Decaying Malls Struggle to Find Niche

In the Iron Range, as in many places across America, small cities are wondering how to rejuvenate the very retail establishments that we once thought would breathe new life into the local economy.


Consumerist website reported last winter that malls in small and medium cities are failing at an alarming rate, with many more expected to give out within the decade. Fundamentally, malls require dense population centers with relative affluence, two things in short supply in rural and Rust Belt places. and hosts the Great Northern Radio Show on Northern Community Radio ( He represents the fifth generation of his family to live on the Iron Range, the first not to work as a miner or mechanic.

[imgcontainer]A 2009 marketing video for Hibbing’s Irongate Plaza features the interior of a vacant, 88,000 square-foot retail space. Current incentives for new tenants include a period of free rent.