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https://www.google.com/search?q=city+creek+center&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiumPf-r7H0AhUNneAKHdu8AiwQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=city+creek+center&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQDFAAWABgAGgAcAB4AIABAIgBAJIBAJgBAKoBC2d3cy13aXotaW1n&sclient=img&ei=U2KeYe6iO426ggfb-YrgAg&bih=932&biw=1615&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS892US892

City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake is probably the closest thing we have here in the US.  It's seamlessly built into the city street grid.  Parking deck are effectively screened.  Glass roof promenades, and the roofs are retractable.

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2 hours ago, KJHburg said:

In terms of the mall there is no need to fixed what is not broken.   This is one of the highest grossing malls in terms of sales per square foot.  A Triple A mall.  If any of the big department stores closes and that is a BIG if then they would probably consider redevelopment and open air component.   (they did this with the old Sears where Dicks is now many of you probably were not around then)   I do like outdoor malls but this is fine the way it is with our hot and humid summers and the usual amount of rain we get around here.  

No hotter and no more humid than Florida where high-end outdoor malls and activity centers w/retail abound.

I get that there's no incentive for Simon Property Group to make a major change as the mall remains the bastion of luxury retail, the Carolinas are a captive market, and it's profitable with probably tons more capital needs at a host of other properties around the country.  

Frankly, should there ever be a high-end alternative to South Park, I'd rather it be in the form of a "stroll" district, inherently walkable/pedestrian-oriented, connected with transit, mixed-use with residential product embedded in its buildings, quirky with things like live performance art, and incorporating streetscape landmarks like a massive piazza or an urban promenade or perhaps even a greenway link, and of course, right in center city.  Maybe South End gets there eventually, but not enough scale and variety to say South End is even close to there yet.  I don't even know if I could legitimately tout a South End Shopping Day to any of my out-of-town visitors who want to "go shopping."

On a separate note, I wonder if anyone has come across a Handicraft complex in your travels or if anything like that exists in Charlotte.  Think Optimist Hall (old adaptive reuse complex), but with an abundance of artisan studios for truly local-creation shopping, instead of just food venues.  Is there a handicraft network in Charlotte?  

 

1 hour ago, JeanClt said:

My thoughts are that developing the surface lots around it should be done. Lots around malls are like deserts. Crossing a sizable parking lot feels like you’re walking and not making any progress, it’s mentally draining. As for the Mall itself I would say maybe somewhat enclosed on the top for weather protection. Like the Galleria in Milan someone mentioned somewhere can’t remember.

Galleria:
e887de3b953cadefe35eb250c5131cfa.jpg

I mean…the front entrance kind of already has the look already.
SouthPark:12d294c50887c5bd8d25f0efa866d699.jpg

You could just remove the current roofing and extend the glass over the other concourses and perhaps to make it feel more outdoors… aside from more natural light remove the physical doors/wall entirely at these entrances in red. The department stores are like dead ends and not proper entrances to the mall. Blue circles are domes or maybe even a pyramid: something that lets lots of natural light in.

3cadf556934f3504e2948da677497d25.jpg
919cecaa7d815ec4e8fc63818cee1e9b.jpg

It’s fun to explore what can be done to improve a place. This idea is much less destructive in terms of razing large portions as SydneyCarton mentioned but it got me thinking South Park can be a lot more than just a suburban mall. The addition of something like this would be a minor improvement in making it look and feel like outdoors and more inviting without too much demolition I’d guess.

Creative Genius post

Edited by RANYC
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Just going to say it.... I like that South Park is enclosed. I hate the cold, I hate being bundled up, and when it is 45 degrees outside and I'm making my visit to the mall for Christmas shopping.... I like having a short walk to getting inside in just a sweater and not needing to wear tons of layers. And yes, 45 degrees is on the colder end to me, since weather is subjective. I didn't grow up in a frozen tundra like Minnesota so things are relative. Vice versa, I like going to the mall in the summer cause it is a place I don't have to drip in humidity and can do practical shopping. 

I'd like a stroll district for when the weather is nice, but when I actually need to shop and not look at windows, I personally prefer a nice consistent 68 degree controlled environment. 

Edited by CLT2014
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33 minutes ago, atlrvr said:

https://www.google.com/search?q=city+creek+center&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiumPf-r7H0AhUNneAKHdu8AiwQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=city+creek+center&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQDFAAWABgAGgAcAB4AIABAIgBAJIBAJgBAKoBC2d3cy13aXotaW1n&sclient=img&ei=U2KeYe6iO426ggfb-YrgAg&bih=932&biw=1615&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS892US892

City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake is probably the closest thing we have here in the US.  It's seamlessly built into the city street grid.  Parking deck are effectively screened.  Glass roof promenades, and the roofs are retractable.

Jeez - Salt Lake City gets this.  We can do so much better Charlotte.

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1 hour ago, JeanClt said:

My thoughts are that developing the surface lots around it should be done. Lots around malls are like deserts. Crossing a sizable parking lot feels like you’re walking and not making any progress, it’s mentally draining. As for the Mall itself I would say maybe somewhat enclosed on the top for weather protection. Like the Galleria in Milan someone mentioned somewhere can’t remember.

Galleria:
e887de3b953cadefe35eb250c5131cfa.jpg

I mean…the front entrance kind of already has the look already.
SouthPark:12d294c50887c5bd8d25f0efa866d699.jpg

You could just remove the current roofing and extend the glass over the other concourses and perhaps to make it feel more outdoors… aside from more natural light remove the physical doors/wall entirely at these entrances in red. The department stores are like dead ends and not proper entrances to the mall. Blue circles are domes or maybe even a pyramid: something that lets lots of natural light in.

3cadf556934f3504e2948da677497d25.jpg
919cecaa7d815ec4e8fc63818cee1e9b.jpg

It’s fun to explore what can be done to improve a place. This idea is much less destructive in terms of razing large portions as SydneyCarton mentioned but it got me thinking South Park can be a lot more than just a suburban mall. The addition of something like this would be a minor improvement in making it look and feel like outdoors and more inviting without too much demolition I’d guess.

Changing to a glass roof would be costly but much simpler than removing the roof entirely. If you remove the roof over the walkways then you have to change every single storefront to have its own parapet and waterproofing system, whereas now each one just goes up to the "ceiling" and then it's all waterproofed as one big system. Theoretically you could just cut out the walkway roof and put a glass one on. If you inset it from the storefronts by a couple feet or so, you wouldn't even need to change anything at each specific store.

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2 minutes ago, CLT2014 said:

Just going to say it.... I like that South Park is enclosed. I hate the cold, I hate being bundled up, and when it is 45 degrees outside and I'm making my visit to the mall for Christmas shopping.... I like having a short walk to getting inside and not wearing tons of layers. Vice versa, I like going to the mall in the summer cause it is a place I don't have to drip in humidity. 

I'd like a stroll district for when the weather is nice, but when I actually need to shop and not look at windows, I personally prefer a nice consistent 68 degree controlled environment. 

There's a way to combine elements of both - a hybrid approach.  Also, take a look at JeanCLT's post about re-designing for more natural light.  Further, I simply don't find our weather to be all that extreme, tbh.  Pretty temperate actually.  Sure, if you are doing intensive shopping at 12-4 in the afternoon in the dead of summer, unpleasant.  But our summer evenings are the best if it's not storming, which really doesn't happen that frequently.  Out winters are short and a cake-walk...nothing a few layers can't solve.

3 minutes ago, CLT2014 said:

We just need a mall built and owned by a world wide church like Salt Lake that attracts pilgrims to visit a temple

Louis Vuitton for the pilgrims.

I don't think key design elements of that mall are out of reach for Charlotte.  Yes, we're working on our tourism game but we'll get there.

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15 minutes ago, RANYC said:

There's a way to combine elements of both - a hybrid approach.  Also, take a look at JeanCLT's post about re-designing for more natural light.  Further, I simply don't find our weather to be all that extreme, tbh.  Pretty temperate actually.  Sure, if you are doing intensive shopping at 12-4 in the afternoon in the dead of summer, unpleasant.  But our summer evenings are the best if it's not storming, which really doesn't happen that frequently.  Out winters are short and a cake-walk...nothing a few layers can't solve.

Weather is subjective so agree to disagree. In my opinion the winter is cold enough that I would prefer to be inside for shopping on many days, especially during the Christmas rush that makes up a significant portion of the mall's sales. For other people, they may not think it is cold. I just know what I would prefer given our winters and summers and how I feel about it. The mall is also busiest during the middle of the day. 12PM - 4PM is the mall's peak hours and people start to transition to dinner plans after 5PM. I think other people look for opportunities to be inside on hot and cold days as well for shopping.... just look at Ikea. Hot day... PACKED. Cold day... PACKED. Beautiful fall day.... not so busy cause people can be outside. 

I think a retractable roof system would be nice and adding more natural light would be cool, but probably wouldn't change how much I personally spend at the mall each year. If Simon decided to put one in, I'd be excited about it.

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26 minutes ago, CLT2014 said:

Weather is subjective so agree to disagree. In my opinion the winter is cold enough that I would prefer to be inside for shopping on many days, especially during the Christmas rush that makes up a significant portion of the mall's sales. For other people, they may not think it is cold. I just know what I would prefer given our winters and summers and how I feel about it. The mall is also busiest during the middle of the day. 12PM - 4PM is the mall's peak hours and people start to transition to dinner plans after 5PM. I think other people look for opportunities to be inside on hot and cold days as well for shopping.... just look at Ikea. Hot day... PACKED. Cold day... PACKED. Beautiful fall day.... not so busy cause people can be outside. 

I think a retractable roof system would be nice and adding more natural light would be cool, but probably wouldn't change how much I personally spend at the mall each year. If Simon decided to put one in, I'd be excited about it.

Yes, agree to disagree.  But given the well-documented trend concerning outdoor and open-air malls/shopping districts including in the sunbelt, I do believe it'll be here in Charlotte eventually, and perhaps will be phased in over time even at Southpark mall, where retrofits have more of an outdoor-oriented design.  Some people have a tough time in the elements, especially where they are used to constant climate control, but again, as long as any Charlotte outdoor district has ample shade, I think it can and will thrive.  Wonder if outdoor malls are greener/use less energy than indoor.  Expect eco-rehabilitation (i.e. buildings going green or increasing energy efficiency) to sweep malls and other structures in the coming years.  All kinds of investor pressure on every industry to develop and deploy green/carbon-neutral/carbon-zero strategies.  Retail not exempt.  Will be interesting to watch.

Edited by RANYC
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Weather is subjective so agree to disagree. In my opinion the winter is cold enough that I would prefer to be inside for shopping on many days, especially during the Christmas rush that makes up a significant portion of the mall's sales. For other people, they may not think it is cold. I just know what I would prefer given our winters and summers and how I feel about it. The mall is also busiest during the middle of the day. 12PM - 4PM is the mall's peak hours and people start to transition to dinner plans after 5PM. I think other people look for opportunities to be inside on hot and cold days as well for shopping.... just look at Ikea. Hot day... PACKED. Cold day... PACKED. Beautiful fall day.... not so busy cause people can be outside. 
I think a retractable roof system would be nice and adding more natural light would be cool, but probably wouldn't change how much I personally spend at the mall each year. If Simon decided to put one in, I'd be excited about it.

How much time do you spend looking for a store than actually going into a store? Lol.

The stores themselves should be climate controlled individually. I don’t know if they are? What I was describing doesn’t have to be necessarily truly “open air.” I just feel the mall looks a little gloomy and could use some natural light and that doesn’t need to have a retractable roof. That is simply another example of what something better than what currently exists.

Also you get a sense of time if you can see the sky. I don’t want to speak for other people but when I’m strolling a mall or spending hours in a building I’d at least like to have a notion about what’s going on outside, but that just relative. To be honest I think the worst part of the cold is wind. When it’s cold and the the air is still I am rarely ever cold with a reasonable number of layers (typically fine in this case with a sweater).
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I went inside Southpark probably twice in 2020.  There was a tornado warning one time and my friends and I were rushed outside the individual store (in this case UnTuckit)  into the general mall area which was strange since I would have rather been inside a store.  I asked my friend from Charleston if she wanted to go in the food court rest rooms and she protested " I am not going in there with a bunch of sweaty people I will take my chances out here"  LOL needless to say there was no tornado right at the mall but there was a touchdown somewhere in Meck county.  I would have liked a few skylights that day for sure. 

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6 hours ago, RANYC said:

Yes, agree to disagree.  But given the well-documented trend concerning outdoor and open-air malls/shopping districts including in the sunbelt, I do believe it'll be here in Charlotte eventually, and perhaps will be phased in over time even at Southpark mall, where retrofits have more of an outdoor-oriented design.  Some people have a tough time in the elements, especially where they are used to constant climate control, but again, as long as any Charlotte outdoor district has ample shade, I think it can and will thrive.  Wonder if outdoor malls are greener/use less energy than indoor.  Expect eco-rehabilitation (i.e. buildings going green or increasing energy efficiency) to sweep malls and other structures in the coming years.  All kinds of investor pressure on every industry to develop and deploy green/carbon-neutral/carbon-zero strategies.  Retail not exempt.  Will be interesting to watch.


I agree with you, just not about SouthPark mall.

I think malls in general are moving in the direction of which you describe, but I think most cities will retain at least 1 (or more for larger cities) traditional-like premium malls that have flagship stores. 

 

Edited by AirNostrumMAD
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10 hours ago, atlrvr said:

https://www.google.com/search?q=city+creek+center&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiumPf-r7H0AhUNneAKHdu8AiwQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=city+creek+center&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQDFAAWABgAGgAcAB4AIABAIgBAJIBAJgBAKoBC2d3cy13aXotaW1n&sclient=img&ei=U2KeYe6iO426ggfb-YrgAg&bih=932&biw=1615&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS892US892

City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake is probably the closest thing we have here in the US.  It's seamlessly built into the city street grid.  Parking deck are effectively screened.  Glass roof promenades, and the roofs are retractable.

I mean Carolina Place Mall is the closest to this I think we will ever get.. lol all glass roof.

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There is no chance SouthPark converts to an all open air mall. As others have said, it really just isn’t necessary. The mall being enclosed doesn’t make it any less desirable to tenants or visitors because it’s appearance is kept up with and the area surrounding it is thriving.
 

It would be great to have the outdoor portion of the mall where Dick’s, Reids, and the food court entrance is repurposed to include an outdoor shopping area, especially with the CPK space still sitting vacant. Another possibility is to connect the main mall to The Village at SouthPark. 

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I sort of have a distaste to this mall because it is partly a reason why uptown lacks retail. Suburbia sucks the life out of uptown and renders it an office area primarily. Not much shopping in uptown. Maybe I wouldn’t be too distasteful of it if it were more walkable and accessible by transit and such. It could be a shopping district for Charlotte…but it is rather an uninspired warehouse surrounded by hoards of parking. No reason to deny it isn’t successful though.

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1 hour ago, JeanClt said:

I sort of have a distaste to this mall because it is partly a reason why uptown lacks retail. Suburbia sucks the life out of uptown and renders it an office area primarily. Not much shopping in uptown. Maybe I wouldn’t be too distasteful of it if it were more walkable and accessible by transit and such. It could be a shopping district for Charlotte…but it is rather an uninspired warehouse surrounded by hoards of parking. No reason to deny it isn’t successful though.

I agree.  Southpark mall is a profitable, complacent, missed opportunity.  All that there is to it.  I know so many people who shop there because it's the only place to find high-end, chain-luxury retail, and those retailers likely feel they must be at Southpark if they're to be in the Carolinas because no other developers or landlords are really pitching them in this market.  These retailers are really only interested in a limited presence here anyway, so one location at Southpark is enough.  But if ever someone were to come along with a much more walkable, activity-center product, Southpark's dominance would be up for disruption.

Then again, new high-end retail is so tough to get financed.  It's quite possible that although Charlotte is fast-growing, the bulk of discretionary income earners who can patronize luxury retail are largely suburban or like shopping at suburban product.  Dare I say it, they may even be up in age and want to just park close to the entrance and do what they need to do.  Not sure if Charlotte is quite yet the market with 20 and 30-something investment bankers and traders splurging en masse after 6-figure year-end bonuses.

Edited by RANYC
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25 minutes ago, atlrvr said:

Simon also engaged in anti-competitive practices for many years.  For many stores that considered opening additional locations, Simon would remind them their lease renewal was coming up soon, so consider their plans wisely.  

That stinks.  Do you happen to know which retailers were considering additional stores before they were reminded of which side their bread was buttered?  Curious now...

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I’m not sure that without the mall, we’d have half the high end retailers we do.  I don’t see Neiman’s, LV, Gucci, etc anywhere physically else here.  I know what you’re saying, but I don’t think we’d have what we have if it weren’t for SP.  I could be wrong though.  

I meant to say it is successful I think I worded that wrong.
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