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Crabtree Valley Mall

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Gosh, I can't wait for that Speedo store to open.

Strange thing about that list is that it lists Spencer and the TenderBox as "new". Perhaps they meant new locations as those stores were in the mall when it originally opened, IIRC.

Both were at the mall before, but Spencer's moved into its current space in the mid-'90s, and Tinder Box moved as well, though Tinder Box moved again into part of the Great Train Store/Caswell-Massey space around 2003. Edited by StevenRocks

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I thought the Great Train Store was neat, but knew it would be hard to make a business out of it. The Lindt chocolate store has been there a while. I don't remember Caswell-Massie being in that space. I know there was a Crabtree and Evelin (sp?) somehwere down that way before moving to center court.

I thought Crabtree wanted to save the spaces by Hudson Belk, but I guess the restaurants want to move in ASAP. I didn't stop in, but while driving by yesterday, I noticed a construction fence went up for the other part of the deck between Barnes and Noble and Belk.

It will be built with the three restaurant spaces on top, which will probably open by this time next year.

The N&O's retailing column said the larger remodeled Pottery Barn is now open, and the Abercrombe & Fitch "intimates" spinoff Arie is open too.

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Over the summer, we went to Southpark and spent a fair amount of time at the Caswell-Massey store there.

I hope their past failure does not keep them from returning to the Triangle market, as the demographics and demand for that level of luxury products is a lot different now. Maybe in the wing below the Belks Men store, or near Saks in Triangle Town Center.

Southpoint's L'Occitane en Provence seems similar to me, though I'm happy with any soap that leaves me clean.

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L'Occitane en Provence is similar to Caswell-Massey, but it has more of a French sensibility to it. Caswell-Massey is more of a classic American apothecary.

They may come back. They're very selective about expansion, but nothing's impossible.

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Stopped by Crabtree last night, and the extended parking deck is finished--if not the new retail area. Is the new retail going to be built at ground level or 1 floor up (flooding)?

It's amazing how many parking decks there are now--the entire mall is surrounded! I know Crabtree is landlocked by roads and the creek, but I wish Southpoint could learn a thing or two about managing their land better. <_<

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Made my way to Crabtree today. The new deck really helps alleviate some of the parking problems, but it still is a mess. Here are some other observations:

-- Forever 21 is gonna be a huge store. The one opening in Hanes Mall in Winston is big, but it isnt have the size of the one in Crabtree. It wont open until December.

-- The new entrance is nice, it just needs some new tenants to the Raleigh area to spice things up.

-- The remodeling of the main Belk is finished. It is pretty nice, reminiscent of a Nordstrom in my opinion. It is less crowded and there are more retailers who have their own in-store type boutiques, like Kate Spade, Coach, Brighton, Lacoste, and Juicy Couture. they also have added new retailers like Marc by Marc Jacobs and Free People. It was pretty stylish. Way to make an impact Belk!

other than that, the mall was packed as usual. Some of the new stores were nice, but more along the trendy urban stores rather than brand retailers. Oh well at least the mall is doing well.

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Has anyone else had trouble parking in the new deck and walking to the mall without walking in a traffic lane? We parked off the first ramp up and had to walk along a fairly narrow traffic lane, with two way traffic (from Belk to B&N) to get to Belks. Does anyone else have this problem? What were the designers thinking? Pretty dangerous walking, especially if you have more than one person (or in my case, me and three kids!). At least with a crowd, cars can see you.

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I saw in the N&O that Forever XXI isn't opening till just before Christmas. The Crate and Barrel were just as busy having nothing across the mall for months. Someone at C&B said they were looking at being able to stock more furniture, but I didn't press them for details. Maybe a move to center court or out to the proposed outdoor centers behind the mall?

I have yet to attempt the new deck (I like parking near the new entrance by the former L&T), but did notice a new "you are in deck X" sign between Belk and the bus station. The current configuration may be temporary, until they finish the other piece that will be under the restaurants. During our trip, we thought about going from Belk to B&N but without an obvious pedestrian connection (and cold weather) we decided against it.

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The Crate and Barrel were just as busy having nothing across the mall for months. Someone at C&B said they were looking at being able to stock more furniture, but I didn't press them for details. Maybe a move to center court or out to the proposed outdoor centers behind the mall?
I thought it was a major missed opportunity when the space at Center Court was reconfigured without considering a Crate & Barrel expansion.

Probably the best option they have while staying in the mall would be to take over one or both of the massive spaces beside them going towards Macy's. FootAction is oversize and relocatable, and the space at the end of the mall hasn't successfully held a tenant in years.

Unfortunately, that option wouldn't help with the store's visibility, which leads me to think that they're going to move to their own pad as soon as one becomes available. I'd like to see them stay at Crabtree, but there's no really good spot for them that can be seen from the highway.

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Last night's trip to Crabtree was interesting. For the other half of the new parking deck between Belks and B&N, the holes cut out of the pavement are pretty big -- at least 6 x 6 feet or more. The "new" part seems closer to B&N than the now open part as well. Anchors/pilings seem to have been set in most of the holes I could look into.

As it is now, there is *no* pedestrian connection from the service center to mall proper. I hope that will be fixed when the deck is finished, but right now cars don't want to share the road. I also noticed gate mechanisims at the bottom of the up ramp on the ground level. This will could be valet parking for the three new restaurants?

In the mall itself, there is a temporary (?) Dewy's cookies stand in the middle of the "new" entrance in the old first floor of Lord and Tayolor, similar to the Cameron Village store. The temporary games/toy store is near Belks in the old Gadzooks space on the second floor. The Best Buy Mobile is now open on the second floor, a couple of doors off center court toward Belks. There was no "sign" on the top of the entrance as of last night, which was odd. It looked about the same as the CV store -- the selection of the cell phone section in a Best Buy meets the layout of dedicated AT&T, Sprit/Nextel, and Verizon stores -- with a few accessories and ipods thrown in for good measure. The christmas store is in the old Discovery store space. The toy/games store and Chrismas stores used to be in the Forever 21 wing... it is weird seeing them elsewhere.

Martin + Osa is taking the old Lane Bryant space near the food court/Sears court. Clicking on their "Corporate" link points to American Eagle, and the site looks like outdoor/casual for a slightly older (mid-late 20s through late 40s) customers. It seems pretty close, in market and physical location, to the J. Crew downstairs.

In the food court there is now Crisp -- kinda like Moe's or Steak Escape, but with salad, and the "North Carolina store" is bigger (no more popcorn store) but only sells college stuff from State, Carolina, Duke, ECU, App State, etc. and some John Deere ornaments. No Hurricanes, Panthers, or Bobcats gear.

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That's way too trendy for me!

Hah...I hear that. Although---all that wood everywhere momentarily reminded me of Great Outdoor Provision Company. :lol:

Also...someone mentioned Best Buy Mobile.....I just noticed the other day they put one in Cameron Village. Funny part was I didn't see the "mobile" part of their sign at first. Completely shocked me there for a minute. ^_^

Edited by RaleighRob

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From the pictures, Martin and Osa doesn't look too different from J.Crew, only with more wood than plain white walls.

The (Forever) XXI is large and bright/shiny. It looked women's only, but I didn't go inside. It seemed to be quite busy, though I was there on the 26th/returns day.

Dewy's cookies stand was packed up and gone before new year's, and the Cameron Village store was emptied too. Most of the stores seem to be spoken for, except the temporary seasonal spaces (decorations in the old Discovery store, games store in the former Gadzooks), the going out of business Bombay, and the ad corridor that used to be Lord & Taylor's first floor space.

The restaurant spaces are going up next to Belk's, but it looks like there will be less parking associated with them than the early plans indicated, since there is just steel going all the way to the newish parking deck, but it is still early in construction.

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Thanks for the updates. I haven't had a chance to visit Crabtree since well before Christmas.

Forever XXI is primarily a women's store. I think they may sell some menswear in larger markets, but I don't really know, as I've never been in their stores.

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Forever XXI is primarily a women's store. I think they may sell some menswear in larger markets, but I don't really know, as I've never been in their stores.

Yeah, the website had me believing they sold both, so when I walked into the store and saw nothing but dresses and girls fawning over them, I quickly left. ^_^

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Long time tenant Luggage and Leather is not renewing their lease after 30 years. They were one of the few locally owned stores, and carried a decent selection at decent prices. The article also says Zales is moving to the Friedman's/Babbages space. Babbages is another closure due to the Gamestop merger, consolidating them and Electronics Botique/EB Games.

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How's the construction coming on Restaurant Row next to Hudson Belk?

They have the metal studs up for the exterior walls and are applying the styrofoam insulation. Sorry I didn't get a pic when I was there yesterday.

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McCormick & Schmick's is pushing for a July 4th opening while the other two tenants -- Brio and Fleming's, are content with October.

The Martin + Osa opens mid March. There was another article about several stores moving to temporary locations as their normal locations get rennovations over the next several months. But nothing about what will fill in the gaps created by Bombay, Discover Channel store, old Zales space (unless Friedman's is moving there), etc. The Sharper Image space might need a new tenant soon too. It filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans on closing half of its stores. Maybe the high tech/gadget obsessed area will be considered enough to support the Southpoint and Crabtree stores, but I think only one will survive. It will be interesting to see which one makes the cut.

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