In Orange County, California, US, and the suburbs throughout America, the shopping mall was a gathering spot, especially for young people. Now, teenagers text with their friends and make TikTok videos. Their parents are more likely to shop online than at a brick-and-mortar store, spurring the near-abandonment of the shopping malls in many places. In Orange County, as in other places, these nearly vacant shopping malls are being viewed as an opportunity to both address blight and meet requirements for new housing. The Westminster Mall in Orange County is one such mall, which may be redeveloped into thousands of apartments, with walking trails and lawns. City Manager Christine Cordon said the Westminster Mall is “probably one of the largest areas of developable space that exists in our time in this area.” Local officials face concerns from existing residents about the impacts of redeveloping these properties on things like traffic, parking and overcrowding.

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