Shopping Center

Multiple retail and commercial enterprises clustered into a discreet zone or parcel. From the ancient Greek agoras to the medieval piazza markets, centers of commerce have long defined the urban landscape. The advent of the shopping center as a distinct design parcel evolved over time. In the 20th century, “shopping center” has come to mean an economically unified group of retail and commercial spaces owned and operated under single management as an integrated businesses complex, wherein the mixture of tenants is mutually reinforcing and is targeted to a specific audience. Over time, two divergent trends emerged, with one track favoring smaller more targeted audiences and recentralized lifestyles, and the other reconsolidating retail merchants into ever larger conglomerations of neighborhood, then community, and then regional shopping centers, each serving progressively larger, more geographically expansive populations.