Clarification about Shopping Plazas/Str!p Malls
The other day, I had an "interesting" conversation with other members of the community about shopping malls eligibility, more specifically str!p malls and plazas. The conversation sparked when I had a str!p mall rejected in a different province and I complained about it.
I will speak on behalf of my community because where I live they don't typically get rejected. On one hand, we believe that, even if they are not the most interesting POIs, they hold some value for being a great place to be social with others. That feeling can be confirmed by the presence of "plazas" on the eligibility criteria page:
It can also be reinforced by NianticGiffard's comments on this post from November of 2020:
Additionally, the only shopping plaza I had go through internal voters at Niantic was accepted, and it was a pretty generic one for that matter. I understand it isn't a particularly strong argument because mistakes can be made, but it still happened so I'll take it into consideration. Overall, we believe that str!p malls can and often are great places to socialize because they are public spaces designed for groups of people to hang out, and loitering is encouraged, the same way parks are.
On the other hand, I had some influent people from the community telling me that str!p malls aren't as interesting because they are generic spaces, a lot of cities, especially in the United States, are flooded with them:
They also think that str!p malls are not great places to be social with others in most cases:
Overall, they don't see the appeal in those places for not meeting any criteria and for being generic.
So anyway, I'm having kind of mixed feelings because we have official sources saying they should be eligible for meeting the social criteria while other good sources say they do not meet that criteria. I feel like a clarification is needed to set the records straight.
Note: I know it should never be black or white. I'm sure that if we can get an official statement and/or a guideline it would keep people from rejecting those as soon as they see the Dollarama, because they "don't hang out at Dollorama with friends" (even though it's really a nomination of the public space, not that specific store). Something like area size required, or numbers of stores needed for it to be interesting, or anything helpful, really. Thank you.
For reference, here's the str!p mall that sparked the debate:
It has 20 stores, most of them generic. Building is ~4225m² (~45 000 sq.ft.), land is twice as big. All in all a decent sized str!p mall. It's also worth mentionning it is located in the heart of that city, making it a central point.
TL;DR Do malls, more specifically str!p malls, meet Niantic's view of a great place to be social with others or does it not?