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GSP Tiger

Magnolia Mall

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Being Florence's only enclosed mall, I am eagerly inquisitive on what is happening at Magnolia Mall. Assuming it is conveniently accessible from I-20 and I-95, the retail center probably does some modest business. I wonder if there are any plans for expansion and/or renovation in the near future.

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Excellent, the correct thread that I would have posted in! :D Well, I asked this question in the Florence Mall thread: doesn't the mall have reasonable amounts of land behind it and to the right of it (when facing it from David McLeod Blvd) for expansion? I think a major renovation of the exterior of the mall is needed. Maybe Belk's could buy the JCPenney location and demolish it to make way for a new and modern 2-story department store?

Is there any consideration for Dillards or other major stores to build there?

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Dillard's should definitely consider. With Florence becoming a major city in South Carolina, the time is ripe to have one. Possibly a Dick's Sporting Goods and a Bed, Bath and Beyond are worth having.

Why not give the mall an entire second level? This would allow for more stores and other things like a multiplex.

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I'm looking at the mall map of Magnolia Mall and am seeing that Best Buy is an anchor....I'm assuming that the store has recently replaced a department store.....what department store left the mall?

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I'm looking at the mall map of Magnolia Mall and am seeing that Best Buy is an anchor....I'm assuming that the store has recently replaced a department store.....what department store left the mall?

Best Buy and the Food Court, called the Verandah, replaced a Roses.

Florence doesn't have the demographics (population or income)to support a Dillards. Belk's is the only 'real' department store in the mall, (discounting JC Penney and Sears), and it is a crappy one at that. That is unless it's gotten a lot better since I was there last.

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I understand Florence to be the retail hub of the Pee Dee, but how does Myrtle Beach's presence play into all of this? It has virtually every major chain you can think of, and its what- 45 mins to an hour away according to where you live and how fast you drive?

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Dillard's should definitely consider. With Florence becoming a major city in South Carolina, the time is ripe to have one. Possibly a Dick's Sporting Goods and a Bed, Bath and Beyond are worth having.

Why not give the mall an entire second level? This would allow for more stores and other things like a multiplex.

Florence already has a Bed, Bath and Beyond. It's next to the mall (near the Target).

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Few points concerning the design of the Mall as well as the surrounding Property.

1) Property: Sadly, Magnolia Mall cant do too much in terms of expanding into the surrounding Woodlands. Looking at magnolia mall from David Mcleod BLVD. The woodland to the right (kidna beside sears) is mostly owned by Florence School District 1. West Florence HS has a 'nature' section back there with ponds trails and such for the science classes. Basicly the HS has its own Nature Preserve. I remember going back there during a Biology class and seeing the mall on the other side of a fence they erected. So, the land goes right up to the right/back side of the Mall Property.In regards to the property Directly Behind the mall. There is very little expanding that can be done this way either. A large percentage of this land is wetland. (mostly in the form of swamp) While in theory it could be drained and allowed for expansion that way, Sc makes it very cost prohibitive to drain wetlands. On the Left side of the Property is the Florence Commons. Sorta a strip mall of sorts that supports the Mall in a way. Its got a few decent stores like Target and Bed Bath and Beyond. Ufortunantly, all this means virtualy no expansion horozontially.

2) A quick note on the Design. If you look at the Magnolia Mall form the outside, you will notice glass pyramid skylights at key points throughout the mall. My understand is that the original developers planned on a possible later second story. The Pyramids are where the access points to the second floor would go. Whether they actually use it though is another story.

I may dispute the idea that florence cant support dillards and such, but thats a debate for another day ;)

Cheers guys

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I understand Florence to be the retail hub of the Pee Dee, but how does Myrtle Beach's presence play into all of this? It has virtually every major chain you can think of, and its what- 45 mins to an hour away according to where you live and how fast you drive?

MB is really more of an hour to 1.5 hours usually because of the traffic and towns that travelers have to deal with from Florence. The key issue is whether or not Florence can be the premier retail hub for the Pee Dee region. My wife's family in Bennettsville usually has to go to Florence or Laurinburg, NC for any "department store" or "franchise store" shopping such as Belk's or Lowe's. People who live in Darlington, Hartsville, Cheraw, or Bishopville have to do this as well.

Magnolia Mall has great potential to have more than it does, but I think some serious investment needs to be put into it with expansion and extensive renovation on the exterior and interior. A movie plex is not going to be considered because that is exactly what is across the mall near the Florence Civic Center. Belk's is in serious need of modernization or just complete demolition and new store construction with 2 floors.

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If you look at the Magnolia Mall form the outside, you will notice glass pyramid skylights at key points throughout the mall. My understand is that the original developers planned on a possible later second story. The Pyramids are where the access points to the second floor would go. Whether they actually use it though is another story.

I guess this means verticle expansion is realistically possible for the mall section. This leads me to ask: Do the anchor spaces also have access points or something to warrant an upper level?

I have seen a photo of the entrance to the food court yet I wonder if there are any other photos of the mall somewhere.

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Here is an update on Magnolia Mall. The mall owner's seem to be investing quite a bit in the property.

http://www.scnow.com/midatlantic/scp/news....08-22-0005.html

Edited to add:

The demolition has already started at the mall and it seems to be a major interior and exterior overhaul which is very much needed. The last renovation was in the '80's, and that was when they added the cheap looking carnival signage and planters with the fake foliage. I assume the mall interior will closely resemble what was done to the food court a couple of years ago.

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Much of the mall has been renovated but there is still more to come according to this article. What they have done certainly brightens up the place. All the kiosks now have electrical in the floor, so the cords reaching into the ceiling have been eliminated. They've removed the fountain and nearly all of the interior planters. It's opened up the space, but I miss having a fountain and some greenery inside the mall. It still looks unfinished to me, but apparently it should be completed by March.

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Has Magnolia Mall been suffering lately?

Do you think that the national trend of retail moving to so called lifestyle centers and mixed use villages will have any impact on Florence and this mall? I'm curious if you or anyone out there thinks that Florence could support something like that if Magnolia Mall was to die off.

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There was a lifestyle center type development proposed several years ago called Celebration Center. At the time, it was touted to be like a Broadway at the Beach. The property was acquired and the infrastructure built, but the development was slow to follow. Some light industrial buildings were built (I assumed because retailers showed no interest). I think a coffee shop was the first retailer to open, and it felt like it was in the middle of nowhere. Last time I was in Florence, it appeared that there might finally be some life. An Exxon/McDonalds combo and a strip with a Mexican restaurant have opened, and a fairly large apartment complex looks near completion. Between Magnolia Mall & Florence Mall, I don't see Florence supporting something like Village at Sandhill or Towne Center, even on a smaller scale.

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It's a shame that they redeveloped Florence Mall and took out the inside courtyard, because I think with today's retail trends, it would be popular.

Here are a couple of pictures of the inside of Florence Mall during it's heyday of the 60s/70s:

19.jpg

44.jpg

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Spartan, to answer you question - I think Magnolia Mall will be fine unless a new major retail development happens. They went for years without investing in the property, now the mall owners seem to be investing big time - maybe to prevent a decline should another development happen.

Regarding Celebration Center - I heard, and this may be all rumor, that Best Buy was slated to be an anchor for this development, but Magnolia Mall outbid them at the last minute.

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^Interesting. Surely there are other tennants out there...

It's a shame that they redeveloped Florence Mall and took out the inside courtyard, because I think with today's retail trends, it would be popular.

Here are a couple of pictures of the inside of Florence Mall during it's heyday of the 60s/70s:

19.jpg

44.jpg

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A few years back, they turned all the retail space to face outward at the Florence Mall and used the inside mall space to expand the retail space, so there is no longer an inside mall space. Florence Mall is basically a strip center with stores on all sides. Piggly Wiggly and Redbone Alley are where the old JCPenney once was; Ross occupies the old Belk space; Stein Mart is where there used to be a Coker's Department Store and the rest of the mall was demolished and/or renovated to make space for Books-A-Million, TJMaxx, Old Navy, Show Carnival, Rugged Wearhouse, and several other stores. Basically, the interior no longer exists.

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I rememebr when Florence Mall looked like that.

Doesn't Florence Mall still have SOME interior courtyard? At one time there was some office space of it. It's been years since I saw first hand though.

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