The Evolution of Shopping Centers

CASTO played a large role in evolving shopping centers throughout the years

October 20, 2021

The Evolution of Shopping Centers

CASTO is more than a development company. For over 95 years, CASTO has found success as a full-service, fully integrated real estate services firm with a rich history of creating value and innovative solutions for our clients and the communities we serve. We have managed and leased numerous shopping centers throughout the years, bringing the public and customers the convenience of shopping, dining, living, and entertaining all in one central location. To tell you how this idea of centralized shopping came into existence, we need to take you back in time.

In the 1920s retail shops, grocery stores, healthcare and pharmacies were located in urban downtown areas, often miles away from suburban life. During this time, CASTO was primarily a single-family residential home builder. CASTO founder Don M. Casto Sr. was eager to develop residential communities, requiring large parcels of land outside of these downtown areas. This meant all shopping, even for necessities, residents would have to travel downtown, often a distance from home.

Casto developed an innovative solution- provide shopping, as an amenity, and create a community where people wanted to live! With that idea, in 1926 CASTO developed a faux Main Street that included two banks, a small grocer, pharmacy and retail, . This center was Grandview Avenue Shopping Center in Columbus, Ohio, and is still a thriving center today! After seeing the success and convenience that the retail component brought to the residents and shoppers, quickly spreading out of the urban core, Casto then pivoted the company’s focus on retail.  Two decades later, the nation’s first regional shopping center Town and Country in Whitehall, Ohio opened. This pioneering development included key retailers of the time, such as J.C. Penney and Kroger.

Decades later, CASTO stepped in to rehabilitate and restore a declining mall in Winter Park Village, an Orlando suburb, creating one of the first open-air shopping centers of its time.  This outdoor suburban shopping center modernized CASTO’s original concept to create a Main Street area with retail, dining and entertainment options, to the customer.

CASTO’s portfolio of shopping centers continues to grow, including over 26 million square feet of commercial real estate shopping centers as well as over 5,000 residential units. Our team of over 270 real estate professionals are growing CASTO with their diverse talents and experiences, believing our best efforts are rewarded with the best results.

For retail inquiries, click here.

For commercial, development, or management inquiries, click here.

Media Inquiries
Please direct all media inquiries to:

Conner Altman
(614) 744-3422

Contact CASTO

Thank you for considering CASTO for all of your residential and commercial real estate needs. Please fill out the contact form and a CASTO team member will respond to you as soon as possible.

Share This