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It's time to blow up the RI Mall


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#1 Cotuit

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 01:27 PM

So while the rest of you were enjoying Westminster Street yesterday and last night, I spent most of the day at the Rhode Island Mall because I had to go to the Registry (don't you love how it's called the "Express" Registry? :lol: :huh: :angry: :cry: ).

Everytime I go there, which thankfully is not too often, there are less and less stores left. There's probably 6 stores left now. Sears, Walmart, and Kohls were all busy (Sears was even having a job fair), but the rest of it, utter desolation. The only people in the mall were sad tortured souls like myself waiting over an hour for their number to be called at the 'Express' Registry (the joke of a DMV in this state is for another thread).

The Rhode Island Mall is an obvious failure (and an embarrasement since it has the state's name on it). So the question is, what should be done with it?

 

#2 Garris

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 02:06 PM

So while the rest of you were enjoying Westminster Street yesterday and last night, I spent most of the day at the Rhode Island Mall because I had to go to the Registry (don't you love how it's called the "Express" Registry? :lol: :huh: :angry: :cry: ).

Everytime I go there, which thankfully is not too often, there are less and less stores left. There's probably 6 stores left now. Sears, Walmart, and Kohls were all busy (Sears was even having a job fair), but the rest of it, utter desolation. The only people in the mall were sad tortured souls like myself waiting over an hour for their number to be called at the 'Express' Registry (the joke of a DMV in this state is for another thread).

The Rhode Island Mall is an obvious failure (and an embarrasement since it has the state's name on it). So the question is, what should be done with it?

I actually had a pretty good, genuinely "express" experience at the Express Registry... :P This is, of course, in comparison to what I was used to in New York and Minnesota, where you scheduled an entire afternoon to go to the DMV...

Regarding what to do with the empty mall, this is something municipalities the nation over have been grappling with... One option, since there are already some fairly successful big-box chains in there, would be to just level the mall and replace it with another big box store or two. There's no Costco in this area. Maybe they'd be interested.

Out of curiosity, where is the Cranston Whole Foods going?

- Garris

#3 PeninsulaKiddo

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 02:12 PM

Well, the Coliseum Mall in Hampton, VA isn't quite at that level yet (with only a few non-vacant stores), however its vacancy rate is the highest in the region. It's also a very large mall by local comparisons (1.2 mil s/f). I think the city is planning on not demolishing it but breaking it up into several buildings, adding floors, and making it a "town center" style development. Another possibility is maintaining a few retail stores along the main road that the mall fronts and turning the rest into flex-space office. That was done with the NetCenter in Newport News.

Idk if any of that would be applicable to the RI Mall (because I don't know it's location, size, layout, etc.), but these are things that I've seen done successfully.

#4 Frankie811

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 02:14 PM

So while the rest of you were enjoying Westminster Street yesterday and last night, I spent most of the day at the Rhode Island Mall because I had to go to the Registry (don't you love how it's called the "Express" Registry? :lol: :huh: :angry: :cry: ).

Everytime I go there, which thankfully is not too often, there are less and less stores left. There's probably 6 stores left now. Sears, Walmart, and Kohls were all busy (Sears was even having a job fair), but the rest of it, utter desolation. The only people in the mall were sad tortured souls like myself waiting over an hour for their number to be called at the 'Express' Registry (the joke of a DMV in this state is for another thread).

The Rhode Island Mall is an obvious failure (and an embarrasement since it has the state's name on it). So the question is, what should be done with it?

Well, I believe the same thing is happening over at the Warwick Mall, which vigorously opposed the Providence Place Mall. But I do not Believe it was the PPM which dealt a blow to the RI Mall ( formely Midland Mall ) & the Warwick Mall. I think it was the further development of RT 2. Of course Providence Metro residents no longer had a reason to go to Warwick for their retail needs. I only go to the Warwick Malls if Sears has a fantastic sale, which they occasionally do. But i mainly go to PPM for food and entertainment. The Warwick Mall attempts to bring more people to their mall by having promotional events, like meet the Patriots night, or meet the Red Sox night. There have been stores closed in the PPM, but most have been on a national level as opposed to a local singular level. The Midland & Warwick Malls are old and outdated, the PPM is hip and happening. It's were people want to be and be seen. IMHO

Edited by Frankie811, 06 November 2005 - 02:29 PM.


#5 Liamlunchtray

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 04:52 PM

When the mall was sold and they developed the Walmart and Kohl's, I had thought that the property was going to be reborn, but instead the developers of the big boxes decided not to have any entry into the Mall and to isolate the center of it from the anchors. I thought they could have turned it into some kind of discount retail mall with some decent outlet stores that are not "Premium" outlets like wrentham, but instead are actually cheap. If I'm not mistaken Stop and Shop's parent company ended up buying the property with the intention of keeping Walmart from expanding into a supercenter and competing in the food market. It's just so weird that such a valuable piece of commercial peroperty would be allowed to sit near empty like this.

#6 Recchia

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 05:59 PM

I think the Cranston Whole Foods will go in the old Shaws building in Garden City. Last I heard, Shaws was keeping its new store and its old store (right across the street from one another) simultaneiously open to keep Whole Foods out as long as possible....ridiculous I know...

I did a project for a class last year, and for it I redeveloped the Rhode Island Mall Property into a TOD, with a BRT line running down Route 2. I wish I could post it here, but I drew it freehand and my scanner crapped out last year. I chopped the existing structure in half and put a street through it, and made a small street grid (one street between 113 and the mall, and one between the mall and the river). Basically I kinda ripped off Calthorpe's book 'The Next American Metropolis", but it looked good in the end. Of course this would only work if the whole area around it was densified as well, although East Ave through West Warwick is already pretty dense. Anyway, with better transit to the site, the possibilities for something new and exciting would be much better. Between CCRI and the retail presence, the area is a huge destination for the entire state.

#7 virgo20

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 08:14 PM

Move the Registry there. There's plenty of parking.

#8 pdxstreetcar

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 10:44 PM

i wouldnt be surprised if they got rid of the mall part and just went with all big box stores and a few smaller stand alone stores near the perimeter of the parking lot.

the only reason i got to warwick shopping is for sears, i bet when the filenes/macys merger goes thru it further hurts warwick since prov place will also have a macys which previously was (somewhat) of a selling point for warwick mall.

#9 Frankie811

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 06:22 AM

So while the rest of you were enjoying Westminster Street yesterday and last night, I spent most of the day at the Rhode Island Mall because I had to go to the Registry (don't you love how it's called the "Express" Registry? :lol: :huh: :angry: :cry: ).

This is for Cotuit and everyone else. Did you know that you can do almost everything you need to do at AAA instead of going to the registry!? There is a AAA office at 55 Dorrance St, and at various locations around the state.

http://www.aaa.com/a.../sne/index.html

#10 Frankie811

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 08:14 AM

Regarding what to do with the empty mall, this is something municipalities the nation over have been grappling with... One option, since there are already some fairly successful big-box chains in there, would be to just level the mall and replace it with another big box store or two. There's no Costco in this area. Maybe they'd be interested.

Out of curiosity, where is the Cranston Whole Foods going?

- Garris

I never even heard of Costco untill I drove down the 401 in Ontario, Canada. Exactly what is it?

#11 Recchia

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 08:36 AM

I never even heard of Costco untill I drove down the 401 in Ontario, Canada. Exactly what is it?

Sams Club/BJ's with overall less variety but better stuff. And they're very good to their employees, despite this hacking into their profits.

#12 Garris

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 09:12 AM

Sams Club/BJ's with overall less variety but better stuff. And they're very good to their employees, despite this hacking into their profits.

That's a great description Recchia. As big boxes go (I think everyone who's been reading my stuff here for long enough knows how I feel about chains), Costco isn't bad. They, in my experience, also tend to be pretty sensitive to area demographic/makeup, stocking bulk ethnic food stuffs of local racial/religious communities, for instance, that most stores completely ignore.

I'd love to see them take over what's left of the RI Mall.

- Garris

#13 eltron

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 09:15 AM

Sams Club/BJ's with overall less variety but better stuff. And they're very good to their employees, despite this hacking into their profits.


Ah, COSTCO!

We so desperately need a costco. Its really pretty amazing. I refuse to go to Sams Club/Walmart, and I hate big box stores, but you can't deny support of Costco.

Now, the closest one is in Dedham, Ma, which I have to admit heading to every once in a while for special purchases...I'd kill for one here.

#14 TheAnk

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 12:54 PM

There isn't a worse place to go to in RI than Bald Hill Road on a weekend.. Its like a 7 hour trip.. Personally, I avoid that street like the plague at all times.. Something needs to be done with the congestion on that road.. Thats why I have only been to those malls once total in my life (5 years in RI).. And it was for the "express" DMV... :lol:

#15 spanishboy

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 01:21 PM

Bald Hill Rd isnt as bad as u say, i was there yesterday shopping and went to olive garden... yes traffic was slow but not 7 hrs :cry:

#16 Recchia

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 03:49 PM

I boycott Route 2 during November, December and January. It's sickeningly hellish, especially north of 117.

#17 eltron

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 05:04 PM

I boycott Route 2 during November, December and January. It's sickeningly hellish, especially north of 117.


no joke. I puke at the thought of holidays in stripmallville.

:sick:

#18 urbie

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 10:38 AM

So while the rest of you were enjoying Westminster Street yesterday and last night, I spent most of the day at the Rhode Island Mall because I had to go to the Registry (don't you love how it's called the "Express" Registry? :lol: :huh: :angry: :cry: ).


Being too lazy to start a new thread, I'll just say that having grown up in MA, I think I feel your pain.

The best DMV setup I've seen was the one in Illinois. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of these small "Currency Exchange" stores all over the state, that perform DMV functions (I don't know what the arrangement is -- I guess the state contracts with them). There's hardly ever a line, you can get a new license, registration, title (shocking! In MA, all is lost if your title comes up missing -- it takes MONTHS to get a replacement title), plates, and pretty much anything you want in 5-10 minutes. In the five years I lived there, I never waited in line more than a minute or two at a Currency Exchange.

Oh -- and did I mention the low car insurance rates in IL? (I think I have before, so I'll shut up.)

Urb

#19 gregw

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 12:32 PM

I try to boycott Rt. 2 during those months too as well as during Feb., March, April, May, June, July, Aug. Sept., and Oct.

Edited by gregw, 08 November 2005 - 12:35 PM.


#20 Frankie811

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 06:27 AM

Bald Hill Rd isnt as bad as u say, i was there yesterday shopping and went to olive garden... yes traffic was slow but not 7 hrs :cry:

I agree! But one Saturday afternoon it took me 1/2 hour to go from Warwick Ave to Post Rd in Warwick. It should have taken only 2 minutes. I always thought Warwick was too congested for me.