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monsoon

Charlotte's Asian Mall

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Great Pics monsoon....The Asian Mall really is a neat place and I recommend that everyone should go check it out...it is Charlotte's "Chinatown"

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This mall's story sounds pretty familiar to Gateway Mall in Jacksonville. The 600,000sf mall/strip plaza was built in 1954 and was originally anchored by a JCPenney, Zarye, and May. After white flight and losing most of its chain tenants to newer suburban malls, Gateway has now emerged as an African-American oriented mall, focusing on the needs of its nearby inner city neighborhoods with a Publix grocery store, ethnic restaurants, and several mom & pop retail outlets. One of these days, I'll post a couple of pics.

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This sort of reminds me of the strip of Chinese grocers in the suburbs NE of Atlanta.... unfortunately the South still has much to aim for as far as an international array of immigration is concerned, but with a lack of historic "downtowns" it's great to see these plazas spring up.

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I remember going to the Tryon mall as a kid in the early 80's, late 70's... and I remember how it was in the late 80's and early 90's...

It's funny how they changed the "ethnicity" of the mall and the crime dissapeared, contrastually, it's interesting how Eastland started marketing towards a certain "ethnicity" in the mid 90's and how it's come to destroy them.

Just an observation.

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This mall's story sounds pretty familiar to Gateway Mall in Jacksonville.  The 600,000sf mall/strip plaza was built in 1954 and was originally anchored by a JCPenney, Zarye, and May.  After white flight and losing most of its chain tenants to newer suburban malls, Gateway has now emerged as an African-American oriented mall, focusing on the needs of its nearby inner city neighborhoods with a Publix grocery store, ethnic restaurants, and several mom & pop retail outlets.  One of these days, I'll post a couple of pics.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So that is what that thing is. It is that huge peachy building that is just after exiting downtown heading north on I-95 right? Somewhere by Raines and Ribault?

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A lot of people from all over town are heading to those grocery stores to buy authentic items they can't get at the regular grocery stores.

I've thought that Cental Ave. between Plaza-Midwood and Eastland would make a great Asian district. There is already a hefty amount of Asian businesses in the area and with a little Asian-styled pedestrian freindly development to compliment the new streetcar line it would be a great neighborhood. The streetcar would also provide easy access to the neighborhood for convention tourists. Having an Asian distict neighborhood below Plaza-Midwood would also be a great compliment to Plaza-Midwood. I know BofA is targeting Chinese and Vietnamese demographics right now and it would be great to see BofA step up and try to reinvegorate that neighborhood with other local developers. Having the neighborhood on a transit line would also help developers in getting aid from the city and getting riders on to public transit. I really think just a couple of new buildings could really turn that area around and act as a catalyst for a really great Asian District.

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I use to go to that mall during the 80's before it changed to Asian Corner. I remember that there use to be a Hardee's on that lot before it turned into a Mexican restaurant. And there was a grocery store called "Park n Shop" of something. I don't remember much more than that. Back then we mostly went to Eastland Mall and the mall at Eastway and Tryon where Big Lots (Formerly Three Guys) is located. I never went inside Asian Corner because I usually go to the University area.

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The interior of that Asian mall must never have been remodeled since it was built; it's just like Bell Tower Mall in Greenville, SC, which was also anchored by a Woolco. There must be dozens or more malls like this around the US; I assume that Woolco had a real estate department that had form plans for Woolco-anchored malls.

When did Tryon Mall go under? What stores were in the enclosed part? That mall was really interesting; visiting it is like going back in time.

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Yes the interior looks just as it did the first time I walked in there in 1978. Only the stores are different now. The interior of the mall contained the typical mall stores of the time. This mall was a little different in that it also had stores that opened to the outside. I remember Eckerd's Drugs, Queen City Appliances, and Radio Shack on the outside. There were several outbuildings such as Firestone Tire (burned to the ground) Hardee's, Shoney's across the street and a few that I don't remember now. The Eckerds included a small cafeteria which many of them did in those days.

The Mall started its decline in the early 80s with the national fall of Woolco and the loss of the N. Tryon area as a middle class neighborhood. Most of it was due to white flight as they blockbusted Hidden Valley (large 60s subdivision near there) and the area changed in less than 5 years. I moved from the area in 1980 and did not pay a visit again until 1985 and I was shocked by the change. By 1990, the interior of the mall was very dangerous place and was to be avoided. Thankfully the Asian sisters that bought the place have done a remarkable job of cleaning it up.

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Yes the interior looks just as it did the first time I walked in there in 1978.  Only the stores are different now.  The interior of the mall contained the typical mall stores of the time.  This mall was a little different in that it also had stores that opened to the outside.  I remember Eckerd's Drugs, Queen City Appliances, and Radio Shack on the outside.  There were several outbuildings such as Firestone Tire (burned to the ground) Hardee's, Shoney's across the street and a few that I don't remember now.  The Eckerds included a small cafeteria which many of them did in those days.

The Mall started its decline in the early 80s with the national fall of Woolco and the loss of the N. Tryon area as a middle class neighborhood.  Most of it was due to white flight as they blockbusted Hidden Valley (large 60s subdivision near there) and the area changed in less than 5 years.  I moved from the area in 1980 and did not pay a visit again until 1985 and I was shocked by the change.  By 1990, the interior of the mall was very dangerous place and was to be avoided.  Thankfully the Asian sisters that bought the place have done a remarkable job of cleaning it up.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I was born in 1986....but I can still vaguely remember going inside the Tryon Mall. Its been so long that I'd actually forgot that it was an enclosed mall...until I read this post. I remember the old movie theater beside it & going to the laundromat on the adjoining lot. I also remember Hardee's & Shoney's being right along in the same vicinity. This mall has definitely been through a whirlwind of changes over the past three decades. I think that its changing for the better now that its more culturally diversified.

......& whatever happened to NorthPark? I remember going there quite frequently as a young kid in the late 80's/very early 90's. Target, Bi-Lo, & all the lil' stores they had in there...man, that place has went down also.

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My friend Saname took me there to eat one time at one of the restaraunts, I forgot the name of it, but the food was great.. The place has turned around for the most part... I recomend checking out the international supermarket, it is really cool... Inside has a really beautiful centerpeice. I would think a lot of people there would find it offensive calling it China town though, since our asian community is comprised of a very diverse mix (cambodians, japanese, thai, pacific islanders...) hence the name "Asian" Corner Mall...

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Indeed. And the new Century grocery store at the other end is probably one of the most unique shopping experiences in Charlotte. The offer a great deal of "live" food that you can take home and kill yourself, of they will slaughter it for you. There is a huge aquarium area of live seafood.

They also do a great deal of authentic cooking there in the former Winn Dixie Deli. Its great and I recommend a visit to all who frequent here.

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The owners of New Century also own three other places in Charlotte, two other Asian markets, one on Eastway by Garinger High School, one on Central, called Central Oriental Market, and they also operate a wholefoods supply place. Asian Corner Mall dominate owners are two set of sisters. The ones who own and operate International Market and the ones who own New Century and Central Oriental Market. The sisters who owns New Century, leased out part of the former Winn Dixie to Family Dollar.

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This poor mall's fate is now documented at:

http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/tryon_mall.html

I didn't grow up with this mall so my dates, anchors, etc. were all reasoned guesses; I'd imagine it was built as one of many malls built at the same time and with the same anchors as one mall I did grow up with: Bell Tower Mall in Greenville, SC.

The photos have yet to be attributed to a person, too; I just took the ones from this forum and forwarded them on.

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Ppl oughta get other Charlotte malls onto that website, Midtown, Freedom, Northpark, Westpark, Tyvola...

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Just to update this thread. I first heard about Asian Corner in this forum and my girlfriend and I recently stopped by there to check it out. Besides a nice, clean, fairly new shop selling bubble tea inside the mall area, we were not impressed. The whole place was very, very dirty and rundown -- considering all the vacant shops inside the outlook seems bleak. I'm not from Charlotte -- does anyone have info on this place? Its a shame it isn't doing better. I can live with the dirt and grime, but there does not seem to be any life in the place. Thanks.

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If you had made that trip 10 years ago, you would have been robbed and possibly shot. The mall is definately on the upswing. However I admit the mall might be a bit much for people not prepared for different cultures.

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I didn't know which phase of the swing Asian Corner was in -- downswing or upswing. I wasn't sure if they made a go at it and things just fizzled out. Honestly I really hope it does well and takes off because I like going to those types of places -- they definitely add character to a city. There is plenty of room to expand. Plus my girlfriend is Vietnamese, so we like to eat Asian food, etc. Any idea how much it is to lease space there?

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yea I agree... the place does seem rundown, and not much happening ever since it opened. It is probably due to the reputation it has with crime. I've heard many things about shootings, robberies, and fights going on over there at that mall, so that may probably be why. They really need to create a safe environment and tighten up their security.

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Have you even been there? That placed is packed on the weekends and as far as I know it as been fairly crime free for the last few years. I go there quite often for lunch and have not seen anything that concerns me.

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