Suburban shopping malls have become ubiquitous in American land use development, with approximately 1,100 standing malls in 2015. The average regional mall has a sizeable footprint of approximately 587,270 square feet of enclosed space, while the average “super regional” mall encompasses 1,225,570 square feet.
Ann Arbor’s super regional mall, Briarwood, is on the smaller side with only 982,500 square feet of leasable space. The entire property totals 171 acres, a number that is difficult to visualize without a reference point. As a way to compare regional shopping malls with other major land uses worldwide, I superimposed the aerial image of Briarwood onto major points of attraction in a variety of urban contexts. The images below are meant to help visualize the scale of super regional malls relative to other highly valued spaces in other countries.