Karl Kalcher

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As consumers became tired of America’s ubiquitous shopping malls, an alternative retailing format appeared—an outdoor streetscape with trees, shops in buildings with convenient front-door parking, restaurants, and sometimes hotels. These new developments, which have attracted much attention and popular support, go by several names, but I’ll use the common term of “life-style center.” Meant to provide an ambience and flair that most malls never attempted, these centers have begun to display a sameness similar to that of the malls. These centers all seem to look like a set from the same mock Italian hill town, no matter whether the center is built in Maine or Mississippi.


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