At a time when urban centers around the U.S. are enjoying a renaissance, some dead malls are a development opportunity, reports the Wall Street Journal.  Cities are reclaiming lost streets and razing buildings that are now panned as poor fits for downtowns.

In nearby Worcester, MA, the downtown is enjoying a broader rebound from years of post-industrial era malaise. The population is growing, and apartments and restaurants have popped up in refurbished older buildings around the city core.

Erasing a mall built with public funding help often requires major public investment.  However, this investment often draws hundreds of millions in private developments, which cities expect will generate higher taxes.

“It’s critical for cities to not just wring their hands about mistakes of earlier eras but to find solutions,” Mr. Augustus said.

Cities Restore Lost Streets, Local Charm After Razing Failed Malls