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EbonyGardens

Shopping

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Honestly, Tallahassee Mall & Governor's Square have fallen off. I used to go to both malls on a regular basis but now I'm lucky if I even go to them twice a year, that's how bad they have fallen off. In the 90s, these malls were the place to be, everyone would go to them on the weekends, teens would go just to hang out, shoppers were there just to spend money and walk around. Something needs to be done to breathe life back into our malls, expansion would be the most likely way. Governor's Square has the infrastructure to expand the most, so that mall would benefit more from expansion. Tack on another 50-100 stores and that's all she wrote.

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I'm all for mall improvements, but I'm not sure the answer is adding 50-100 more stores to either mall... you'd might as well start a new mall with that type of expansion. I think what we have are two malls that are in need of modernization (as is the case for many other things in our charming city). I think what the Governor's square mall needs is new flooring... similar to what you see here in this picture. I took it in Grand Rapids this week, and all I could think of was how the Governor's Square would look if it had a new floor.

FujiShots019.jpg

I also think what we need in each of our malls are stores that Floridains actually like to shop at. The small stores are no more attractive inside a mall than they are as hole-in-the-walls. We need stores that people can recognize. Garnet and Gold, more than any other local store in the mall, actually conducts its business with a little "know-how" and it pays off for them. And I really don't see the need for so many cell-phone stores in the mall, as kiosks they are fine, but as stores they are taking up valuable shopping space. Still more needs to be done by the mall ownership to bring in stores that we actually want to shop at.

Tallahasseeans have a thing for flocking to businesses that are updasted and new, I think what each mall needs is a re-newal, and what Tallahassee needs is 50-100 strong stores downtown.

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Gad TJ I only wish one of our malls looked like that one in the picture. You hit the nail on the head. We definitely don't need to expand our malls, we just need to update them. Governor's Square is stuck in a late '70's decor and Tally Mall isn't much better. We just need to improve and better maintain what we've got. And it's funny that you mentioned cell phone places, I've noticed that too. If you subtracted all the places in Gov. Square that sell tennis shoes as their main product and cell phone stores, you'd lose about half the stores there.

I defintely would not want to see a new mall built yet in Tally, that would just kill our exisiting malls. Besides I'd prefer any new shopping areas in Tally to be "lifestyle centers" that are built outside like old main streets of cities. I think our attention for shopping in Tally needs to be focused on improvement...major improvement.

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I think that shopping malls are going to have to change their business model and focus deliberately on finding and retaining retailers who offer shoppers products and services that they cannot buy ONLINE. The incredible turnover rate for some of the mall shop locations suggests that these small business people are not looking seriously at the way our shopping habits have changed over the past ten years.

Any revised or new shopping mall should have the essentials that favor a direct customer/product interaction before purchasing: 1) boutique clothes and shoes (though I now buy both online); 2) electronics; 3) sporting goods; 4) jewelry and watches; 5) furniture / home furnishings. Beyond that, it is the prestige value of the brand name that will bring in shoppers (even when the web presence is solid) - Body Shop (cosmetics), Williams Sonoma (kitchen), Dean & Deluca (gourmet items), Crate & Barrel (home decor), Room & Board (home decor.)

That said, I am 100% behind the idea of shifting our retail focus to downtown streel-level locations. If Tallahassee is going to have a new shopping mall as a component of the Fallschase development, I'd hope someone is looking into an all-brand-name outlet style shopping complex.

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I'd forgotten about the affects of the online shopping... but I agree that is a major reason for the decline of the malls in recent years.

Poonther touched on major improvements for the malls and I'm all for that... I think the governor's square mall is off to a good start having already updated some of the signage on the outside of the mall. Having said that, I hope they aren't resting on their laurels. Both of our malls are products of the 1970s. Other cities in Florida have malls built in the late 90s or 2000s which puts us at a comparitive disadvantage. The better retail stores can be found in these malls, and they are more attractive than what we have.

I'm still holding on to the hope that the Feldman Group turns the Tallahassee mall into a more modern product. The group that owns the Governor's square mall seems less motivated to do anything. Maybe some serious competition from the Tallahassee mall might help to change this.

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I'm all for mall improvements, but I'm not sure the answer is adding 50-100 more stores to either mall... you'd might as well start a new mall with that type of expansion. I think what we have are two malls that are in need of modernization (as is the case for many other things in our charming city). I think what the Governor's square mall needs is new flooring... similar to what you see here in this picture. I took it in Grand Rapids this week, and all I could think of was how the Governor's Square would look if it had a new floor.

FujiShots019.jpg

I also think what we need in each of our malls are stores that Floridains actually like to shop at. The small stores are no more attractive inside a mall than they are as hole-in-the-walls. We need stores that people can recognize. Garnet and Gold, more than any other local store in the mall, actually conducts its business with a little "know-how" and it pays off for them. And I really don't see the need for so many cell-phone stores in the mall, as kiosks they are fine, but as stores they are taking up valuable shopping space. Still more needs to be done by the mall ownership to bring in stores that we actually want to shop at.

Tallahasseeans have a thing for flocking to businesses that are updasted and new, I think what each mall needs is a re-newal, and what Tallahassee needs is 50-100 strong stores downtown.

There was an article in the Democrat that stated how kiosks generate big money because they are strategically placed in the middle of the mall so shoppers can easily see them as they're passing by. 2 cell phone stores are enough, I really don't see the need for 10, 15 or 20 cell phone kiosks. The pic you posted o the Grand Rapids Mall has excellent flooring, flooring that Governor's Square and Tallahassee Mall could benefit from. Macy's being put in place of Burdines was a start, but most Tallahasseans know about Macy's as they have branch locations in Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, and many other major cities. When Q-Zar was in Tallahassee Mall @ '98, they got good business. That was the hangout spot for many teenagers and college students alike. I played laser-tag there on several occassions. Since Q-Zar went under, the mall has never been the same since, to a certain degree. AMC Theatres moved in and brought some life into the mall.

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I liked Burdines more than I like Macy's. There was something unique about Burdines that Macy's can't replace. It was once my favorite dept. store in the mall, I've yet to buy anything from Macy's. Not to mention, Burdines was unique to Florida.

I remember Q-Zar, and I had fun there. I think it was the opening of the fun-station nearby that closed it down. But it would be great to bring it back for the teenagers. The space still sits vacant upstairs.

The Governor's Square mall, more than the Tallahassee mall, could use the new flooring, IMO.

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I know......Taking a stroll through Tallahassee Mall on my way home, I walked in the Parisian direction and shook my head at how long the former Q-Zar location is sitting there. I'm still thinking of possible tenants for that vacant space. Maybe another restaurant, another game room, something.

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It's funny... I remember when Governor's Square was considered the "upscale" mall and Tallahassee Mall was the "Redneck" Mall. They almost seem on equal footing now. Tally Mall benefits from having AMC 20 and Barnes & Noble. That brings them more traffic and the mall has turned itself around in some ways because of these two places.

Governor's just needs a serious image overhaul. If it is supposed to be the more upscale mall destination then it needs some major updating and landscape improvement. It just doesn't feel like a fun place to shop because it looks so rundown.

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hmm. well u guys are such haters. why complain so much? We have 2 malls and I like the stores in them, i by know means think the malls are bad or rundown. they stay clean, and are attractive.

it seems as some of the people posting here suffer from a case of being to Yuppie.

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Of course we all know they stay clean and attractive, but it's time for new stores to come to the malls. I don't know about you but I don't like to shop at the same stores year in and year out, I like variety.

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thats why we have other stores outside of the mall, your argument doesn't correctly align with what you want. New stores open and close on a small scale on a regular basis in both malls, plus u have stores all around the city outside of the mall, plus u have shopping online. if thats not enough variety for you, then I don't know what is.

The point is, The malls become less attrative as you get older in my opinion. I never go shopping at the malls just to buy crap. I go because, I dont want to wait for shipping or the store only has a mall location. I get what i need and get out. The swelling parking lots, the crowded mall really does nothing for me.

That said, If you pride yourself on having upscale malls, move to a place that has them, there are plenty of florida cities that pride themselves on the upperclass status and attract a certain kind of people.

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This has almost zero to do with the trappings of having upper class status. It's more about wanting an attractive destination to shop. Malls are more than just grab and go places. Their whole function is to be appealing enough for visitors to want to stay a couple hours. I think that's why "lifestyle centers" are more popular now...it's just the evolution of the standard indoor mall but packaged more appealingly.

The malls in Tally are not really rundown, just way out of date. It's been said before....you want to make an impression on visitors to Tally and neither mall will give people (especially from larger cities looking to move here) a great opinion.

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That said, If you pride yourself on having upscale malls, move to a place that has them, there are plenty of florida cities that pride themselves on the upperclass status and attract a certain kind of people.

A fine example of local complacency that TJ started a thread about a few weeks ago.

I love the standard provencal North Florida arguement that "if you don't like it, move." Heck no I ain't movin' buddy. I'm gonna stick around and work for change. No one's saying for Gov. Square to turn into the high-end destinations like Bal Harbour Shops in Miami or Town Centre Mall in Boca Raton, all anyone is saying is to just update the interior of the malls from the late '70's to the present. I see it as an example of civic pride and I am glad to see these people asking for and expecting a better Tallahassee.

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maybe u should get progressive and contact the new mall owners, and express your opinions to them also and ask if they plan to update the malls, and come back and tell us.

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maybe u should get progressive and contact the new mall owners, and express your opinions to them also and ask if they plan to update the malls, and come back and tell us.

I've already done this. And the new Owner of the Tallahassee Mall has big plans for the mall. I can't wait to see what's on the table! :D

Meanwhile I was going to say something about your invitation for people to move out of our City because we don't have what they want... it kinda defeats the purpose of us being here on UrbanPlanet talking about growth doesn't it? If you want a performing arts center, move away. If you want a real skyline, move away. If you want a convetion center hotel, move away. If you want a better airport, better transit, move away. If you want higher paying jobs, move away??? Come on! Tallahassee doesn't have it all yet, we're trying to get there. We can't go telling people to leave because they want more. :shades:

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Truth is, in this day and age, malls are on the decline. Few new ones are being built, and old ones are dying like flies. It's because of changing times. People don't want to have to go through an entire mall to find one particular store they need. Like most lazy Americans, they want to find the place quick and easy. What better way to do this by going to a strip mall or "lifestyle center"? A typical lifestyle center is something like Governor's Marketplace (with Marshalls, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc). Has a few big box retailers, it's open air, and you get in and get out quickly. An increasing number of Americans don't like strolling through malls anymore.

Malls are just as prone to decline such as neighborhoods. A neighborhood grows up, matures, and declines, and new ones sprout out further out (i.e. Killearn, Golden Eagle). Malls are sensitive to this change. I know of several malls in South Florida that are victim to declining neighborhoods and ones with demographic changes - 163rd Street, Hollywood Fashion Center to name a couple. And in Tallahassee.......we have Northwood! What's left upon their demise? Ugly grayfields. I don't think that's anything people want.

I guess what I'm trying to say in this rant is don't build anymore malls in Tallahassee. They're on their way out, and they're disposable. There are better retail solutions.

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Northwood Mall was never considered a real mall, just an office complex for state workers.

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Northwood Mall was never considered a real mall, just an office complex for state workers.

I'm afraid that's not correct. Northwood Mall was a mall before it went kaput and was converted into state offices.

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Northwood Mall was never considered a real mall, just an office complex for state workers.

Maybe not in your lifetime. Northwood Mall was THE mall in Tallahassee long before the other two. There are still some remnants of the old mall left such as the barber shop and the esclators, but yes it was a mall. I've heard good stories from long-time Tallahasseeans about that mall.

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Truth is, in this day and age, malls are on the decline. Few new ones are being built, and old ones are dying like flies. It's because of changing times. People don't want to have to go through an entire mall to find one particular store they need. Like most lazy Americans, they want to find the place quick and easy. What better way to do this by going to a strip mall or "lifestyle center"? A typical lifestyle center is something like Governor's Marketplace (with Marshalls, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc). Has a few big box retailers, it's open air, and you get in and get out quickly. An increasing number of Americans don't like strolling through malls anymore.

Malls are just as prone to decline such as neighborhoods. A neighborhood grows up, matures, and declines, and new ones sprout out further out (i.e. Killearn, Golden Eagle). Malls are sensitive to this change. I know of several malls in South Florida that are victim to declining neighborhoods and ones with demographic changes - 163rd Street, Hollywood Fashion Center to name a couple. And in Tallahassee.......we have Northwood! What's left upon their demise? Ugly grayfields. I don't think that's anything people want.

I guess what I'm trying to say in this rant is don't build anymore malls in Tallahassee. They're on their way out, and they're disposable. There are better retail solutions.

I agree. Which is why my first response to EG's argument for 100-200 more stores in the mall was to build them into downtown retail instead. The downtown, and the city as a whole would be better for it. I can imagine now, driving thru our booming downtown, passing store after store of shoe stores, electronics stores, jewelry stores, clothing stores, book stores, and gift stores. Sniffing the sweet smell of Cinnabon's coming thru an open door just off of the sidewalk. Smelling the fruity juice of smoothies blending on the corner, watching the birds chriping in a garden plaza where families sit and enjoy their snacks, and kids try out their new skates.

Still I say, with what we already have, let us preserve it... do whats necessary to breathe new life into the current malls by fixing the small things... flooring, color, retailers... etc. It doesn't take much money to fix either mall as they are both in good condition physically with exception of what we've already discussed.

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Is there a place in TLH for the new malls in other markets, like Millenia in Orlando?

I think what is missing here is a large outdoor mall/shopping area like St. John Town Center in JAX, or Eastdale Mall in Montgomery, AL.

These are the kind of places that have Apple stores, Banana Republics, and even larger dept stores.

I don't know, maybe our market can't support it yet...add it to my 2006 wish list.

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I still believe downtown is that market. I'm gonna be a downtown cheerleader here because I hate the way those big boxy stores look, and we badly need this activity downtown... especially now that people are going to be living downtown.

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Is there a place in TLH for the new malls in other markets, like Millenia in Orlando?

I think what is missing here is a large outdoor mall/shopping area like St. John Town Center in JAX, or Eastdale Mall in Montgomery, AL.

These are the kind of places that have Apple stores, Banana Republics, and even larger dept stores.

I don't know, maybe our market can't support it yet...add it to my 2006 wish list.

I think an outdoor "lifestyle center" is what Fallschase it proposing. Hopefully it won't have a Wally-mart b/c that's not what a "lifestyle center" is really about. I thought that Southwood would create this type of place in their new outdoor shopping area, but so far they've not lured in any national retailers, just all local shops...yeah they have Subway but that's kind of a hybrid between local and national.

For the record, we do have a Banana Republic at the '70's mall they call Gov. Sq.

I think you've got it wrong w/Montgomery, AL. Eastdale is their older indoor mall. They just opened EastChase as their new outdoor lifestyle center. I have relatives in the area and was just there over the holidays. EastChase is nice, but it really doesn't have any stores there that we don't have except for the kitchen store Williams-Sonoma. Anything Montgomery has, we should be able to substain too since we have a metro pop of 330K and theirs is 350K.

When EastChase opened, Montgomery's oldest mall, Montgomery Mall just closed and boarded up. That is what I'm afraid would happen here if we built another new mall. That's why I'm in favor of updating our 2 existing malls and I'm also in favor of more retail downtown and along the new Gaines Street.

Here's link to Montgomery's EastChase:

Montgomery

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These lifestyle centers are "mock downtowns". At least that's what I see when I look at them. I feel like building one of these without the retail strength in the downtown would be an obsticle for ANY city looking to build up it's downtown. Currently Macon, GA is working on a major mall/shopping project on the outskirts of the city. And while the mall should be nice when completed, Macon's downtown will continue to suffer because I don't see how all of that shopping on the wealthy outskirts, and anything they plan to do in the downtown will work well together.

I believe in th e moderate development of these lifestyle centers such as what Southwood has planned... I can only hope the Fallschase development doesn't disappoint like the BullRun development anchored by the Super Wal-Mart on Thomasville Road.

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