APP EXTRA: Developer talks about fate of Foothills Mall

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - In five years, at least 20 percent of the malls in the United States will likely close.

One shopper we talked to said she isn't looking forward to a future without malls.

"I dread it. I have to feel it before I buy it," she said. "You don't know if it's too small, too thin, you don't know if it's really what you're looking for. To buy this online I'd never know if it fits correctly, who knows who made it, where it's made, what the sizes are."

Online shopping and changing habits are two of the biggest reasons stores are closing and malls are failing.

"Retail's gotten hit particularly hard this year," said George Larsen, who has owned and developed malls and shopping centers for the past 35 years. "There have been lots of store closures, no question about it."

Larsen's company redeveloped the Bear Canyon Shopping Center on Tanque Verde near Catalina Highway.

It's currently filled to capacity and he said this is the mall of the future.

"The properties we're walking through are all Amazon-proof," he said. "This entire shopping center has only one store that sells stuff. Everyone else is restaurant, medical or service provider."

Larsen said the Foothills Mall in Tucson will see the same fate.

Read more about the death of the mall HERE.

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