How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shopping Center? -Full Cost Guide USA

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shopping Center?

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Shopping centers are vibrant hubs of commercial activity catering to consumers’ needs and desires.

Whether a small strip mall or a sprawling shopping complex, these centers play a crucial role in our modern economy.

If you’re considering building a shopping center, one of the first questions that may come to mind is, “How much will it cost?”

Building a shopping mall cost can be different according to the shopping mall type. And it can cost around $5 million. – to $100 of million.

In this article, we will explore the various factors contributing to the cost of constructing a shopping center, different types of malls, and the considerations and costs involved in the process.

Outlet vs. Mall

Outlet vs. Mall
Outlet vs. Mall

Before delving into the specifics of shopping center construction costs, it’s essential to understand the distinction between an outlet and a mall.

While these terms are often used interchangeably, they refer to different types of retail spaces.

An outlet typically consists of a collection of stores that sell brand-name products at discounted prices.

On the other hand, a mall is a larger complex encompassing a wide range of retail stores, entertainment venues, restaurants, and other amenities.

The cost of building an outlet will generally be lower than that of a mall due to differences in size and complexity.

What Are Different Types Of Malls?

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shopping Center?
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shopping Center?

Malls come in various shapes and sizes, each catering to different consumer preferences and market demands. Let’s take a closer look at some common types of malls:

Regional Malls: These are large-scale shopping centers with a wide variety of stores, often anchored by department stores or major retail chains. Regional malls typically range from 400,000 to 800,000 square feet in size.

Neighborhood Malls: As the name suggests, neighborhood malls are smaller in scale and serve the needs of local communities. Grocery stores or supermarkets usually anchor them and encompass around 100,000 to 300,000 square feet of retail space.

Outlet Malls: Outlet malls specialize in offering discounted merchandise from well-known brands. They are often located in rural or suburban areas, attracting shoppers looking for bargains. Outlet malls can range from 200,000 to over 1 million square feet.

Lifestyle Centers: Lifestyle centers focus on creating a unique shopping experience by blending retail stores with dining, entertainment, and leisure amenities. They are usually open-air complexes with a mix of shops and restaurants catering to upscale consumers.

Power Centers: Power centers are characterized by large anchor tenants, such as home improvement stores, electronics retailers, or warehouse clubs. They are typically located on the outskirts of urban areas and offer a diverse range of retail options.

Read more about shopping malls with us.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shopping Center?

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shopping Center?
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shopping Center?

The cost of a shopping center can vary significantly depending on location, size, complexity, materials used, and local market conditions.

It is essential to conduct thorough research and consult with professionals in the field to obtain accurate cost estimates.

However, we can provide a general guide to give you an idea of the expenses involved.

Build A Shopping Mall Cost Guide

We will break down the expenses into different categories to give you an overview of the costs of building a shopping mall.

Building a shopping mall entails several key cost factors to consider.

First and foremost, the price of the land itself will depend on its location and size, with prime areas generally commanding higher prices.

The construction expenses will be influenced by the mall’s overall size, design intricacy, and choice of materials. Additionally, costs will be associated with obtaining the necessary permits and licenses and fulfilling legal requirements.

Installing utilities such as electricity, water, and sewage will contribute to the budget, along with expenses for interior fixtures, decor, and essential amenities like restrooms.

Investing in HVAC and security systems is crucial for a comfortable and safe environment.

Furthermore, creating an appealing exterior through landscaping will add to the overall expenses.

To account for unforeseen circumstances, setting aside a contingency fund is prudent.

Remember, precise costs can vary based on location and prevailing market conditions, so seeking guidance from local contractors will ensure accurate estimates.

Shopping Mall Cost By Type

Shopping Mall Cost By Type
Shopping Mall Cost By Type

The type of shopping center you plan to build will significantly impact the overall cost.

Here’s a brief analysis of building cost amounts for different types of shopping malls:

Neighborhood Mall: Neighborhood malls are relatively small and serve local communities. The construction cost for such malls can range from $5 million to $15 million, depending on size, location, and amenities.

Regional Mall: Regional malls are larger, attracting shoppers from a broader area. Building costs for these malls may vary between $20 million to $60 million, considering their size and the number of stores they accommodate.

Outlet Mall: Outlet malls offer discounted branded products. Construction costs typically range from $10 million to $30 million, with the potential for additional savings due to simpler designs.

Lifestyle Center: Lifestyle centers focus on outdoor shopping experiences. The building cost for these malls ranges from $15 million to $40 million, considering landscape features and upscale design elements.

Entertainment Mall: Entertainment malls include additional attractions like cinemas and gaming zones. Costs for these malls may range from $30 million to $100 million, depending on the size and complexity of entertainment facilities.

These approximate cost estimates can vary based on location, labor costs, materials used, and specific design requirements.

Shopping Mall TypeSize/ScaleApprox. Building Cost (in million USD)
Neighborhood MallSmall$5 – $15
Regional MallMedium to Large$20 – $60
Outlet MallMedium$10 – $30
Lifestyle CenterMedium to Large$15 – $40
Entertainment MallLarge$30 – $100
Shopping Mall Cost by Type

Requirements For Shopping Mall Project

Before starting the construction process, you must consider various requirements for your shopping mall project. These may include:

Land Acquisition: The cost of purchasing or leasing land suitable for your shopping center will depend on its location, size, and market demand.

Feasibility Studies: Conducting feasibility studies and market analysis will help you understand your project’s potential profitability and viability. These studies may incur costs for market research firms and consultants.

Architectural and Engineering Services: Hiring architects and engineers to design the layout and structure of your shopping center is essential. Their fees will depend on the complexity and scale of the project.

Construction Of Shopping Mall Project

Construction Of Shopping Mall Project
Construction Of Shopping Mall Project

You can proceed with the construction phase once the planning and design stages are complete. The following factors contribute to the overall cost of the project:


The architectural design of the shopping center, including exterior aesthetics and interior layout, can significantly impact costs. Complex designs may require higher construction expenses.


Installing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, escalators, elevators, and other equipment will increase construction costs.


Hiring experienced builders or contractors to carry out the construction work is crucial. The cost of builders will depend on their reputation, expertise, and location.

Material Cost

Construction materials like concrete, steel, glass, and finishes will depend on market prices and availability. Material costs can fluctuate, so it’s essential to consider potential price variations.

Labor Cost

The cost of skilled and unskilled labor required for the construction process will depend on local labor rates and the project duration.

Additional Cost

Budgeting for unexpected expenses, contingencies, and permits that may arise during construction is important.

Building Parking Garage

Parking facilities are a crucial component of shopping centers, and the cost of constructing a parking garage should be factored into your budget. The number of parking spaces required will depend on the size and type of mall you plan to build. Costs can vary depending on the construction method, materials used, and the need for additional features like lighting and security systems.


In some cases, existing structures may need demolishing to make way for the new shopping center. Demolition costs will depend on the size and complexity of the existing structures and the presence of hazardous materials that require special handling and disposal.


Obtaining the necessary permits and approvals from local authorities is crucial in the construction process. Permit costs will vary depending on the location and the project’s requirements.

What Are The Other Considerations And Costs?

Apart from the direct construction costs, there are other considerations and costs to keep in mind:

Financing: Securing financing for your shopping center project is a crucial aspect. You may consider obtaining loans from banks or financial institutions, partnering with investors, or using your capital.

Operational Costs: Once the shopping center is built, you will have ongoing operational expenses such as maintenance, utilities, insurance, and property management. These costs should be factored into your overall business plan.

Marketing and Promotion: Attracting tenants and customers to your shopping center will require marketing and promotional efforts. Allocating a budget for advertising and promotional activities is essential.

How Long Does It Take To Build A Mall?

How Long Does It Take To Build A Mall?
How Long Does It Take To Build A Mall?

The duration of the construction process can vary depending on factors such as the size, complexity, and design of the shopping center, as well as local regulations and permit requirements.

Completing a shopping center project can take 12 to 24 months or more.

The variability in project sizes, locations, permitting processes, construction methods, and other factors can influence the timeline.

However, we provide a general comparison table based on typical scenarios.

Please note that these timeframes are approximate and can change based on various circumstances.

FactorsSmall-Scale MallMedium-Scale MallLarge-Scale Mall
Pre-Construction Phase
Site Selection & Zoning3 – 12 months6 – 18 months9 – 24 months
Planning & Permits6 – 12 months9 – 18 months12 – 24 months
Construction Phase
Building Construction12 – 18 months18 – 24 months24 – 36 months
Interior Fit-Out4 – 6 months6 – 9 months9 – 12 months
Post-Construction Phase
Inspections & Approvals1 – 3 months2 – 4 months3 – 6 months
Tenant Occupancy1 – 3 months2 – 4 months3 – 6 months
Total Estimated Time27 months (2.25 yrs)43 months (3.58 yrs)60 months (5 yrs)
How Long Does It Take To Build A Mall?

Please remember that this table provides rough estimates, and actual timelines will depend on the specific circumstances of each project.

It’s not uncommon for large-scale malls to take several years from conception to completion due to the complexity and size of the undertaking, including factors such as land acquisition, regulatory hurdles, financing, design intricacies, and more.

Smaller projects can sometimes be completed in a shorter timeframe, but it varies case by case.

How To Build A Strip Mall?

How To Build A Strip Mall?
How To Build A Strip Mall?

A strip mall is a smaller-scale retail complex typically consisting of a row of individual retail stores with shared parking spaces. The process of building a strip mall is similar to that of a shopping center, albeit on a smaller scale. The costs will vary depending on the size, location, design, and materials used.

How Much Does Strip Mall Cost?

The cost of building a strip mall will depend on factors such as the number of units, design complexity, materials used, and location. On average, the cost per square foot for a strip mall can range from $100 to $300 or more.

How Much Does A Mall Make A Year?

How Much Does A Mall Make A Year?
How Much Does A Mall Make A Year?

The annual revenue generated by a shopping center will depend on various factors such as location, tenant mix, market demand, and economic conditions.

Successful malls can generate millions of dollars in revenue each year.

However, it’s important to note that profitability is not guaranteed, and careful planning, marketing, and management are essential to ensure the success of your mall.

Final Thoughts:

Building a shopping center is a complex and multifaceted undertaking that requires careful planning, thorough research, and a solid understanding of the costs involved.

While it’s challenging to provide an exact figure for the cost of constructing a shopping center due to the numerous variables at play, the information in this article should give you a general idea of the expenses to consider.

Remember to consult with professionals in the field to obtain accurate cost estimates and to navigate the process successfully.


How To Create A Mall?

Creating a mall involves several steps, including conducting market research, acquiring suitable land, designing the layout, obtaining permits, securing financing, hiring contractors, and managing the construction process. Working with professionals such as architects, engineers, and legal advisors is crucial.

How Do You Plan A Shopping Mall?

Planning a shopping mall requires careful consideration of location, target market, tenant mix, design, amenities, and budget. Conducting feasibility studies, market analysis, and financial projections will help plan.

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Mall In The USA?

The cost of opening a mall in the USA can vary widely depending on location, size, design, and market conditions. The costs involved include land acquisition, design fees, construction expenses, permits, marketing, and operational costs. Working with professionals and conducting thorough research is advisable to obtain accurate cost estimates for your specific project.

Best Wishes!

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