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csedwards72

Charlotte dead/dying malls

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Being newish to Charlotte, I'm curious about Charlotte's slew of dead/dying malls. I'd assume that what killed/is killing most of them is being located in lower-income areas, more than competition from other malls. Any insights about the history, reasons for decline and future prospects of Eastland Mall, Midtown Square (I know its future plans, but what killed it?), Northpark Mall (apparently with a former Target, on N. Tryon St.) and Freedom Mall would be most welcome! Thanks.

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Here's my 2 cents. I'm sure others can add more.

Eastland- It's not a bad mall. I shop there but to be honest I don't like going at night on a weekend. Too many kids. From what I've heard, the owners don't want to put the money into renovate the mall. he wicty has plans of it it eventually becoming some sort of town center.

I dont' remember North Park Mall ever being a big destination. I rarely went. It did have a Target, but that store relocated to the University area nd became a Super Target.

Midtown hung around a littel too long and needed to close. There was nothing really there but a sup par food court and Burlington Coat Factory. I think it even stay open for a while after Burlington closed.

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competition, demographics and age.

Smaller malls in older neighborhoods suffer from all three. Newer, trendier malls are tough to compete with. Leapfrog surburban flight causes demographic shifts of the neighborhoods in the inner 'tree rings', which typically have less discretionary wealth for retail shopping, which also leads to competition with discount retailer like walmart. The malls are old, which makes them less attractive, less trendy, and less able to take advantage of the more recent retail trends.

These old malls must remake themselves as a more typical stripmall (ala Cotswald), or a new urban towncenter (ala Eastland's plans for the JC Penny land, where outdoor shops are added), or almost completely rebuild and rebrand (ala South Park and Midtown Sq).

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I dont' remember North Park Mall ever being a big destination.  I rarely went.  It did have a Target, but that store relocated to the University area nd became a Super Target.

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It's not a SuperTarget, it's still regular

Basically as Dubone and Seeker said, these malls had to evolve or die. Their demos did change with the area and stuff started to be built farther away from the malls. Even malls open today had to evolve with JC Penney leaving Eastland and Sears leaving SouthPark. There's probably gonna be even more changes on the horizon for Eastland with Northlake and especially the Bridges at Mint Hill malls opening.

As for the smaller malls that began with Richway and Kroger (later Target and Bi-Lo), they died and changed. For Westpark and Northpark, they lost Target as the Target store for Westpark moved from Tyvola Rd down to South Blvd & 485 and the Target store for Northpark moved from Eastway Drive to Hwy 49 & WT Harris Blvd. I'm not sure what's going on at Freedom, i know some stores are still open but I've not been that way in ages. And then malls like Midtown, which aren't in a bad area of town necessairly, are in midst of revitalization and hopefully it will turn into something great for the community.

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You can also add into the matrix the push of giant big-box retailers who constantly build, stay a couple of years, then close and move further out in the burbs. It happens in every American city...all of which have big-box skeletons to prove it.

Zoning regs are also partially to blame.

The only older shopping centers that have been able to stay profitable are the ones who have been fortunate enough to have moderate- to upper-income neighborhoods around them remain healthy...Park Rd Shopping Center, Cotswold, and SouthPark.

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Being newish to Charlotte, I'm curious about Charlotte's slew of dead/dying malls.  I'd assume that what killed/is killing most of them is being located in lower-income areas, more than competition from other malls.  Any insights about the history, reasons for decline and future prospects of Eastland Mall, Midtown Square (I know its future plans, but what killed it?), Northpark Mall (apparently with a former Target, on N. Tryon St.) and Freedom Mall would be most welcome!  Thanks.

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Northpark Mall, Freedom Mall, and the Westpark Mall (destroyed for costco) were a concept of putting a large department store and grocery store into the same complex. In the 1970s when these opened they were all bounded by a Richway Dept Store and a Kroger SaveOn Grocery store. Inside the malls were the typical mall stores of the time, GNC, Record Bar, Orange Julius, etc. Throughout the late 70s and early 80s these places were destinations and offered an alternative to going to the mega malls of Eastland or Southpark.

As mentioned above changing demographics hurt these places as well as the selloff of Richway (eventually became Target) and Kroger (Bilo bought all of the Charlotte stores) Both retailers had moved to building much larger stores than what was available in these mini-malls and eventually they closed down them down. By the mid-90s, the mini-malls where shells of their former selves.

Midtown square was actually opened as Charlottetown Mall in the 1950s. It was North Carolina's first enclosed mall. It was basically killed by Southpark and Eastland and the really bad urban renewal that came with building I-277. It went through its first major rennovation in the 1982 to become Outlet Mall, and when that didn't work, they tried again with the mini-mall approach by creating Midtown Square. (there was a Harris Teeter in it at the time). It suffered the same failure as the mini-malls mentioned above.

Eastland opened to much fanfare in 1975 was mainly responsible for the building of East Charlotte. Its demise came however when middle class Charlotte became much more affluent in the late 1980s and started to move out. As mentioned above this changing demographic resulted in the fall of Eastland and now it is perceived by most of Charlotte to be an unsafe place to go.

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I think it definetly has to do with demographics,gentrification,and lack of staying competative.

Eastland Mall used to be one of the best malls in Charlotte. I used to live in the area, and I have watched the downfall of that area. Gentrification of areas like 4th Ward, Plaza Midwood, Wilmore areas pused Section 8 housing more toward the outskirts of the city. I use to walk down Farm Pond Ln in East Charlotte late at night all the time (cira early 90's). Now that is something I would not like to attempt. Eastland also did not keep up with the times, ex. expanding,renovations.

The same falls with the other malls, the demographics of the areas they where in did not justify them to add these expansions simply because the areas property values where not as high as areas like South Park,Pineville,etc. Therefore the malls are generating less profits on spending and lease agreements.

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What's interesting about Eastland Mall is that's not really dead but not really alive.

The crowds are there on weekends and the stores are filled, but there's a lack of interest by the developer to do anything positive to the place; kind of like they're hoping it will fail, but scared to rock to boat just in case things do work out.

I wish they'd sell it to someone who cares.

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What's interesting about Eastland Mall is that's not really dead but not really alive. 

The crowds are there on weekends and the stores are filled, but there's a lack of interest by the developer to do anything positive to the place; kind of like they're hoping it will fail, but scared to rock to boat just in case things do work out. 

I wish they'd sell it to someone who cares.

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Glimcher is the owner...they historically have owned mostly B-/C assets with an eye toward redevelopment/repositioning. However, they plan to dispose of the bottom quartile of portfolio in next couple yrs - an I would bet Eastland would fall into that category. Hopefully its bought by an owner who indeed does care.

By the way, the only thing worth saving there is the Eastland logo. I hope they auction it off on eBay, this time I'll make sure I win...most recently I was outbid on the Enron "E" by some guy up in Lake Norman :lol:

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Peeps collect the oddest things.    :lol:

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Once several new Charlotte malls open, I think that Dillard's at least at Eastland will relocate to one of them. That leaves Belk, which owns its own building, Sears and Burlington Coat Factory (which must have a 5-10 year lease, at least) as anchors; perhaps Belk or Sears will relocate as well. Given Eastland's steady draw of customers, I think it'll linger on for a while more, but it'd be hard-pressed to become a class A mall again anytime soon. Poor thing.

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Once several new Charlotte malls open, I think that Dillard's at least at Eastland will relocate to one of them.  That leaves Belk, which owns its own building, Sears and Burlington Coat Factory (which must have a 5-10 year lease, at least) as anchors; perhaps Belk or Sears will relocate as well.  Given Eastland's steady draw of customers, I think it'll linger on for a while more, but it'd be hard-pressed to become a class A mall again anytime soon.  Poor thing.

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Belk will high tail it out of Eastland once their Eastland lease is up Bridges store is open and Eastland will crumble over and die and then eventually be replaced by a Wal Mart supercenter probably.

Also, Glimcher has YET to add Burlington Coat Factory to their mall's floorplan

mallmap.gif

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^ Yeah, Belk's a goner at Eastland and probably Dillard's, though really I hope something good comes in to replace them like Macy's (which is taking over Hecht's soon). Macy's operates successfully in malls similar to Eastland in urban areas like Atlanta.

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maybe Macy's but i doub't it.. I mean Macy's (rich's) has been at some of those eastland-type malls for years, but i don't know if they'd open a new store in a "dying" mall

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I think Steve & Barry's Sportswear is a good candidate for Eastland if other anchors leave. Look at Savannah Mall and Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach.

Eastland is thriving, but just not with traditional national chains that filled it 10 years ago.

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Eastland Mall is a joke, and so is the Harris Teeter next to it. Both of these places have so much theft, and as a one time chain store manager inside the mall, I can vouch for that. If something was done to combat the crime that goes on, it might survive, but judging from the high crime area that it is in, this probably will never happen. The police just sort of let the people at the mall fight the crime themselves, hoping that everyone will just close their stores someday. It would probably be better served if they demolished the mall and put up an Aldi's or a Wal-Mart.

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It's a shame to hear it has turned into such a place. I remember when it opened it was considered the best mall in the Carolinas. People would travel to Charlotte just to see Eastland.

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I don't know....maybe I'm just young....but I don't see Eastland Mall as a modern-day hellhole. All the mall needs is a chance & a developer that'll spruce it up ALOT in order to cater to the present demographics of the mall. I think that it should be extended all the way down to the old Hannaford lot....its a thought. It would be a shame if it closed down without @ least trying to give it a much needed facelift.

Why all the parking lots surrounding Eastland Mall? Were they EVER filled up when the mall first opened?

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^yes there was a time where it was HARD to find parking at Eastland. It would be a shame if it closed down, I don't want to see that happen, I'd like to see a facelift too.. even if it does become a discount mall or something

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The dollar store that filled the vacant grocery store at Northpark Mall on N. Tryon has closed- now when the C-class replacement tenant for a vacant grocery store closes, that is sad.

What's interesting as well is that some of Charlotte's dying enclosed malls have seemingly thriving strip centers nearby.

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The dollar store that filled the vacant grocery store at Northpark Mall on N. Tryon has closed- now when the C-class replacement tenant for a vacant grocery store closes, that is sad.

What's interesting as well is that some of Charlotte's dying enclosed malls have seemingly thriving strip centers nearby.

what are some examples of this?

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Northpark is in poor shape, with only a Kimbrell's furniture store anchor and a nearly completely vacant interior part, and now missing an anchor at the other end of the mall, yet there is a strip mall to the east of the mall that seems to be nearly fully leased, even with some national chains.

Freedom Mall is also a dying mall yet there are strip malls in better condition around it.

Eastland is also a sad property, yet there are some newish strip centers around it that look OK and seem to be well-leased; I can't remember the names of those strip malls but maybe Eastway Crossing is the name of one of them?

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