When a roomful of developers and business owners gather to talk about shopping malls, you’d expect them to discuss changing shopper habits, and the comparative attractions of enclosed and open malls.
And a group of 40 did Tuesday morning, Aug. 8 at the Doubletree Hilton hotel in Rockland during a South Shore Chamber of Commerce session on “The Future of Malls.” But they talked about other things even more – town zoning bylaws, malls as “destination places,” and the South Shore’s graying work force and shortage of affordable housing.
South Shore Chamber president and CEO Peter Forman, mall developers and a couple of town planners agreed that all those issues are big parts of any effort to keep the area’s overall economy healthy and growing – not just the malls.
“We may have a great market down here,” Forman said. “But if we’re 11th on the list of 10 (for development), we lose.”