Although you'd never know it from the conventional, pedestrian-hostile expansion now underway at the Natick Mall, outdoor walker-appealing shopping centers are the current trend in retailing, as consumers increasingly seek the experience of strolling somewhere with a sense of place. This is especially true among retailers hoping to cater to more upscale shoppers (such as the Natick Mall will be doing in its half-century-old format of enclosed mall surrounded by a sea of asphalt).
The latest incarnation of that trend is in Lehi Utah, where "developers plan to build a pedestrian friendly mall twice the size of Salt Lake City's Gateway shopping center and bordered by 8,000 houses," KUTV in Salt Lake City reports. "The 150-acre development, dubbed Terrace at Traverse Mountain, will be an 'outdoor lifestyle center' with up to 150 upscale shops, restaurants and entertainment venues, the partners said." Average annual household income within a 15-mile radius of the planned center was about $87,000 last year, KUTV notes.