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Thread: The fragility of the traditional enclosed mall shopping center

  1. #26
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Unlike a suburban mall, a downtown mall usually needs to have nearby residents and workers who can access the mall by means other than a car. Downtown areas often cannot provide that.
    The Providence Place, a mall in downtown Providence, Rhode Island opened in the early-90s and has been extremely successful. It has its own ramps to and from I-95 and has plenty of parking. It is connected to a large hotel and convention center with pedestrian bridges. It also has restaurants facing the street.

    See: http://www.providenceplace.com/

    Of course, since Providence Place has opened, two of the state's suburban malls (Rhode Island Mall & Warwick Mall) have declined significantly.
    Last edited by jmello; 07 Jan 2008 at 3:28 PM.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    In Helena there is a plan to relocate the Montana Historical Society to the Capitol Hill Mall, the city's enclosed shopping mall. The anchor stores and other shops are relocating to a mall near the edge of town. The Legislature allocated money for the project and when another location was proposed, the Legislature threatened to withdraw its support.

    Seems strange for a historical society to be housed in a circa 1960s shopping mall, but, perhaps as these malls disappear from the landscape, it will become a historical exhibit by its own right.
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  3. #28
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by danthonyjr View post
    The demise of the Mall of Memphis has been well-documented at http://www.mallofmemphis.org.
    The history of some malls around Cleveland, especially Randall Park Mall, Severance Center and Euclid Square, seem to mirror that of the Mall of Memphis.

    In many cities where I lived, the perception of crime seems to have a much greater impact on malls than on traditional shopping districts or regular plazas. If a mall gets a reputation as being a crime center, even when it's undeserved, its fate is sealed.

  4. #29
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    In the Atlanta area, many of the shopping malls are trying to alter their appearance to become more "lifestyle" centers (I kind of hate that term). They have adjusted parking, added restaurants and smaller specialty stores that can only be accessed through an outside courtyard, and make some interior design improvements such as skylights to give them a more open feel.
    Satellite City Enabler

  5. #30
    Cyburbian D/M's avatar
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    You're right about the reputation for crime. It played a part in the decline of major malls around here Westland, Northland, and City Center. (Although most of it was better competition from new suburban malls.) Worse than that, it starts a vicious cycle, the reputation is gained which leads to less customers and empty storefronts, which contributes to more crime and so on and so on. It also makes it hard to find developers who are willing to redevelop the site because they've heard of all the crime and want no part of it.

    I think that the intense focus on crime in malls as opposed to other retail places has to do with the heightened social aspect of a mall. Like was said previously, malls are more than shopping destinations, much of their appeal is that they are places to hang out or socialize and so if there is crime, it seems more likely that you would encounter it while spending a couple of hours there. In a strip mall or a big box store where people may be more likely to just run in to get a few things, it seems more likely that you'd avoid it.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Regarding malls and the perception of criminal activity I think this stems from one of the things that originally made malls great: In the 1960's to 1980's they were built to cater around younger shoppers and the teenagers congregated there much to the delight of the shop keepers. Unfortunately now young folks are still congregating in many of these malls, especially in the dying malls and that is what is now keeping the shoppers out.

    Slate.com had a great article about the dying malls earlier this week: Beware: The Ghost Malls!
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  7. #32
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    St.Louis Pyramid Cos. Is that the same group involved in that mess in Syracuse.
    Different company.

    The St. Louis Pyramid Cos. has gone from rehabbing homes in city neighborhoods to being the largest real estate owner in downtown St. Louis in less than seven years.

  8. #33
    Cyburbian
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    2 things kill malls - new competition and demographic shifts.

    Dead malls tend to be located in Rustbelt and Southern cities.

    Columbus, Ohio and Rhode Island are good examples of markets where new mall supply has grown a lot faster than population. The new competition killed a lot of malls in these markets.

    In the South, the problem is a combination of new supply and demographic shifts. Witness Eastland Mall in Charlotte. The neighborhood was an upper-middle class suburb a generation ago. As Charlotte expanded, so did the poor population. This poor population spread into the Eastland Mall neighborhood. Mall sales dropped, gangsterism rose, and national retailers followed their customers to malls in better parts of the city.

  9. #34
    Expenses play a role - common area maintenance (CAM) charges in malls are part of the reason malls are not as attractive as stand-alone box stores.

    Plus parking - the ability to clearly associate a pod of parking in front of a box store is desirable to retail tenants.

    We're begining to see examples where portions of enclosed malls are being "blown out" and reconstructed with an outward-facing box store.

  10. #35
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    We have two enclosed malls. One (built by Rouse) has generally performed very well. The other, has been up & down since almost the beginning. It's hard to prove, but my observation is that management plays a big role in economic performance. Also, proximity to housing density appears to play a role as well. Both are on multilane arterials. The less successfull is on the PM outbound side of the street (the other is on the AM inbound) and is within a mile of an Interstate interchange so it appears that pass by is not a really big factor.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    In many cities where I lived, the perception of crime seems to have a much greater impact on malls than on traditional shopping districts or regular plazas. If a mall gets a reputation as being a crime center, even when it's undeserved, its fate is sealed.
    I think this perception of "crime" usually means the mere presence of thuggy-looking minority teenagers and young adults, whether or not they are actually committing crimes on the premises.

    Many middle-class suburban types don't like they folks they're parents and grandparents ran away from being a part of their social realm. When the socioeconomic separation of suburbia fails, these types will likely abandon ship for a shopping destination further out or more rigidly-policed.

    Stripmalls have a longer lifespan because they're completely utilitarian and provide no common spaces for people to hang out. People grab what they need and hop in their cars.

    When a mall dies, it's dead. At least a dead downtown (if it's still partially intact) has a unique urban setting and cool architecture to fall back upon when the time comes that businesses and people might want to seek out a niche there again.

  12. #37
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Another BIG suburban mall dies....

    http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2...rking_lot.html

    Randall Park Mall in North Randall, OH (near I-271/280/US 422 in southeast suburban Cleveland, OH) was the largest mall in the USA when it opened in 1976. 2008-06-12 is its last day.

    R.I.P.

    Mike

  13. #38
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    General Growth Properties to file Chapter (something or another)?

    Another sign of the demise of The Mall™

    http://www.postcrescent.com/article/...811120512/1028

    Fox River Mall owner warns of bankruptcy

    Staff, wire reports • November 12, 2008

    CHICAGO — General Growth Properties Inc. shares plummeted Tuesday after the mall owner warned it faces solvency trouble and may be forced to file for bankruptcy if it can't refinance or extend nearly $1 billion in debt due next month.

    The real estate investment trust, which is the nation's second-largest mall owner whose big-name holdings include Chicago's Water Tower Place and Fashion Show in Las Vegas, also disclosed in a regulatory filing late Monday that it may default on certain debt obligations.

    (See link for rest of article)

    As of this typing (09:45 CST on Wednesday, 2008-11-12), their shares were at $0.33, off 99.3% from $49.95 one year ago (2007-11-13 close) and 99.2% from their close of $43.83 as recently as 2008-05-16. They have a big pile of debt coming due with no cash to cover it.

    Some of their properties, such as Fox River Mall here in the Appleton area, are doing very well - it draws 'safari shoppers' from a very wide area, as far as Da YuPee of Michigan. However most locals tend to go to the big-boxes and strip centers elsewhere in the metro area. Also, even though the mall is doing OK, the area surrounding it has been very stagnant for the past several years and the township that it is in has been doing very little in the line of street upgrades and so forth to improve things. Its neighborhood is very unattractive with zero pedestrian scale - not even sidewalks and very few streetlights.

    GGP also owns places like Oakwood Mall in Eau Claire, WI and Mayfair Mall in suburban Milwaukee.

    How fast they fall....



    Mike

  14. #39
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    This is far from being fresh news. GGP follows in the wake of several other retail development and management companies that are having problems due to credit issues. Centro, the Australian company with the largest retail portfolio, may not survive. Companies like these are getting the attention right now.

    2008 will see a record number of store closings in the United States - nearly 7000. The forecast for 2009 is upwards of 14,000 store closings. Most industry analysts peg the national retail vacancy rate between 15 and 20 percent next year. That will be compounded by lease negotiations that lower rents to get some tenants to stay. Regional mall properties will be affected, but so will the smaller strip centers in almost every community. Can retail property owners survive a prolonged period of high vacancy? Like others, they have mortgages, maintenance costs, real estate taxes, and other costs to pay. Expect defaults, bankruptcies, and fire sales as they try to unload these properties.
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  15. #40
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    http://www.news-record.com/content/2..._of_bankruptcy

    City of Greensboro NC
    Four Seasons Town Centre's owner warns of bankruptcy

    http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/washi...0/daily28.html
    Washington DC

    General Growth Properties, owner of shopping centers that include Landmark Mall and Tysons Galleria, says it may be forced to seek protection from its creditors as it struggles to refinance debt.

    Today they will also be de-listed from the stock market
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

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  16. #41
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Another one (in Ohio) bites the dust

    This one in downtown Columbus, OH was not even 20 years old - it cost $116M (in 1989 money) to build and will cost an estimated $160M (in today's money) to demolish, too. Current plans for the site, just south of the state capitol, are for a park and future mixed-used development. I also note that, like with Port Plaza/Washington Commons in Green Bay, WI, restoring some or all of the street grid is a part of the plans.

    http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live...litics&sid=101

    "Goodbye, City Center
    A Downtown gem when it opened in 1989, the forlorn mall will be torn down by summer. The city wants to develop the land as a park, ringed by housing, restaurants, shops and offices -- all to be completed in five to 10 years.
    Wednesday, February 4, 2009 3:16 AM
    By Marla Matzer Rose and Mike Pramik
    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

    Columbus City Center is coming down, and Downtown as we know it is about to change.

    This summer, nearly 20 years after City Center opened as the shining star of central Ohio's retail universe, the obsolete and nearly abandoned mall will be demolished. It is to be replaced by an urban park and, within several years, a collection of buildings that will contain homes, offices, restaurants and shops.

    The city has dubbed the $165 million project Columbus Commons. It is seeking federal stimulus money to pay for the mall demolition and development of the park, which city officials expect to start this summer and complete within 18 months. The remainder of the project will take shape over the next five to 10 years, as the market dictates."

    (see link for the rest of this fascinating article)

    Also see:
    http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=...cl=1&encType=1

    Mike

  17. #42
    The retail industry demands constant turnover and change. If your operation gets stuck in a faded trend you are doomed. Just like any industry, if you become arrogant from your success you risk others picking up the ball and running. In Buffalo The Galleria crushed the nearby Seneca Mall which closed only a few years after Galleria's opening. It also put a big damper on the Eastern Hills Mall which up to then was the biggest most successful regional mall in Western New York. Eastern Hills never upgraded its look or its stores and was a frumpy tired looking place. They made it easy for the Galleria to take over the top spot. Galleria just made a big investment to keep its look and offerings fresh. I heard that the Eastern Hills under new management was attempting to revise its image upward.

    Another relatively small mall in the Buffalo area is the Boulevard. It has stayed successful despite its small size because it constantly retools and also because it has a corner on the northern city-suburb-college market.

    Buffalo's Downtown Main Place Mall (1970's vintage) was very successful up into the 90's even as downtown was going out of business. It probably still could be successful today except that it became a gathering point for inner city teens after school. The story I heard was that tenants in the attached office towers were fearful so the management systematically started closing stores by refusing to renew leases. Today the upper level is all office space and the lower level is filled with just a few pitiful stores.

  18. #43
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    i am not sure if the mall placement (in-town or suburban) makes that much of a difference.

    two enclosed malls in my area (raleigh, nc) have been operating for over 30 years each.

    and they are about 3 or so miles apart from each other. which does/did seem odd to me.

    the older of the two, i think was finished in the early or mid sixties was very popular with a cafeteria a pennys and an iveys/dillards - and a few locally operated sporting good shops and restaurants and a world bazzar with stuffed cobras.

    it declined in the nineties i believe due to a renovation and increasing popularity of the other nearby enclosed mall finished in the early seventies (sears, a belks, thalheimers record bar, dalton bookseller etc) plus a few locally owned eateries inside.
    the latter was larger and attracted more people.
    the older mall was then torn mostly down and converted into an outdoor boutiquey shopping center with deluxe theatre , wine shop and gym and target store....and is still undergoing massive surrounding re-development.

    the 'newer' mall has undergone a large expansion but remains mostly an indoor mall with out much additional surrounding devlpoment having taken place...its a bit away (apartment homes, etc)

    but for a number of years both enclosed malls were about 3 miles apart and seemed to do ok.

    a jumbo mall opened up in the late nineties out in more of a surburban setting probobly about 7 miles or so from the other malls with some duplication of anchor stores plus a macys, sachs and relocated dillards...i guess it is doing ok as well.

    there was a report in the news about an unsupervised teen ban due to a rioty type of occurrence. - which has probobly hurt some sales...cookie store, coffe, etc???

  19. #44
    Maybe there should be a contest: predict the next major (over 750,000 sq feet) dead mall.

    There was a mall dead at birth in Boston: Lafayette Place. Downtown, it was built on the assumption the city wss so dangerous that it had to withstand an attack by an armored battalion. It never attracted stores.

  20. #45
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    Maybe there should be a contest: predict the next major (over 750,000 sq feet) dead mall.

    There was a mall dead at birth in Boston: Lafayette Place. Downtown, it was built on the assumption the city wss so dangerous that it had to withstand an attack by an armored battalion. It never attracted stores.
    I caught an item on a troubled malls list in another of my forvms a few days ago (the list was in a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal) that listed Southridge Mall in Greendale (suburban Milwaukee), WI as in pretty bad shape. It surprised me at first but then again this one is a pure early-mid 1970s-era two level mall and probably is very dated looking and threadbare by now.

    Mike

  21. #46
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Highland Mall in Austin seems to be on life support. Austin really has very few malls for a city its size, so one would think Highland Mall would be doing okay. Nope.

    Dillard’s wants out of Highland Mall ‘ghost town’ ASAP
    http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin...13/story1.html

    Gang activity, crime and a store that sells toilet paper are some of the reasons why anchor retailer Dillard’s wants out of Highland Mall before its lease is up.

    Dillard’s announced last month that it would leave Highland Mall “in the next few months,” and in a recent lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Dillard Texas LLC and The Higbee Company — both wholly owned subsidiaries of national department store chain Dillard’s Inc. — asked the court to void its contractual obligations to Highland, including paying rent on the remainder of its lease.

    Dillard’s alleges that the owner — Highland Mall Limited Partnership, made up of Simon Property Group Inc. [NYSE: SPG] and General Growth Properties Inc. [NYSE: GGP], two of the country’s largest mall operators — let it deteriorate to such a degree that it has forced Dillard’s to close.

    [snip]

    Built in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Highland was the first of Austin’s major indoor malls and for years “was most certainly the premier shopping mall in the greater Austin area,” the lawsuit says.

    Dillard’s was among the mall’s first tenants when it inked its lease and operating agreements with Highland in the 1970s. But “in recent years, the mall has deterioriated,” the lawsuit says, citing declines in customer traffic, anecdotal reports of gang activity and crime that have led to a “snowball effect” of store closings.

    [snip]
    http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/st...6/daily35.html

    The Austin chapter of a national civil rights organization is calling for a boycott of Highland Mall in response to the mall's decision to close during last weekend's Texas Relays.

    The local arm of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People released a statement on Wednesday saying it will organize a community response on April 11 against the "racist and xenophobic behavior of the management at Highland Mall."

    Highland closed early on April 4 because of what mall management called security concerns surrounding the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, which draw thousands of participants and spectators--mostly African American--to Austin every year.

    [snip]

    The situation over the Texas Relays is just the latest in a series of blows for Highland Mall. Already suffering from the departure several years ago of anchor JC Penney, Highland is now set to lose a second anchor, Dillard's, later this year. Meanwhile, one of the mall's co-owners General Growth Properties Inc., is fighting off bankruptcy.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  22. #47
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    I caught an item on a troubled malls list in another of my forvms a few days ago (the list was in a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal) that listed Southridge Mall in Greendale (suburban Milwaukee), WI as in pretty bad shape. It surprised me at first but then again this one is a pure early-mid 1970s-era two level mall and probably is very dated looking and threadbare by now.

    Mike
    Southridge was developed in 1968. It is pretty typical of the time; a two-story mall with four anchors and a cross pattern. It has a Penneys, Sears, Boston Store, and a vacant anchor which was most recently a Steve & Berry's. The mall is on two busy streets, but is not near the interstate and its streets do not have interchanges where the interstate crosses a couple miles away. It was part of Mills' collection until they went under and Simon purchased the property. The village has sought to prompt Simon to do something about the mall. They went so far as to issue an RFP for a consultant to develop a plan, but I believe Simon dissuaded them from going through with it. It is a low-performing property and I am guessing not a priority for Simon to invest in right now. They are probably concerned (rightly so) that a planner will come up with some grandiose plan that will set unrealistic expectations given the market potential of the area.
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  23. #48
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I agree that crime/public safety issues (perceived or real) can be an absolute killer for malls, having witnessed a couple of malls die off that were plagued by this. The costs/liabilities associated with security in enclosed malls is probably not an insignificant reason for the shift towards outdoor/power-center models which are basically just stores fronting a parking lot (and thus fewer places for crime/mischief).

  24. #49
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    The newest dead mall, in suburban Buffalo: The Summit, which was once Summit Park Mall. It was built in an isolated location in Wheatfield, New York, next to the planned right-of-way for the Outer Belt Expressway, which was ultimately never built.

    http://www.buffalonews.com/145/story/694641.html

    Notice that the stores are mostly local.

    Quoting the entire article, because older articles are archived after a few days.

    The Summit’s end offers opportunity for 'reinvention'
    By Samantha Maziarz-Christmann
    News Business Reporter

    Hearts were heavy at The Summit this week as customers and merchants prepared to say a final goodbye to the 36-year-old Wheatfield mall officially closing today.

    But while the long-struggling, bankrupt mall comes to what is considered a sad but inevitable end, its displaced stores are not only getting a fresh start, but breathing new life into nearby retail sectors.

    Iconic local pizzeria Leon’s has been in the mall’s food court since 1974. This week, it saw lines of customers rivaling its busiest years in the mall’s hey-day, with nostalgic customers lining up for one last slice and buying bulk orders to freeze for later.

    But while employees of the family-run business are sad to go, they’re hopeful about a new chapter for Leon’s. They are looking for space to relocate in Wheatfield, which would take their business from a popular takeout counter to a full-service restaurant.

    “We’d like to find a nice place that is a little bigger where we can serve dinners, where kids and families can come in and eat, where we can have take-out and delivery,” said Lorenzo Randazzo, the owner’s nephew.

    In fact, most of the mall’s retailers are choosing to relocate rather than using their lease termination as a convenient time to throw in the towel. It is an encouraging indication of the area’s retail health in these gloomy economic times, especially considering many retailers will be forced to pay higher rents than they did at the bargain-priced Summit.

    “I’m going to be paying four times what I pay here,” said Chris Gould, owner of Avon Beauty Center, as she cleared her store’s shelves and tucked slim bottles of lotion into cardboard boxes.

    The new location she’s negotiating for in the Williamsville/Clarence area is roughly twice the size of the current location, accounting for some of the price increase. But many retailers in the mall said their new rent costs would double or even triple for similarly sized retail space. In addition, many Summit rents included utility costs — a rare break.

    Indeed, most Summit shops were doing well and would have stayed if the mall had lasted.

    Generations Music recently ranked number two in volume for all Gibson guitar sellers in the Northeast. Owner David Augustyniak recently opened a second location at the Eastern Hills Mall and is in talks to relocate his Summit store to a spot near Military Road and Pine Plaza in Niagara Falls.

    “We’ve grown quite a bit,” he said.

    “We’ve had customers coming in begging us not to leave Niagara Falls.”

    The Eastern Hills mall has been a popular destination for Summit expatriates. Van Winkle’s gift store, Niagara Emporium furniture store, Phase ID alternative clothing, Omega Sports memorabilia and the Echo Through Time history museum have all relocated there.

    They are a welcome addition, filling nearly 18,000 square feet of previously vacant space.

    Echo Through Time’s 1,800-square-foot location hadn’t been filled in several years and was most recently being used for storage. Though it won’t be a big retail money-maker, mall general manager Russ Fulton expects it to bring precious traffic volume.

    “That’s a huge piece of the puzzle,” Fulton said. “They will be bringing in two school tours a week. It’s going to mean school buses, tours, educators coming in. We’re very excited about the traffic.”

    As stores leave the Summit and fill in the blanks of other retail sectors, they restore the balance to a region once overly saturated with retail space.

    The Pine Avenue business district in Niagara Falls landed three new tenants from the Summit’s closure — Summit Life Outreach pregnancy support center, Alan Geldin Audiology and radio station WJJL will all relocate to Pine Avenue.

    Laux Sporting Goods, Cut & Shop salon and Beacon Christian Bookstore are all headed for space at or near the Military Road and Pine Plaza retail corridor near the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls.

    Summit Park Pharmacy, Rainbow Tropical Fish and Niagara Cerebral Palsy will fill spots in retail plazas near the mall on Niagara Falls Boulevard. EGW Personnel Services and V-Twin Cycles are headed for North Tonawanda.

    Transcom call center, Leon’s Pizza, Cardiology of Niagara, Seasons Hallmark, Deb shop clothing store and Macri’s Restaurant are currently shopping new space and said they have committed to staying within the immediate Niagara County area.

    Though the mall’s last day is officially slated for today, doors of the mall will remain open for limited weekday, daytime hours until further notice, as the center makes its way through bankruptcy court and awaits sale at auction.

    That’s welcome news not just for the mallwalkers who regularly stroll The Summit’s halls, butto the Krow’s Nest game center, Perfect Stitch alterations and gown store and Niagara Choice Federal Credit Union. They have held off on relocating in hopes a buyer could be found for the mall, which has been assessed at $3 million.

    The Rev. Linda Badame, senior pastor of Wheatfield Community Church, held out hope of an eleventh hour reprieve when she announced plans to acquire the mall in conjunction with several other investors. But by Wednesday afternoon, that deal had fallen through.

    A suggested plan by Sen. George Maziarz for New York State to relocate its Power Authority offices to the mall from White Plains were rebuffed by Gov. David A. Paterson. Rumors of other potential last-minute buyers never came to fruition. But even though the story of The Summit doesn’t end with a white knight’s arrival, many are hopeful its legacy will stay alive.

    Brian Marciniak, the most recent general manager at The Summit, hopes something positive will come from the mall’s demise.

    “Maybe these stores will be like seeds in the community, filling other retail spaces,” he said. “Maybe the Summit will live on that way.”
    Lifestyle centers are nonexistent in the Buffalo area, so they never took customer traffic from the malls. The Buffalo dead mall list also includes;

    Seneca Mall: West Seneca (demolished)
    Thruway Mall: Cheektowaga (demolished)
    Como Mall: Cheektowaga (converted to offices)
    Main Place Mall: downtown Buffalo (on life support)

    Eastern Hills Mall (Clarence) and McKinley Mall (Hamburg) have both seen better days. Seems like Boulevard Mall (Amherst; the region's oldest mall) and the Walden Galleria (Cheektowaga; a superregional center) are the only malls in the Buffalo area that are still relatively healthy.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  25. #50
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    When I returned to Columbus GA about 3 1/2 years ago, after being on the West Coast for 10 years and being too sick to come home to visit for several years, Columbus Square Mall was gone. The Sears store, an anchor store owned separately from the rest of the mall, sits empty and rotting, all the remains of the mall (or was the last time I was down there -- one website indicates it has recently been demolished as well). The rest was demolished and a huge, lovely new library was put up where part of it once was.

    Some articles:
    http://georgiaretailmemories.blogspo...uare-mall.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_Square_Mall
    http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/colum...uare_mall.html
    http://wikimapia.org/4402509/Columbus-Public-Library

    Columbus Square Mall was built the year I was born. It had always been there as far as I was concerned. It was very strange to come back to find it gone. Peachtree Mall was built later. It's more towards the north end of town, another exit or row down the freeway. I was apparently around 11 years old when it was built (according to a date given in an online article). It was a bit more upscale than Columbus Square. It was weirdly shaped (to my eyes, as a kid), kind of a distorted Y shape. They later added on to one end, making what had been an anchor store part of the middle of the mall. You now have to walk through the middle of Dillard's to get to the newly added on section: http://www.peachtreemall.com/html/storedirectory.asp

    The latest mall in Columbus is even further north and is not enclosed. It's a very large, fairly upscale strip mall called Columbus Park Crossing:
    http://wikimapia.org/1641397/Columbus-Park-Crossing
    Cross Country Plaza is a strip style mall that is practically across the street (and down the road just a tiny bit) from where Columbus Square once was. It's still open.

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