Race to Revamp Shopping Malls Takes a Nasty Turn

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As mall owners scramble to redevelop aging properties, they are being hamstrung by arcane agreements signed decades ago with department stores that govern how the centers are used—right down to the number of parking spaces.

The contracts require anchor stores to get permission from landlords before changing the configuration of the stores, but they also prevent landlords from modifying malls without the anchors’ consent.


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