A reader writes:
Your reader is not totally correct about the Metreon in San Francisco. Its downfall is much more the product of long-term bad management than the recession (although of course a recession never helps).
Sony opened the entire complex as an attempt to create a kind of Sony-dominated high-tech retail theme park. That failed miserably long before the recession hit. As early as 2000, located near ground zero of the dot-com boom and adjacent to a major convention venue, the facility was struggling. The Microsoft store closed in 2001. The top floor has been empty since 2004. The last of the “high tech toys” your reader refers to were in the Sony store that closed this year. For ages it was more of a marketing presence than a successful storefront, filled with kids “trying out” games for free and then buying where the deals were. Except for the movie theaters none of the original tenants are there. The current owners, Westfield, plan a complete renovation. That a complex in a great location could fail so badly even during boom-times, is not a good example of the recession's impact.