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GeorgiaRoadGuy

JCPenney closing at Cumberland Mall

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Hot on the heels of the redevelopment of 32 year-old Cumberland Mall, looks like JCPenney there is throwing in the towel. Are there any other JCPenney stores closing in the area? What effect will this have on the mall, especially with Sears also likely to depart soon? Any ideas on future tenants?

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Also another department store closed within the past year - I think one of the Macy's or Rich's after their merger. Cumberland Mall is undergoing a major renovation & redevelopment - converting it into a more neighborhood oriented shopping district concentrating more on restaraunts.

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Any ideas on future tenants?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Probaly the new retail Holy Trinity: Target, Dick's Sporting Goods and Barnes & Noble. Seems like every mall that needs new stores gets those three.

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The mall still does surprisingly well despite rumors of the mall phasing out. I was in it several times over the past 8 months, largely to snap pics of the entrances to the Rich's store before it changed to Macy's. The mall is doing better than most considering the demographics, but it has started showing signs of ail. IOW, they're overhauling the place just in time.

I still don't expect the mall to last forever, but this renovation will certainly buy some time for it. I'd give it 10-15 more years now, when before I would have said about 5 more years. The only trick is that they need good tenants for the vacant anchors. It was very wise of them to demolish the old Davison's/Macy's store. It was one of the most outlandishly early 70's-modern stores, much like most of the Davison's were, and the place was a drag on the mall. The vacant anchor would have been difficult to fill and as we see now it wasn't going to be the last, either.

Cumberland atm has one of the weakest anchor lineup of most of the Atlanta malls, right up there with Shannon Mall having only (Rich's) and Sears left, but that can be advantageous if they bring in stuff like Target where Sears is now and Dick's where JCPenney is. In all, the mall has good access and is close to many office buildings and Vinings, but the ghetto is also a stone's throw away as well with parts of Smyrna and Marietta toping the region for urban decay and crime.

If I were the owner of that mall, I'd demolish most of the mall and turn it into a lifestyle center entirely considering how things are already going with malls, but time will tell if this will be the ticket that turns around the mall (Dillard's in the former JCPenney???) or if they're just staving off the grim reaper.

Is this mall in disrepair these days?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Considering the Cumberland Mall area - known by Cumberland now, is most known for being an office center & not for shopping, the eventual redevelopment should be to build a town center.

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If I were the owner of that mall, I'd demolish most of the mall and turn it into a lifestyle center entirely considering how things are already going with malls, but time will tell if this will be the ticket that turns around the mall (Dillard's in the former JCPenney???) or if they're just staving off the grim reaper.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think Dillard's may have an interest in locating at Cumberland Mall.

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I too am concerned about the efforts to fix up Cumberland Mall. It's definently in disrepair, and the clientele there has shifted to a more urban "hip-hop" crowd as the demographics in South and central Cobb have changed dramatically. They better do a good job when they spend all that money to fix it up, or it will go to waste. It will be difficult to attract the Vinings crowd, because most of them shop at Lenox or Phipps. Also, the mall has something of a bad reputation for carjackings, shoplifting, and the like.

I agree with the idea that it should be a "town center" kind of project. I also think they should try to cater to the diversity of the area, too. Maybe some ethnic resteraunts and stores to keep the current clientele coming. It would be dumb to fill Cumberland with high-end stores that most people from the area can't afford. It wil never be Lenox. Right now it looks more like South Dekalb with a little Gwinnett Place mixed in...

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Yeah, the Galleria isn't even a "mall" anymore, most of the resteraunts and stores in the "mall" part closed. It's really more of a convention center, and they still have a good number of events there. Thats another story what they oughta do with that place.

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Interesting to hear about the shift. I have not been to Cumberland since they refurbished it in the mid-80s and the Galleria about the same time. (I think it was new and very upscale then) Sounds as if the upscale stuff has moved on to another area.

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I haven't been to a mall in the Atlanta area since when my older brother lived near Cumberland Mall in the late 80's. Is Cumberland starting to resemble Greenbriar Mall now?

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I haven't been to a mall in the Atlanta area since when my older brother lived near Cumberland Mall in the late 80's.  Is Cumberland starting to resemble Greenbriar Mall now?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Cumberland is no where near as bad as Greenbriar IMO. The area around Cumberland is still quite nice esp. heading south on Cobb Pkwy towards Buckhead. I was up there last week and it's really not as bad as some are proclaiming. Sure it's past its peak but it is in no kind of disrepair or even close to it.

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Try going IN the mall. There are entire areas that are closed down. People loiter for hours in the parking lot, cruise around rattling windows and setting off car alarms with their speakers, panhandle at the entrances, etc. There have been several carjackings and armed robberies there recently. A woman was ambushed in a gang initiation at the parking deck a few years ago.

That defensive statement is very kind of you, and you do have a point, but you don't live in the area like I do. I live about 10 minutes away, whereas you live way down in Peachtree City. Of course it's not as bad as Greenbriar, or even Southlake, but it IS in decline. And yes, Vinings and the surrounding area is very wealthy, but south Marietta and most of Smyrna is not. Try driving up Franklin Road, Windy Hill, Austell, or South Cobb Drive. Furthermore, the bus station across Cumberland Parkway allows people from all over to visit. They sell Bankhead Highway and Southwest Atlanta T-shirts there: now tell me Cumberland isn't going ghetto!

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I work right across the street from Cumberland Mall in the Galleria Office Park... the area is just fine. (I also live about 10 minutes away from Cumberland.) It is not "going ghetto"... some people will say anything to try to embelish their point. Is it Town Center or North Point? No. Is it the ghetto? Don't make me laugh.

If you think Cumberland Mall is 1/10th of a ghetto, please, please go spend some quality time down around Bankhead Highway. Come on. People that live in and around Cobb County wouldn't know the ghetto if it jumped up and bit them in the butt. Cobb County has one of the highest overall quality lifestyles in the entire nation. In Cobb County, I suppose that the "ghetto" is any area where the houses are less than 2,500 sq. ft...

Sorry if I got on my soapbox there a little, but let's try and put things in perspective.

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Ever heard of Boston Homes? Clay Homes? Louisville? Lymon Homes? Baptist Town? Do a little research, or take a sunday drive. By making that claim you are insulting a vast number of people. I suggest you spend some quality time somewhere other than East Cobb. I doubt you have ever visited Franklin Road, or Pat Mell Road, or Six Flags Drive, or any of the places I have named. You would be VERY surprised. Did you know the city of Marietta has the second highest percentage of rental properties of any city in metro Atlanta, right behind Clarkston? (I think it was something like 67%)

I grew up in Cabbagetown, so I know what the ghetto is and is not. I work with residents of the projects in Marietta, and have visited most of them. My cousin is a Cobb county police officer, and I hear his stories every time we talk. He works in Precinct Three, the southeast zone, where there have been at least 43 gangs identified. Look what happened last Wednesday in Smyrna: a drive-by shooting off Old Concord Road. A toddler was critically injured. But thats not ghetto at all, is it? That doesn't sound like something that might happen in Compton! Thats not gang graffiti covering the walls of those apartments and the surrounding stores!

You have this impression of Cobb county being some kind of utopian community isolated from the problems and realities of urban Atlanta, and you are completely misinformed and incorrect. It's not Bankhead highway, but it's NOT perfect or even the greatest place to live in metro Atlanta. Maybe it is if you can afford a $300,000 McMansion in beautiful, tree lined, exclusive East Cobb or West Cobb. but if you are an average middle class person like me, living in a Cobb county neighborhood isn't neccesarily the greatest thing since sliced bread. My circumstances cause me to have a less than optimistic outlook on Cobb county, but you are obviously seeing a totally different perspective than me. Which is yet another problem with this place. To be fair, Cumberland Mall isn't "ghetto", nor will it probably ever be. But it is 'hood, if you understand the difference.

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See, that's what I mean. You just spent the entire retort trying to back up what you said earlier, then agreed with me in your last sentance. I rest my case. :->

Oh, and I spent many years working in property management all over metro Atlanta. Franklin Road certainly isn't Beverly Hills, but it's not as bad as you'd have people on here believe, either. MOST of Cobb County, and MOST of the area around Cumberland Mall is just fine. Anyone can pick out a road or a neighborhood and try to back up their arguement, but the proof is in the pudding.

One of the most "ghetto" neighborhoods in all of metro Atlanta is right next to Lenox and Phipps in Buckhead. Big deal... doesn't make the area "ghetto". A litle perspetive goes a long, long way, I think.

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One of the most "ghetto" neighborhoods in all of metro Atlanta is right next to Lenox and Phipps in Buckhead.  Big deal...  doesn't make the area "ghetto".  A litle perspetive goes a long, long way, I think.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What neighborhood is that? Not that I am doubting you, it's just that I have never seen it.

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I am also curious....to anyone who may have a valid definition.

What constitutes ghetto? Is it a socio-economic standing, the appearance of the area, the racial makeup of the area, the quality of housing/retail or what? I hear this word used and I really would like to know what it means to people who use the term.

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Good question. Of course, popular culture has assigned it's own definitions to the term "ghetto". The actual definition of "ghetto" is a "section of a city occupied by members of a minority group who live there because of social restrictions on their residential choice." I would include non-minorities, as well, and would include financial restrictions along with social restrictions. I also see a "ghetto" area as being on a lower socioeconomic level than the surrounding areas: more multi-family housing, lower-class retail (dollar generals, check cashing places, pawn shops) more single-parent households, higher percentage of renters, higher property and violent crime, etc.

By that definition, I live in a "ghetto" of Cobb county. It is significantly poorer than the surrounding areas, there is a higher percentage of minorities than whites, a larger transient population, the schools are underperforming (especially comapred with others in the district), and there is a high incidence of robbery and gang activity. The reason I live here is beacuse I can not afford the rising and exorbitant costs of new homes in Cobb county, yet it would be inconvenient to leave: I work in Cobb and go to school in Atlanta. A "ghetto" of Cobb county is not neccessarily identical to a "ghetto" of Chicago or Atlanta. There are also about a dozen housing projects in Marietta, most of which are being torn down in the gentrification process. Housing projects often exemplify the definition of "ghetto".

People that live in and around Cobb County wouldn't know the ghetto if it jumped up and bit them in the butt.

I concede your point on Cumberland Mall. THAT is the claim I was refuting in my previous post. Just because you wouldn't know the ghetto if it bit you in the butt, doesn't mean I wouldn't. We live in the same county, but in two different worlds.

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So is the minority population based on the area the "ghetto" is in or is it based on metro or state. Could someone who lives in sayyyyyyy St. Marlo Country Club in southern Forsyth call a mobile home park north of Cumming a "ghetto?" I guess I'm trying to figure must it be just a minority or minority of the people there. That didn't make sense so let me clarify my statement. I grew up in Dunwoody. If anyone is familiar with the Dunwoody section of Fulton, it is mostly residential until you get to Roswell Rd. To me and my friends in high school, (mind you we were young then) the ghetto was anywhere there were apartments. Regardless of the color of the people. We based our thoughts on more of a socio-economic standard. Mind you, it's not like these apartment complexes were rundown....it was just that they were not of the same socio-economic standard.

That brings me to my next case. I have a friend who sells homes in the Cascade area of Atlanta outside I-285. This is a majority black area. Housing is growing there tremendously....John Wieland is making a killing there....retail is really picking up nicely. Well I remember a few years ago there was a low income apartment complex on the western edge of the Cascade area. If I'm not mistaken, it was off of Boat Rock Rd. Anyhoooo, this area was not in keeping with the image this area was trying to project. The more affluent blacks of the area found a way to get county commissioners to essential "relocate" the residents of this apartment complex out of the area. When I asked her why they did this, she said the homeowners of the area didn't want the "ghetto" near them.

In both those cases there was no specific minority population.

If you look at the socio-economic status of the Cumberland Mall area and take a five mile radius, you could hardly claim that it's the ghetto. I wouldn't even say that it is majority minority either. I could be wrong but within five miles of Cumberland Mall is Buckhead, Vinings and Sandy Springs. Cumberland Mall is suffering from it's close proximity to Lenox/Phipps, Perimeter Mall, the East West Connector and now the Camp Creek Marketplace. At one time Cumberland Mall didn't compete with as many as it does now. People in the Cascade area had to travel to Cumberland for upscale shopping. People in Marietta and points north had to drive down to shop. Perimeter Mall has been around a while but it wasn't what it is today.

Instead of Cumberland reinventing itself, it fell to competiton. It's traditional markets were slowly etched away. Now, the moneyed shoppers of the area travel to Lenox, Town Center or Perimeter Malls. It's now left with catering to the shoppers left over. I have not been to Cumberland Mall since 1990 something so I don't know the current mixture of stores there but it obviously is not the same level of a Perimeter (my fav Atlanta Mall), a Lenox or even a Town Center. Cumberland Mall is in a wonderful location and it would be a pity if the current owners not take advantage of this location......

The old adage of real estate and retail is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

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So is the minority population based on the area the "ghetto" is in or is it based on metro or state. Could someone who lives in sayyyyyyy St. Marlo Country Club in southern Forsyth call a mobile home park north of Cumming a "ghetto?"
I don't fully understand the definition, it says "city" but I suppose it could mean county, metro, or state. I would say any urban area, but your example could be valid as well. Bear in mind I don't see having a minority population as being imnportant to whether or not an area is a "ghetto" or not. The economic factors are much more important. These days, people of all races and backgrounds can be successful without the kind of social restraints they experienced in the past.

could be wrong but within five miles of Cumberland Mall is Buckhead, Vinings and Sandy Springs.

True. Also within five miles is Mableton, Smyrna, and south Marietta. Areas which are either in the starting gentrification or still in decline. That just adds to Cumberland's problem. I agree with your assessment on Cumberland completely. :thumbsup:

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