Commercial Real Estate: Warehouses & Fulfillment

Malls on our Minds

Although the malls built in the 1970s are no longer thriving, they still have locations that can be reformed for commercial use. According to a Wall Street Journal video on May 6, 2019, Amazon is buying up malls because they are located in good commercial locations with access to massive spaces for building and parking, population centers for labor, and highways for shipping. In addition, the infrastructure is already in place. Amazon has bought Randall Park Mall in Cleveland, OH and Euclid Mall in Euclid, OH for fulfillment centers.

Although online purchasing is taking a toll on brick and mortar establishments and causing mall closures, many creative uses for the buildings and parking have been devised: data centers, microlofts (in providence Rhode Island), office space, film studios, charter schools, resorts, medical centers, and self-storage units.

With online purchasing comes the need for warehouses. Take a lesson from Amazon and when you are looking at commercial real estate to purchase, fix and flip or fix and rent, look for these 4 features of the location:

  1. Big space, massive space
  2. Residential areas nearby for the people who will work in the building
  3. Nearby highways with good access on and off
  4. Infrastructure already in place.

Let me know if you have found any deals this month that you know you can turn around and resell with enthusiasm. I hope that I can be of help to you this month.

I can be reached at
Austin, Texas

References, commercial real estate, video.

Mall image: Alina Zienowicz Ala z [CC BY-SA 3.0 (

Old Malls: Transformed in Texas

While studying what is being done with abandoned malls around the country, I ran into the April 2, article in Dallas News by Steve Brown about plans for the struggling, not dead, Collin Creek Mall in Plano, along Highway 75. The mall is being redeveloped into a mixed-use village centered around a crystal lagoon.  The plans support dense property usage in the area with office space, multi-family apartments, single-family homes, senior-living units, a hotel, restaurants, retail space, a park and hiking trails with all the parking underground sharing the location where the mall is now. The developer, Centurion American, will begin construction in July 2019. Entertainment will be a big component of the project.

Crystal Lagoon & Real Estate Strategy

Wondering what a crystal lagoon is, I visited their website,, and found that the crystal lagoon is a water amenity that will increase the value of the surrounding real estate and allow higher rents to be charged for office space, hotels, and apartments because it actually brings the beach or water-front to the neighborhood, no matter where the neighborhood is in the world. Although it was developed first for private use, the public access lagoon model allows communities to be developed around the water feature. According to, the technology claims to make an unviable project viable. Remaking the land where old malls are located, in the middle of suburbs, into new communities for a long time has been a potentially unviable project. It is good to see that this concept can reform and reuse these massive abandoned spaces in our cities.


The crystal lagoons advertise that they are sustainable, using less chemicals, less energy than conventional pool filtration systems, and less water than parks and golf course, yet providing water as crystalline as swimming pools and tropical lagoons. They use any type of water, salt, fresh, or brackish and control evaporation with a film cover system and by capturing rainwater that falls.

Safe, Smooth, and Clean Water

Even along the coast of an ocean, the crystal lagoon concept offers a safe and controlled environment for water sports and beach activities.

Master-Planned Communities around Lagoons

Here in Texas, there are a couple of communities that include a crystal lagoon as part of their planned amenities. Like the Collins Creek Mall replacement project, these are master-planned communities where entertainment, shopping, and employment can be found within minutes of home.

One of these communities is Windsong Ranch in Prosper, Texas.  Another community, Lago Mar, is a 2,033-acre master planned community located along Interstate 45 in Texas City. The 12-acre Lago Mar crystal lagoon is opening in 2020. The entertainment district features multiple beaches, a floating obstacle course, a swim bar, a 10,000-square-foot beach club, and restaurants on the boardwalk. 

Balmoral in Houston is a 750-acre new home community in the West Lake area of Houston that offers Texas’ first crystal clear lagoon surrounded by glistening white sand beaches. The lagoon encompassed 2 acres of sparkling blue water that is 8 feet at its deepest and 3 feet in the swimming areas.

As you are considering investing in real estate, think about amenities like these. Are there any crystal lagoons, walking trails, fishing lakes, or theatres, near the property you are considering. These entertainment amenities affect the value of property and the amount of rent you can charge.

Focused on Funding Your Success

I can be reached at
Austin, Texas

Image credit: Azwar Thaufeeq [CC BY 3.0 (