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mediamongrel

Biltmore Square Mall

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I happened to be up in the area a few days ago and noticed that the Biltmore Mall has gone WAY downhill over the past 5 years or so. I was shocked to have counted 11 empty storefronts (not including food vendors) and one empty anchor store whose name I don't know. I don't know what has happened to the mall and the area around it, but it seems strikingly similar to the old Carolina Circle Mall in Greensboro. The only thing that probably keeps this mall going are the theaters. They are pretty much the only ones west of Asheville and I-26. The mall itself was desolate and about 33% of the stores that were in business were the temporary type of store that sell art or cheap furniture. I really can't say what has happened to the area around the mall over the years since I do not live around there, but I have to say, judging from the condition of the mall, that it looks like it only has about 5 years left in business, if that!

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The area around Biltmore Square never really caught on in the hearts and minds of everyone in Asheville. Back in the early to mid 1990s, it looked like it was going to be the next big thing - the mall, Toys 'R' Us, the sparkling new K-Mart... but it feels kind of remote, even if it's not actually THAT far from town. Outside of the quick burst of retail growth directly on NC191 between roughly 1990 to 1995, the area did not grow at all, and never gained the critical mass that South Tunnel Road, and now Airport Road have.

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If the Biltmore Estate grounds weren't there, Biltmore Square Mall would definately be more accessible from the more populated parts of Asheville. Honestly though, the market can only handle one superregional mall which is Asheville Mall. I'm surprised anchors are holding on as long as they have... but now that Simon has dropped the mall who knows what will happen

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I remember when I first "discovered" Asheville 10+ years ago, the Biltmore Square are looked like the place to be. The place was absolutely packed. It was sad to see it's decline over the years, and the rapid decline after Asheville Mall finished it's expansion.

I still stay in that area when I do visit Asheville, mainly to be near the Moose Cafe for breakfast!

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I visited this mall for the first time over the weekend and was shocked at the number of vacancies. Nevertheless, the mall's interior is attractive and the exterior landscaping is well done.

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I went in the Biltmore Mall a couple of days ago. Dead is an understatement. The architecture and area itself was well kept, but it was void of activity and people. It was a strange feeling walking around in there... It felt like there was an apocalypse and only a few people remained to patron this mall. :whistling:

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This mall is an attractive shopping center that at least has most of its anchors remaining and at least a few national chains inside, but it looks as if it's heading towards mall death. I'd say there is some hope, but I don't know the area or the mall's history.

Does it even have a webpage anymore?

Edited by mallguy

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I grew up in Asheville in the exact area where the Biltmore Mall was built. I grew up down the street in a community called Bent Creek. When the mall was being built, we laughed. It's not the mall or what they built around it, it's the people that live in the area. I don't care how much developing you do there, these people are old world and do no accept change very easily. They grew up going "downtown" to do there shopping. When the Asheville Mall was built, it took a long while for them to come out of there caves and venture to Tunnel Road. When Biltmore Mall was built, it was too much for them. The economic's were not their either. Geez, they tore down my old elementary school (Venable) to let old Bob Ingle "improve" his grocery store. Everyone had high hopes for that area. You can take the redneck out of the area, but you can't take the redneck out of the redneck. Most people there were leftovers or children of the parents who use to work at the old Enka plant down the road. Biltmore Mall was too much and too extravegant for that area. It's one of the main reasons I left.

By the way - does anyone know if Bent Creek went south as well?

CWK

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Looks like this mall built in 1989 is going to get a new lease on life. See the article:

Mall's new owners plan revival

Short-term plans for this revival is to bring in an 83,000-square-foot store called Steve & Barry

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They should look at Savannah Mall as a model of how to keep things going. They added a Bass Pro Shop, Steve and Barry's, Target, and Burlington Coat Factory after most of their anchors vacated.

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Does Savannah Mall still have any dept store anchors? is it still enclosed? Sounds like a fun mall to go to

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Savannah Mall is still enclosed. It was built in the early 90's as the new and shiny mall, designed to compete with Oglethorpe Mall down the street. Oglethorpe survived and thrived while the newer Savannah Mall struggled.

They used to have a Belk, Parisian, and Montgomery Ward. Obviously Ward's went out during bankruptcy. The other two left after a few more years. Dillard's is still at the mall and seems to be doing OK.

It reminds me a lot of Biltmore Square in that it is nice and airy with several mom and pop type stores.

Edited by rooster8

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Steve & Barry's is usually a "dead mall" anchor... Interesting to see what other changes take place.

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^^^^^Yeah, when a Steve and Barry's or a Burlington Coat Factory goes in, it's usually a sign of not-so-good things to come.

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There's an article in today's Citizen-Times re: a new owner for the Biltmore Square theater. This sounds like a positive development for the mall.

http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll...ID=200770316110

another article about this theater

Regal Entertainment Group, which operates 6,386 movies screens throughout the United States, is developing Cinebarre in a joint venture with Braly. Cinebarre theaters will serve casual food, including pizza and chicken wings along with beer and wine, during screenings of first run films. They will also offer specialty programming and celebrity events, including appearances by movie stars and theme events centered around popular flicks.

The first Cinebarre is scheduled to open at the 493,000-square-foot Biltmore Square Mall in Ashville, N.C. in July, and an announcement is pending on a second unit. If the venture is successful, Regal will expand the rollout to 20 theaters nationwide over the next five years. Cinebarre executives are planning to renovate outdated Regal properties in areas with annual household incomes of $70,000, a median age of 35 and populations of 200,000 people within a five-mile-radius.

http://retailtrafficmag.com/retailing/movi...upscale_remake/

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This mall is an attractive shopping center that at least has most of its anchors remaining and at least a few national chains inside, but it looks as if it's heading towards mall death. I'd say there is some hope, but I don't know the area or the mall's history.

Does it even have a webpage anymore?

www.mybiltmoresquare.com

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Any updates to this mall's status? Loss of Goody's, loss of Steve & Barry's, conversion of Dillard's into a clearance center- leaving only 1 regular full-line department store anchor...I like the mall as it's attractive and not too crazily overcrowded, so any news is welcome!

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There was an article in the Asheville paper not too long ago but I forget what it said.

I know that the county is thinking about consolidating its offices into one location and that Biltmore Square is on the list of sites they're considering (conversion to offices is sort of the final death knell for a dead mall, wouldn't you say?).

Biltmore Square was built in 1991, before growth in South Buncombe and Henderson counties really took off, but after everybody realized that it was coming. They were gambling that Brevard Road might become the epicenter of that growth, and for a while it looked like they were right - but within the last 5 or so years, everything skipped 2 exits further down I-26 to Arden (Airport Road) - leaving the Brevard Road corridor to stagnate.

I've always thought that the Brevard Road corridor feels kind of isolated. Accessibility is good via I-26, but it's buffered from the rest of the city by the Biltmore Estate. In its nearly 2-decade history, it never seemed to reach the "critical mass" that the Airport Road area managed to build up in just 2 years or so. It's a shame because Brevard Road looks like it was actually developed with something resembling forethought; Airport Road on the other hand is absolutely hideous.

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