This article is a continuation from our Types of Commercial Buildings Part 1 blog post. Our goal is to clearly categorize and describe the types and subtypes of commercial real estate.



General Retail

Shopping centers/ Strip Malls

Strip malls may contain large corporate or small businesses. Strip malls can be found all over the US.  Many strip malls are only a collection of independent shops, but many strip malls are known for their anchor tenants. Anchor tenants are large retailers that draw in customers. The customers are often visiting out of need rather than want. Often, especially in urban centers, strip malls are populated by small independent businesses. These businesses include coffee shops, dry cleaners, massage parlors, computer repair shops, and many more types of business.


Neighborhood Center

This is usually a small, convenience-oriented grocery store. It’s the kind of place where someone might pick up eggs or bread on the way home from work, rather than a whole week’s worth of food.


Community retail center

These centers usually contain a grocery store, drug store, and one or more restaurants. Other shops included may be specialty discount stores, sporting goods stores, electronics, and home furnishings. Another name for a community retail center is large neighborhood center.


Regional Mall

In a city of a few hundred thousand, it’s not uncommon to find several of these. Usually they contain fashion-oriented or consumer merchandise type retail shops. There may be a few floors, and the shops all face inwards, towards a common walkway. They are often on main roads and surrounded by parking lots and small commercial centers.


Super-regional mall

These locations are similar to regional malls, but on a larger scale. Visitors can expect a larger assortment of shops, restaurants, and entertainment.



Out parcels are small spaces outside of regional and super regional malls. They often contain only one business, such as a fast food restaurant.


Specialized commercial retail centers

Power Center

A power center is a commercial center dominated by one or more anchors. Often a single large store, like a Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club will be the main attraction of a power center. A power center may also be specialized, being a sporting goods or home-improvement store. Outside there may be strips and out-parcel’s containing a few restaurants or specialty shops.



Upscale national chains with outdoor dining and entertainment. Think of river walks, boardwalks, and other locations where upscale restaurants and businesses tend to cluster.



These are specialized leisure, tourist, and service offerings. They typically focus on entertainment. They are often in urban areas and may be adapted from older buildings. Things like escape rooms, haunted houses, some museums/historical attractions, and concert halls fall into this category. These types of properties may also have restaurants and live-action performances.


Limited purpose centers

Airport Retail

This is usually a small collection of restaurants and shops found in a commercial airport. Often, especially in international terminals, one will find high-end retail and duty (tax) free goods.

For more in-depth info about the types of retail locations in the US, including their sizes and more details about their anchor shops, read this pdf from CoStar Realty and ICSC Research.



Full-service hotels

Think 4-stars. The Hilton, the Marriott, and other top end hotels fit this description. They are known for having fantastic quality and of course, service. Customers at these hotels will find restaurants with in-house dining or service directly to their rooms, bars, gyms, massage services, and more. Many also have partnerships with local tourism and transport companies. They offer taxi/shuttle services to airports and will give visitors advice on travel/tourist destinations locally. These hotels are typically located in the central business district of an urban center.



This is a full-service hotel that is often found in a remote tourist destination. Think of full-service hotels in Honolulu, Orlando, or Alaska. Typically, a resort will focus on providing myriad services as well. There are almost always pools, restaurants, and various types of entertainment. Resorts are often themed as well. They often have tropical imagery/food/motifs, or some other trope pertaining to the resort’s nearby environment.



A casino is also a mixed-use commercial property (more on that in our next commercial properties article). It has entertainment such as live shows, gaming, restaurants, and of course, hotels.


Limited service hotel

These are smaller, inexpensive places for travelers looking to spend a night. Something like an AirBnB or Motel fits comfortably into this category.


Extended Stay hotels

These are often modified apartments that provide amenities for people staying a week or more. There will usually be kitchens, laundry, and similar home accommodations. There will also be office desks/work areas for business travelers.


Boutique Hotel

Most often boutique hotels are denoted by fewer rooms, and more personalized service. They may be renovated houses or other historical buildings adapted to become a hotel. They may also be themed or offer a few tourist services.


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