Perspective: How surgery centers can save America's dying malls

Malls are dying, but surgery centers offer a unique opportunity to save the once-monstrous retail meccas and fill a hole left by disappearing department stores, St. Louis Public Radio reports.

In 2018, Quincy (Ill.) Mall was in trouble. The mall had lost all three of its major anchor tenants and its future was up in the air.

In late 2018, Quincy Medical Group was looking for a place to open an outpatient surgery center and cancer institute and thought the mall was a perfect fit. After a few-month public feud with nearby Blessing Health System, QMG received approval for its surgery center and began construction in 2019.

Mall property manager Mike Jenkins said the collapse of brick-and-mortar stores has caused the mall industry to seek out businesses that can thrive in the face of the internet.

Medical tenants require large amounts of infrastructure and are immune to the internet. QMG is not alone in its pursuit of retail space. Medical centers like Boston-based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and UC Los Angeles also sought out mall-based space.

Mr. Jenkins said QMG's addition to the mall was a "home run in the 21st-century realm of retail leasing." The mall expects the surgery center to bring in about 200 people a day who otherwise wouldn't have been there, and believes surgery center employees will also frequent the mall.

QMG's addition has also brought in newly interested businesses that could create services tailored to the surgery center, Mr. Jenkins added.

More articles on surgery centers: 
Cardinal surgical gown quality issues cause surgery centers to reschedule procedures
California ASC partners with ORHub
Medline acquires device distributor in Canada

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