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dubone

What would it take to get Belk to Uptown Charlotte?

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This isn't directly related to the Eastland Mall discussion here: http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.ph...st&p=643168

... or the street retail discussion here:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=28239

... although it has been mentioned in both threads. So I thought it deserved its own discussion.

Now that Eastland Mall's Belk is closing its doors

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/16241833.htm

... and downtown Charlotte has about to hit what many point to as a magic number of ~12k residents,

... WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO GET BELK TO UPTOWN CHARLOTTE?

There is no doubt that downtown Charlotte is a better market for a department store than Eastland has been for quite a while. Also, this is a family owned store that got its start in this city (I know, technically, Monroe, but the downtown Charlotte store helped it grow from infancy). There should be some hometown pride in putting up a store that would not only serve the rapidly growing job and residential market downtown, but also the market on the light rail system, and all of the neighborhoods around downtown that have rapidly improved their demographics along with the boom in home values.

I'm sure it is only starting to make sense, and isn't a slam dunk, but it seems perfectly reasonable for them to not only keep most of the market they were still serving at Eastland, but also serve that much more of a market that would open up by locating downtown.

I also go back to the fact that the town of Brevard has a Belk, and even that strip mall visible from 85 around Archdale.

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I also go back to the fact that the town of Brevard has a Belk, and even that strip mall visible from 85 around Archdale.

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The key words being "strip mall". :) But I do see your point.

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It's only a matter of time. IMO, they'd be stupid not to build an uptown store, so it shouldn't take a lot now that the Eastland store is closing.

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I distinctly remember going many times to the Uptown Belk's at the Square. It was a damn nice store too!

Belk's should definitely consider opening a new Uptown store. Sometimes being the first takes guts.

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In my view, the question isn't "what would it take to get a Belk store uptown" but "what would it take to get Belk to expand its uptown store beyond a glorified cosmetics counter"?

I'd think it would take a good real estate deal, possibly with government money, and a good location.

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They could take the somewhat novel step of actually headquartering uptown and building their own tower with a signature, and grand, store at it's base.

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I just don't see suburban oriented Belk doing something like this these days. There is no way they will put a major upscale store in downtown as the biggest affect of that will be to reduce sales at it's flagship store at SouthPark. (and might hurt NorthLake as well).

What might possibly work would be for the city to aggressively court any major department stores that might be left that have not come to Charlotte yet and/or have not invested heavily in a facility at SouthPark.

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They could take the somewhat novel step of actually headquartering uptown and building their own tower with a signature, and grand, store at it's base.

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I agree that currently Southpark Mall pulls away big retailers from uptown, but only currently, I don't see this being an issue in 4 years when uptown population should be 12K if not quite a bit more. Or in 10 years. Belk might get smart now and realize there will be a very dense market with expendible income in uptown merely in the time it would take them to construct a tower (which of course does not need to be another 60 story monolith), which I would guess to be 2 to 3 years from today.

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There is a small Parisian in downtown Birmingham, AL, which is at the base of an office building. It seems to be a decent-sized store- at least bigger than the uptown Belk in Charlotte. There is also a full-sized Parisian in Indianapolis. Thus there will be 2 regular downtown Belk stores by next year.

I think seeing what Belk does with those stores could indicate how Belk will approach urban markets in the future. Even a Birmingham-sized store would be great uptown.

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^ Agreed, and I would shop at such a store, even if it required me to travel uptown to do so. I may be in a minorty though...

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I get amused every time I drive the John Belk Freeway that encircles uptown. Yeah, let's name a road that surrounds the very core in which Mr Belk not only closed his company's flagship store, but he also moved his corporate HQ from there to Tyvola Road.

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I'm now thinking that the Eastland Belk's closing will have minimal impact on the people who would shop at a larger uptown Belk store so the closing won't lead to anything more uptown.

The Eastland store doesn't do much business, and it seems to attract more or less just people with moderate incomes who live nearby. Uptown, conversely, is largely filled with middle- to upper-income people who shop at SouthPark. They don't shop at Eastland and thus their buying habits will not be affected by the mall's death.

So to get an Uptown store would require (1) an emergence of a LOT of residents uptown (since people shop where they live, not where they work); 250,000 is the rule of thumb for a regional mall, and so probably a lot more than 12,000 would be required for a full-line department store or (2) the demise of Northlake (which could happen!) or SouthPark. In my view, none of those alternatives is likely.

Best bet would be to get a developer to give a great deal on 20,000 sf of space to Belk to open a larger store uptown, like the one in Birmingham. That's more likely, I think.

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Seems like a highway built on top of old neighborhoods so commuters can come and go is actually a pretty fitting tribute to the man.

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I'm now thinking that the Eastland Belk's closing will have minimal impact on the people who would shop at a larger uptown Belk store so the closing won't lead to anything more uptown.

The Eastland store doesn't do much business, and it seems to attract more or less just people with moderate incomes who live nearby. Uptown, conversely, is largely filled with middle- to upper-income people who shop at SouthPark. They don't shop at Eastland and thus their buying habits will not be affected by the mall's death.

So to get an Uptown store would require (1) an emergence of a LOT of residents uptown (since people shop where they live, not where they work); 250,000 is the rule of thumb for a regional mall, and so probably a lot more than 12,000 would be required for a full-line department store or (2) the demise of Northlake (which could happen!) or SouthPark. In my view, none of those alternatives is likely.

Best bet would be to get a developer to give a great deal on 20,000 sf of space to Belk to open a larger store uptown, like the one in Birmingham. That's more likely, I think.

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Well, your comparision of 250,000 to 12,000 isnt exactly correct. That 250,000 number is a trade area that may extend 3,5,7 even 10 miles from a given mall. A Belk in Downtown would have a trade area including those inside the loop and residents within probably a 3 to 5 mile ring. Finding out the population within 3 or 4 miles of a downtown Belk would be the true indicator. Increases in downtown population density as well as infill in close in hood's should help.

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Belk isnt all that anyways, they dont have that much variety.....I could see a Macy*s or possibly Saks or Bloomie's if Uptown grows at the rapid rate that they say it will in the next few years

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I don't see any dept store heading Uptown's way for at least 3 years. There is not enough there there now to justify it.

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It would be nice to have a major department store in some sort of a square, like Union Square in San Francisco. If Levine ever decides to actually build that center city park with retail, I think that would be an ideal area to put some major department stores and create some what of a shopping district that is centered around some type of city park/open space.

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Call me a pessimist on this one. I can recall (and still have photos of it) standing on the parking deck of CityFair - YIKES - watching the last corner of Belk being demolished way back in 1989 to make way for the BofA corporate center.

It would strike me as quite odd that they return to the center city. They had the perfect spot on the square, and if they were visionary, I'm sure they would have stayed the course and tried to make it work. Maybe the skyline would be just a little different if they hadn't torn it down for BofA.

I do have to admit that there have been several times where something a little less expensive than Joseph Bank was uptown in a pinch. And I do have to agree with one of the previous posts that the Belk that is Uptown could be better if it carried a little more items than for the ladies.

All told, I don't see a department store fixating on the cc. We will probably see more of the miniature versions of big boxes (i.e. Borders, B&N, Bed Bath & Beyond) in the lifestyle centers they are proposing in 1st ward.

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It occurs to me that we are getting a department store in the middle of the city: Target, at Metropolitan Midtown. Or at least we're getting a store of the kind that have beaten department stores in every niche except high-end fashion. And frankly, as a resident of Uptown, I'd much rather have a Target than a Belk.

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It occurs to me that we are getting a department store in the middle of the city: Target, at Metropolitan Midtown. Or at least we're getting a store of the kind that have beaten department stores in every niche except high-end fashion. And frankly, as a resident of Uptown, I'd much rather have a Target than a Belk.

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It occurs to me that we are getting a department store in the middle of the city: Target, at Metropolitan Midtown. Or at least we're getting a store of the kind that have beaten department stores in every niche except high-end fashion. And frankly, as a resident of Uptown, I'd much rather have a Target than a Belk.

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