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Belk is spending $4.6 million on a renovation at Cary Towne Center. Read the article for more.

When I want to go to a mall, more often than not, I go to CTC. Mostly because it is closer to where I live and easier to get in and out of, but also because I agree that the prices seem to be a bit better there. I don't usually buy high end goods so a fancier mall is not a necessity.

All in all, CTC still seems to be a healthy mall, and is usually pretty busy when I'm there. There are also very few vacancies. Belk's investment is just more proof of its health. In fact, in my (admittedly limited) experience, Cary Towne Center feels livelier than Triangle Town Center in spite of being 23 years older.

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However I am still surprised by this as their Charlotte store is packed every weekend from people all over both Carolinas.  Physical stores are not going away and most people like to browse for furnit

Dillards pulling out of Cary Towne Center leaving only Belks. Time for total mall demo except for Belk, outside accessible shops, mixed uses, hotel, apartments, for sale housing etc.  And the town of

It has had to compete with Crossroads Plaza just a couple miles down the road since the early 90s.  Both shopping centers have had their struggles filling vacancies, but CTC had more anchor tenants th

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Sears is closing it's Cary Town Center store:

 

http://www.wral.com/sears-in-cary-to-close-in-january/14084685/

 

Is this a start of a mall exodus or just isolated to Sears losing money at CTC? I can't imagine a traditional department store anchor filling the spot once Sears vacates...I wonder how long it will take to fill the space and what type of store will replace Sears...

Edited by NCMike1981
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Sears is dying in general, so that's not surprising. CTC I don't know. It seems like all the malls other than Southpoint and Crabtree are merely hanging on. I really miss the teeny tiny Barnes&Noble they used to have. Now it's in a store across the street, sadly. The mall feels like a shadow of what it was in the 90s.

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I know this was talked about extensively a few years ago on here, but I lean towards de-malling CTC and going with a walkable "lifestyle center" or whatever cute term is used for the North Hills of the world. Its so close to neighborhoods and the center of town that it would nicely sort of extend and compliment the lower key Cary that sort of exists inside of Maynard already. The Crossroads/Harrison-I40/west Cary explosion can all stay on the periphery and be huge and unwieldy out there...

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Article in the TBJ mentions a TopGolf might be looking to take the place of Sears in Cary town center. This would be huge for the area!! Without a doubt it would be a regional tourist attraction. Heck I've thought about going to dc to visit that one and I don't even like golf. I've been tweeting and emailing their corporate accounts about building one here. I've been trying to get them to look at 2912 wake forest road for a bit more urban potential (as urban as a driving range can be). But getting one this is huge for the area!

(None of their other facilities are in malls so I'm not sure how this would work.)

http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/real-estate/2014/12/topgolf-entertainment-complex-raleigh-cary.html

Edited by Green_man
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Well, the slide continues with Cary Towne Center.  

Hallmark has left.  Kirklands apparently has already left.  How long will it be before CBL & Associates get their heads out of the sand to announce new plans for the mall?

With the upscale, mixed-use development including the Triangle's first Wegmans being planned across the street on Cary Towne Blvd, CBL had better get moving if they want don't want to be left with an empty, worthless shell (marginally worse than what's there now.)

I saw some rumors online that CBL isn't renewing any leases.  Once all tenants are out, they will refurbish the mall or tear it down for another development.  Anyone know if this is true?

In a recent comment about CTC on CaryCitizen.com, the editors said they are in touch with CBL weekly and that they have a plan. 

I just wonder what's left retail-wise for the site.  Most all big boxes are at Crossroads.  Big brands are already at Crabtree or Southpoint.  Theaters are at Crossroads.  Whatever they do, it needs to be mixed-use with commercial, retail and residential, preferably 3-4 stories.  They had better shoot high.  It's amazing the amount of new retail that Park West Village in Morrisville has brought in. (I don't care about the non-walkable design, but good mix.)

reagan_cary_towne_center.jpg

Edited by Brendan
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Cary is bumping up against not being able to grow its population without densifying, and they have limited areas to densify. I think CTC would make a great place to plop about 8 Edison/Elan/Gramercy style apartment buildings on a grid-like street arrangement with a North Hills East style town green in the center. Keep the out parcels and arrange the apartments behind those perhaps with a nice wide sidewalk/greenway configuration between the two in a big loop. As Brendan points out, there is plenty of retail nearby and planned. I think this might be a decent way to jam in a few thousand more people on underutilized land, in a place where dense residential might not be a problem for the general Cary population, which normally NIMBYs against residential density. 

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Crossroads has a lot of stores but I have never met a single person who enjoys going there. It's soulless, confusing layout and terrible traffic makes it miserable. I would not be surprised if they were able to lure some tenants away from Crossroads if they have a good mixed use site plan along the lines of North Hills.

...The other possibility is IKEA.

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While I'd love the availability of their Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy and Lingenberry, I'm not sure the site is big enough for an IKEA.  The site in Charlotte is enormous.  Huge building and parking lot.  They would make a killing serving all the college students in apartments and dorms.

I think they could pull some merchants out of Crossroads.  Wonder if REI would move again?  Not sure how much they would focus on big box stores vs. small boutique retail and restaurants.  They do need anchors -- How about a Publix to compete with HT and Wegmans?  Keep Dave & Busters.  What about a Great Wolf Lodge?   Large brewery & restaurant.  Walkable, gridded streets.  Variety of living options -- over retail apartments, condos(?), nice hotel (W?  ALoft?)  

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The Cary Town Center site is enormous. Cary Town Center is ONE MILLION square feet of retail plus all the parking to go with it. The world's largest IKEA is only about 650,000 square feet, and the one in Charlotte is closer to 350,000. So they could build Charlotte's IKEA there and still have 2/3 of the site left over, not to mention the outparcels which take up still more land.

That said, I know IKEA prefers to have visibility from interstate highways which they wouldn't have at this site.

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Based on the news coming out of CBL, the owner of CTC, I believe they are currently negotiating with IKEA to come in as major tenant of a redeveloped CTC. My parents live by CTC and they have said from past conversations that CBL has no problems of tearing down a portion of the mall to redevelop it. This  redevelopment would go along very well with the Wegman development across the road.

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The Charlotte IKEA is 367,000 sq but remember half of the store is 2 story so the footprint required is smaller than that. They do like high visible locations but their Atlanta store is buried and I mean buried within Atlantic Station development off 77/85 connector in Midtown. They do like signage or streets named after them. They wanted a huge tall sign in Charlotte and the city said no but did agree to name a street after them and even with signage on I-85. This is a good location for IKEA for a 2nd store in NC 

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I was in IKEA today in Charlotte and asked about a Raleigh store and the clerk (and I have no way of knowing if this is accurate) told me they were going to do some kind of IKEA pickup store in Raleigh or the area for things ordered online. However if they do this it would be a first in USA for I have never heard of this. The Triangle can support a full line store esp. in the Norfolk VA Beach area is getting one. The Triangle's average income is way above Tidewater VA. 

Maybe this was a temporary solution until the store opens. It did not make much sense to me. 

Edited by KJHburg
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Whelp there ya go, all official and stuff. IKEA. Interestingly though it says * adjacent to CTC, not in it or part of any redevelopment there. That would seem to solve the 'not close enough to I-40 to fit their model' "problem".  

Major Edit: This is why you should never ever read WRAL for news. Please don't judge me for doing so. The N&O clarified that it is the eastern half of the CTC site and SEARS and Macys old spaces will be demolished to accommodate IKEA. 

Edited by Jones_
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4 hours ago, KJHburg said:

Wow IKEA cancelled the store at Cary Town Center.  Wonder if that means they are no on the whole Triangle or just this site.  

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article211750844.html

Quote

IKEA CEO Jesper Brodin has been sharing details of the company’s new direction to bring more operations online, and push into new markets like India and South America. The company also plans to develop smaller city center store formats in places like London and Tokyo.

 

Online shopping has officially destroyed box stores in the united states. 

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4 hours ago, KJHburg said:

Wow IKEA cancelled the store at Cary Town Center.  Wonder if that means they are no on the whole Triangle or just this site.  

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article211750844.html

Looks like IKEA is trying to avoid what is happening to other big box/department stores. There is a new concept for IKEA stores now. They are focusing on smaller stores in the downtown areas of "global cities". The new stores will be pretty different. You won't be able to purchase many of the things in the store right away. There will be showrooms and you'll have to use a touch screens to either order products for delivery or pick up. Also IKEA's customer base is not in the suburbs. They are in urban centers.

Online shopping has hit brick and mortar stores across the board.

Edited by cityboi
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However I am still surprised by this as their Charlotte store is packed every weekend from people all over both Carolinas.  Physical stores are not going away and most people like to browse for furniture.  I wonder if this will affect their planned Nashville and San Antonio stores both to be built in the suburbs too.  

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Seems to me that Cary pretty much rolled out the red carpet for IKEA, so I hope this doesn't result in CTC turning into another Eastland Mall fiasco.  The Charlotte IKEA sparked a decent amount of growth, albeit mostly suburban strip malls, so it would seem like growth would follow an IKEA here as well.

Considering the Fenton project is around the corner, this could have quickly become a pretty urban area if all cards had been played right.  Given that TopGolf was chased out of town, I'm not sure if there's anything that could save CTC at this point.

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