In the 1960s across the United States resident populations increasingly fled city centers as interstate highways split neighborhoods, crime rates increased, and blight ensued. Along with the rest of the nation, Utah continued the suburbanization and sprawl that began in earnest following WWII, and small commercial districts lost customers in the process.
Strip malls became the new “commercial district” serving residential sprawl. Several small shops located under one roof with plenty of parking available seemed to be the answer for those wanting to forego the trip to a major commercial/retail center. Developers could put up a strip mall quite inexpensively, often with tax incentives from the local municipality. Low rental rates attracted lessees.
Strip malls come in a variety of formats (usually a box) but are typically distinguished by a unified exterior theme and entries to each individual shop.
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