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carolinaboy

Could MacArthur Mall again be downtown's savior?

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Just me thinking out loud here. 

With apparent declining retail for MacArthur Mall (like a lot of malls), could it be possible to re-purpose most of the mall to act again as a catalyst for downtown growth?

  • keep the structured parking
  • get an urban Target in one of the anchor spaces
  • retrofit the building for better ground floor and street accessible retail for those retailers that can and want to stay
  • retrofit the building with the 15k to 18k multi-purpose arena.
  • retrofit the building to include a new convention center
  • use the vacant anchor lot for a concept like the Starwood proposal/idea
  • 2 light rail stops are in the immediate vicinity (no need to extend light-rail to not served areas)
  • rewards Hilton and other developers who have taken financial risks by locating downtown
  • right in the heart of downtown Norfolk
  • easy access from the interstates
  • Scope can stay as-is (historic/architecturally significant structure)
  • proximity to the waterfront
  • proximity to Granby Street and downtown commercial streets
  • could help spur redevelopment in SPQ
  • located centrally in the region
  • water/sewer/electric/fiber infrastructure probably in place (I figure a mall has to have quite a bit of water/sewer capacity available)
  • proximity to other attractions like Harbor Park, MacArthur Memorial, Nauticus and Battleship Wisconsin, Town Point Park, Scope and Chrysler Hall, Opera House, Chrysler Museum, Zoo, Botanical Garden, etc. (not stuck out somewhere where visitors don't have easy access to these things)
  • would bring a lot of people downtown for hotels, food, shopping, etc.
  • The arena could try to get MEAC, A-10, C-USA, NCAA tournaments

 

What say you?

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Knock down half the structure like they did with Waterside and redevelop the land in way that's integrated with the rest of downtown. Include pedestrian streets connecting the parking garages to light rail, Granby and new St. Paul's district. Replace dead, unwanted retailers with affordable housing in a desirable place to live. My two cents (that I say a lot)

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Today's HearSay show on WHRV features Kimberly Shelton from the Pilot, there to talk about the future of the mall. I'll try to listen to as much as I can and report back...

 

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The reporter was actually Kimberly Pierceall, but she and Jared Chalk didn't offer too many earth-shattering details. If I heard correctly, the city's Redevelopment and Housing Authority owns the land and building where Nordstrom sits, so they actually have a little say in the future of the property. 

Cathy Lewis mentioned a rumor that City Hall is looking to relocate to the Nordstrom space, but neither Kimberly or Jared could confirm. 

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5 hours ago, BFG said:

The reporter was actually Kimberly Pierceall, but she and Jared Chalk didn't offer too many earth-shattering details. If I heard correctly, the city's Redevelopment and Housing Authority owns the land and building where Nordstrom sits, so they actually have a little say in the future of the property. 

Cathy Lewis mentioned a rumor that City Hall is looking to relocate to the Nordstrom space, but neither Kimberly or Jared could confirm. 

This could be very good because that would mean they’re trying to free up land in their current location, which is at the end of it’s useful life and prime for demolition and replacement with a new office tower.

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Chalk at least seemed confident that there would be, even though he can't say what yet, some significant changes to the mall. Office conversion seems likely to me. Probably similar to the two mall redevelopments going on outside Richmond right now

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