Pinellas by Design
Pinellas by Design


The past decade has seen the rise of big-box stores, the consolidation and turnover of many retail chains, and a continuous push to provide commercial space that is larger, more diverse, and more amenity-rich. While all this activity may have benefited consumers, it has also left a large number of vacant, obsolete malls and shopping centers in its wake. These properties, known as grayfields, are not usually considered assets to their communities. But as we approach buildout, they provide important redevelopment opportunities.

Grayfields are typically located on major commercial corridors, which offer excellent visibility and access. They often include large tracts of land under single ownership, eliminating the need to assemble many small parcels. These sites are ideal for large redevelopment projects such as multifamily residential communities, updated commercial centers, or mixed-use developments. In appropriate areas, they also have the potential to be converted into office or low-impact industrial space that can accommodate primary employers.

Although grayfields are typically less difficult to redevelop than brownfields, they present their own set of challenges. Demolition of large commercial buildings is expensive, and the sites are often extensively covered with pavement that must be removed. Regulatory and financial incentives can help offset these costs, particularly for properties that are in less-than-ideal locations or are otherwise difficult to market.

Pinellas County maintains a database of properties that are available for redevelopment, including grayfields. For more information, see our GIS Site Assistant.

New Clearwater Mall
previous store in old Clearwater Mall

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