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Everything posted by charlotte_bon_vivant

  1. I think it's your username. It sounds a bit feminine. I know it's for Ebony Gardens in Frenchtown, but everyone won't see the connection. What exactly is the difference between rich people and average people?
  2. Been there. Done that. This is old news. I'm happy to see all 3 stores opening at SP. My guess for the other 2 openings? Gucci and A|X. Gucci sells very well in Charlotte and A|X is a popular brand just about anywhere. Temetron, the mall can't be 100% upscale or exclusive brands. Then it's almost guranteed SP will lose business. Most markets can't/won't support a mall that extreme. Besides, people already complain that SP is too snobby. Cartier at the Villages? I don't see that happening. It's not secure enough. Security is taken very seriously at Cartier. ETA: Nyxmike, does Betsey Johnson even open boutiques anymore? It's such a small outfit with far less brand recognition than in the past.
  3. I thought that land was being used for a mixed use project.
  4. True, but they built that level at the same time they enclosed the mall. The other sections of Lenox with multiple levels were built when the mall was expanded. I could see building new levels in an expansion, but building them in the existing mall would be difficult. But I'm not an architect by trade, so I don't know taht for sure. It just seems illogical to me. Speaking of Lenox, it does have an advantage over SP -- Phipps Plaza. Phipps is an additional 1 million square feet of space that, IMO, is an extension of Lenox (and vice versa). So it's easy for that particular mall complex to attract, say French Connection at Lenox and Hugo Boss at Phipps. But the limited space makes it difficult for SP to choose both too often. I wish the SP community would allow a bit more construction. The layout directly around the mall is awful. There is so much wasted space that consolidating even a few of those businesses would help.
  5. Hey, that makes me 3-2. Gucci and A|X were my other two predictions...
  6. Thanks, but this is not the answer I was looking for. I was hoping you'd provide directions to the Chanel in Belk. If only you could see the single tear rolling down my cheek. NM at Lenox has an in-store Chanel boutique. It's okay. I do like the design: glass walls and very clean displays. The lighting is kind of low. It reminds me a bit of the Avenue Montaigne store in Paris.
  7. Unless Chanel is opening a cosmetics store, maybe not. Belk SP doesn't carry Chanel accessories or clothing. Unless it's all hidden away and no one will tell me where it is.
  8. Check my posts. I posted about both some time ago in this thread. A Co-Op for Charlotte is a possibility. It's low risk and doesn't need much space. For a place like Charlotte, the biggest worry is the effect national retailers will have on the smaller boutiques. Can Charlotte support both? They're planning more than 2 flagships. Miami, San Diego, Atlanta, etc. are all being scouted for locations. They're planning an agressive expansion between now and 2008. This expansion includes new Co-Op locations. Barneys just announced a Vegas store. Expect more and more anouncements for the next year or so. A2, Atlanta is one of the top retail markets in the country. Much of the retail growth is based on that. National recognition helps as does having high income areas. Yet the biggest indicator is (of course) supply and demand. If there's a demand for luxury goods and brands then they will build. Unfortunately, a lot of brands we'd like to see in Charlotte don't have a great deal of demand. That demand generally boils down to culture and demographics. Charlotteans with money tend to be older and more conservative favoring more established brands. I think Steven made that point earlier in this thread. That is why Hermes makes perfect sense, but Prada makes less sense. A lot of what we post is wishful thinking and not grounded in reality.
  9. AFAIK, they've settled on Buckhead in general. Their main talks were with Simon and one of the condo builders. I can't remember the name off the top of my head. It's one that's opening relatively soon and has a huge retail spot at street level. I keep drawing a blank. Anyway, Barneys might open before 2008. They expect to complete their initial openings of flagship stores by then. Barneys reps have visited Atlanta several times. They have spent the most time with Simon. I assume that's because they have a working relationship right now since Simon is helping Barneys with the flagship initiative. The expansion at Lenox is only 30,000-40,000 square feet. That's only enough space for a few stores or a very small Barneys. Atlanta is getting a ton of retail attention right now. Its on everyone's radar these days. The launch of Atlanta Peach (an Ocean Drive publication) brought even more attention. The retail scene in Atlanta will really change in the next few years.
  10. Yes, Hermes is a definite. Every WWD daily article about Hermes includes a mention of Charlotte. The company has confirmed it. Here is a bit from a recent article:
  11. Barneys would definitely open a Co-Op before a flagship store. The current flagship openings are Boston and Dallas. Future openings are for San Diego, Miami, Washington state (Seattle metro???), Atlanta and Chicago metro through 2008. Any other expansions will happen after that, so Charlotte is a possibility. However, I see a Co-Op in the immediate future rather than a flagship. Honestly, a flagship at SP is probably asking too much. There isn't much space left these days. SP is on the small side for "upscale" malls. Of course, who knows what the future holds? Any of the current anchors could close and leave room for a store like Barneys. Saks is too busy trying to stay in business to expand. First they remodeled the stores. Now they're focusing on changing the merchandise mix. I can't remember the exact figures, but it's going to be costly for them. As for the NM wing... What other shops could open there? We've got Hermes opening there. What else? There's space for 4 or 5 stores, correct?
  12. Well, Northlake fills a void in the immediate area that Eastland used to fill. It's the "go to" mall because many people find SouthPark inaccessible. As nice as it looks, it's really a standard large mall. Most of the retail they offer is needed rather than unique to the Carolinas, like SP. A store like Forever 21 or Charlotte Russ at Northlake will get more foot traffic than Urban outfitters or Anthropologie at SP.
  13. At least they keep them confined to one wing... I wish they'd hurry up already and finish the NM wing! I'm tired of waiting.
  14. You are correct. There is no NM in Manhattan. I wouldn't go to Westchester or Long Island for one either. Besides, both those stores are smaller than the one in Atlanta. The Atlanta NM is one of the largest in the chain. It was one of the first expansions outside of Texas, so the store is bigger than the typical newer NM.
  15. Although I do fly to Manhattan to shop on occasion, I've yet to shop at NM there...
  16. You're right. I honestly couldn't remember. Neiman Marcus is already on the main concourse. the upper level was an addition to Lenox. Neiman Marcus at Lenox is currently 154,000 square feet. The expansion will bring the total to 206,000 square feet. The 35,000 sq. ft. expansion will be seperate from that total. Again, IIRC! What I do know is NM at Mall of Millenia is just under 100,000 sq. ft. The Charlotte store, however, is one of the smallest in the chain (until the boutique stores open later this year). It's just under 90,000 sq. ft. Makes me mad...
  17. I'd like to see that. But I still wouldn't want to drive traffic away from the Reed family site. I love that place.
  18. What about the museum at the mine? I'd hate to see traffic drawn away from there as it's one of the most interesting attractions in Charlotte metro.
  19. The current store is just over 150,000 square feet. It will expand to over 200,000 square feet. The majority of the expansion will occur on the upper level and basement level of the store. The main level will expand. Taking over the space held by Brasserie Le Coze and surrrounding stores like Cartier. I don't think Hermes or Versace Jeans are moving. The rest of the mall will expand as well. IIRC, it's the area near the movie theatre. That expansion is 30-40 thousand square feet.
  20. This is what I thought Steven meant. That Northlake was the new "go to" mall for everyone. The mall appeals to a larger demographic than SouthPark and Carolina Place is just too far for a lot of people. From what I heard from longtime Charlotte residents, Eastland used to be the mall that served a wide range of people because of its variety of stores and that Northlake is now filling that void. But as it turns out, I was completely wrong.
  21. I'm looking forward to REI. They sell a particular type of Nalgene water bottle that I can't find anywhere else in Charlotte. Plus, I have a few REI gift certificates I need to use. I go to Carolina Place every now and then for the Disney Store. It's the only one around unless Northlake opened one. Once my nieces outgrow their princess phase, I won't have a need to shop there anymore.
  22. That can be their new slogan. Northlake Mall -- The New Eastland
  23. Charlotteman, The Shedd is the oldest aquarium in the world. Until recently, it was the biggest in the U.S. and a huge tourist attraction. Sometimes I think we're all a little too young to understand how cities in the U.S. have evolved. From what I've been told, NYC is totally different today from what it was 30 years ago. I'm 32 and don't really know the city from those days. All I have are anecdotes and films (Taxi Driver!) to give me a sense of what it was like. Sometimes we see a place like NYC and think our city should be more like that. Yet we haven't any real idea what it took to get there. The people who turned parking lots into homes. Or the ones who built a neighborhood cafe out of a former dry cleaning establishment. Our best cities were not built by its attractions or skyscrapers, but by the people who made their lives there. I wonder sometimes if building the attractions, the malls, the many many high rise condos are the best use of our energy. I don't want the HOF here. I want a city in the south with walkable streets, vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. I've tried to be okay with the HOF, but I can't.
  24. People are upset over Felix Sabates comments. People in the city did not support the NASCAR HOF. Shirley Franklin took a bit of heat over the issue and even more heat after she added more money to the bid. There was no overwhelming support for the bid. If you read recent AJC blogs, you'll see people complaining about Sabates and what he said about Atlanta. I've said this before, but Atlanta has never considered itself Charlotte's rival. Atlanta tries to rival Chicago. Everything is a competition with Chicago, from the airport to that aquarium. If Atlanta can steal away a title from Chicago, they're all over it. Most Atlantans actually refer to Charlotte as its sister city or cousin. Charlotte is considered family there. Take the AJC for example. They've run several stories about travel in Charlotte or what's great about the city. They're also probably the only major U.S. newspaper that refers to Charlotte as "Charlotte" not "Charlotte, NC". Again, what stung was not losing the HOF. It was Felix Sabates characterization of DT Atlanta. DT Atlanta has 15 million visitors per year and 30,000 reisdents. It's not a war zone or anything. ETA: Durhamite, Atlanta was a "hot spot" 40 and 50 years ago. Many people from around the SE and even the country would go there to see bands and singers. There was even a Playboy Club at one point. Even I can remember seeing bands that never played anywhere else in the SE. Atlanta was a bustling city in the early half of the last century, especially after WWII. There are a ton of books about Atlanta's growth and rise to prominence in the SE. I'd also recommend pulling Andrea's ear. She is UP's resisdent Atlanta historian. She knows everything!!!!
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