The article speaks primarily of enclosed malls, though several points are applicable to the potential redevelopment of strips like Colonial Manor on Charlestown Road.
Will the Death of Malls Save the Suburbs? by Clare Trapasso (Realtor)
… But now this somewhat beloved and utterly iconic American institution—forever immortalized by teen classics like “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Mallrats,” and “Clueless”—is in danger of becoming an endangered species … the sea change has already begun. Foot traffic in most of the nation’s largest malls is dropping …
… How is the decline of the mall going to affect American life itself? Some municipalities are finding that these dead shopping meccas present a unique opportunity to reinvent—and reinvigorate—their sleepy suburban landscapes. The centers are being transformed into public parks, medical complexes, even hockey rinks. In some cases they’re even being rethought as walkable “urban developments in the suburbs” which include funky boutiques, innovative restaurants, fitness centers, entertainment, and, yes, housing.