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I saw this store a couple of weeks back. It really makes me scratch my head and wonder who is in charge of leasing at this mall? Are they just trying to recreate Eastland?
They're not trying, but it's coming. The shopping demand for the immediate area was a bit overcalculated, and the demise of Eastland has sent its shoppers to the next closest alternative.
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They're not trying, but it's coming. The shopping demand for the immediate area was a bit overcalculated, and the demise of Eastland has sent its shoppers to the next closest alternative.

I think you make two good points.

Still, if I were in charge of leasing space at NorthLake, I'd hold a spot for months until I could find the right tenant rather than go for the quick lease to a store that's probably not going to help the mall long term (and perhaps even harm the mall long term).

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Honeslty, I dont think there is anything wrong with having a couple of urban wear stores......some of the biggest most diverse malls in the country have 2 or 3 urban stores.....now if there are like 5, 6, 7, or 8 i think that is on the way to Eastland status.....

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I was in this mall today when the entire mall was evacuated. A bunch of sirens went off, strobe lights started flashing, and an automated voice came on and said for everyone to get out. All of the stores started to close down the gates in front of their places. First time I have seen anything like this.

Did we ever figure out why this happened?

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Does anyone know when they are going to actually start construction on the Super Target at Northcrest? They have made way on the parking lot, but theres a big open space where the building was supposed to be built by summer 2007, dont see that happening. Why the delay?

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I think a lot of people underestimate NL's potential....sure its not a perfect mall, there is no perfect shopping center. It's never going to be like SP, but I doubt it'll turn into Eastland either. Give it some time...
If it were solely up to me, I wouldn't close the book on Northlake just yet. It's got potential. But retailers are fickle and if this place doesn't pick up the kind of traffic they're looking for soon, they'll pick up and move to the next big thing.
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Yeah, the jury is still out on Northlake. Eastland failed because the area around it was abandoned by the middle class. I've said before that regional shopping malls are of by and for the middle class and above with disposable incomes that allow them to spend money in these places on things they don't really need at prices higher than they should pay. Eastland is a victim of being built in an era or modest means and high interest rates and as a result the housing around it tends to be on the low end. When things got better the middle class moved on, a different demographic moved in, and hence began the fall o Eastland.

It's unclear what is going to happen to Northlake since the area around it is relatively undeveloped and one of the last vast areas in Charlotte that is left to be developed. Downtown and SE Charlotte has become far too expensive for many families so this area may be the new middle class area for the city itself. If so, Northlake should do OK. It's biggest problem is competition from the Lake area which so far, has shunned shopping at NorthLake and is tending to build retail that will compete with it.

Time will tell.

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I think Northlake's business will pick up due to the booming population in north Mecklenburg. Perhaps Birkdale and that new development closer to the lake (exit 28?) will dominate the boutique + dining part of the market, but as long as Northlake provides retail that those other centers don't have, such as thriving department stores and more, it'll do fine.

I just see 2 issues:

1-the Dillard's. Almost NOBODY shops there and the store is almost always dead, even though it's a very nice store; I think its location at the far end of the mall is bad, and the chain as a whole isn't faring well. Maybe the Dillard's should be replaced by a Costco or something?

2-the "youths" who predominate, especially on the lower level of the mall. If there's a gang shootout at the mall, which I could see happening, considering the people who frequent it, then the mall will get a bad name and people will avoid it, no matter how good the stores are and no matter how good the areas north of the mall are. Mall management should kick out some of the urban-type stores to discourage the "youths" from shopping there.

Edited by mallguy
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Even if they did kick out the urban stores (which I wish they would), the "urban" youth would keep coming back because Northlake is a gathering place of sorts, has a movie theater, and upper middle tier stores and shoppers that are ripe for robbing.

True. How does SouthPark keep the "youths" away, or at SouthPark are there just so many more preppy suburbanites that the "youths" just aren't as visible? Taubman has plenty of experience running chi-chi malls and so I'd think the company wouldn't want a ghetto mall in its portfolio and has the means to prevent that from happening.

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shoppers that are ripe for robbing.

Let's not jump to conclusions here. I haven't heard of Northlake being plagued by muggers or rapists, so I really doubt that these kids are at that level of delinquency. Just because "urban" kids (what a thinly-disguised euphemism) are congregating and being loud or intimidating, doesn't make them hardened criminals.

How does SouthPark keep the "youths" away, or at SouthPark are there just so many more preppy suburbanites that the "youths" just aren't as visible?

SouthPark is about as uninviting a mall as I have ever seen, as far as the middle and lower class are concerned. I know a lot of middle-class Average Joes who never shop there because the environment is so snobbish; I can't even imagine what it's like to be an "urban" teenager there. The few I know who have been there say that they essentially receive a personal security associate from the time they step into a store until the time they leave. That keeps a lot of the problem elements out of the mall, which I suppose is fine as long as you don't mind a blatantly elitist atomosphere.

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Let's not jump to conclusions here. I haven't heard of Northlake being plagued by muggers or rapists, so I really doubt that these kids are at that level of delinquency. Just because "urban" kids (what a thinly-disguised euphemism) are congregating and being loud or intimidating, doesn't make them hardened criminals.

Sorry if I set that impression in any of your minds but what I was getting at was that a local mall near me we have many urban (if I say black, hispanic, or even white people will interpret that as racism) teens that walk up and down the corridors constantly and I have actually seen a few of the same kids steel from stores by putting items into their jackets and pants. I've actually walked right beside some of them and they start yelling out inappropriate words at shoppers for no reason. That is what leads to a mall's decline and if Northlake keeps getting a greater and greater population of these kids without and security/police to stop it I don't see how it will prosper in the future.

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Re: "youths"- I was most alarmed during a recent trip to Eastland when I saw some thuggish-looking white guys wearing wife-beaters (the sleeveless T-shirts) cruising around in the Sears, and a recent trip to the Salisbury Mall was better, although still a bit unsettling, due to white "riff raff" driving loud cars with Confederate flags on them. I'd think that the target demographic of any Taubman mall would not be "riff raff" and I am surprised that the developer rents to stores that appeal to such shoppers, or whatever they do when they go to the mall.

Edited by mallguy
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SouthPark is about as uninviting a mall as I have ever seen, as far as the middle and lower class are concerned. I know a lot of middle-class Average Joes who never shop there because the environment is so snobbish; I can't even imagine what it's like to be an "urban" teenager there. The few I know who have been there say that they essentially receive a personal security associate from the time they step into a store until the time they leave. That keeps a lot of the problem elements out of the mall, which I suppose is fine as long as you don't mind a blatantly elitist atomosphere.
SouthPark definately has an image of being snobby and elitist, but it isn't really. It's just a mall with a large number of upscale stores.

I will agree that the security is very unreceptive if you don't look or act like the typical shopper. That said, I'm somewhat out of their target demographic, and I've only had a couple of issues in 15 years of shopping there.

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SouthPark definately has an image of being snobby and elitist, but it isn't really... I will agree that the security is very unreceptive if you don't look or act like the typical shopper.

Those two statements could hardly be more opposed to one another. It seems that you're using a concept of "snobby and elitist" that I can't quite wrap my mind around.

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Those two statements could hardly be more opposed to one another. It seems that you're using a concept of "snobby and elitist" that I can't quite wrap my mind around.
Okay, let's try this again.

The perception that SouthPark is elitist is largely perpetuated by people who find the prices in some of the stores off-putting rather than by solid emperical data, when in fact the place has bargains like any other mall for similar merchandise.

The security force around the mall does run a tight ship, and the typical teen loitering and downscale customers causing trouble (fights, loud talking, excessive congreagtion) is generally not tolerated as much as it is in other local malls.

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Okay, let's try this again.

The perception that SouthPark is elitist is largely perpetuated by people who find the prices in some of the stores off-putting rather than by solid emperical data, when in fact the place has bargains like any other mall for similar merchandise.

The security force around the mall does run a tight ship, and the typical teen loitering and downscale customers causing trouble (fights, loud talking, excessive congreagtion) is generally not tolerated as much as it is in other local malls.

I think you're spot on with these statements. I'd like to see security at other malls (read Northlake) take this same approach in dealing with problems.

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  • 4 weeks later...

If there's a gang shootout at the mall, which I could see happening, considering the people who frequent it, then the mall will get a bad name and people will avoid it, no matter how good the stores are and no matter how good the areas north of the mall are.

Lenox and SouthPark are two malls that I know have survied "gang" shootings in the mall. People don't scare that easily. I'm not sure about this, but I think I read here it was the decline of the area surrounding the mall that largely contributed to Eastland's decline.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I came down to Charlotte this afternoon to pick something I ordered off of CraigsList and I stopped by Northlake on the way back and was blown away on how the area has grown up over the years. The mall appeared to have a good number of people exiting/entering with bags in hand. I was kind of surprised by the grassy lots in the front near Dillard's and Borders, are those to make it appear as if the mall is in the country or are they for future expansion? Here are some photos I got while I was there:

(Note: When are they ever going to finish 485? I was down in Charlotte this time last year and looks like nothing has hardly been done.)

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  • 1 month later...

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