park is trying to decide what to do with an out-of-date urban shopping mall. “Demalling” or “restreeting” is being considered by cities as diverse as Eugene, Ore.; Rockford; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Louisville; New London, Conn.; and Baltimore.
—Janet Key, “Time to ‘De-Mall’ Oak Park?,” Chicago Tribune, August 9, 1987