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Some info from independent research on the Taubman company which was just released. FYI, this research firm tends to be very conservative so it's challenging to get a positive writeup:

"It is becoming increasingly clear that Taubman's Northlake Mall, being built near the intersection of two freeways on the north side of Charlotte, is likely to be a success. Taubman recently announced that it has signed leases with 90 in-line tenants, out of a potential 150. A number of additional tenants have committed to the project, with leases in the works. The Northlake lineup looks quite strong despite competition from a newly built lifestyle center (Birkdale Village) just eight miles north. While the density in the surrounding area strikes us as lower than desirable, the trade area is growing rapidly and should fill in around the mall over time.

Birkdale Village opened in 2002. While it has a respectable lineup for its smaller size, including some tenants that Taubman probably wanted in its mall, Northlake Mall will compete effectively. Simon's Southpark Mall, 15 miles south, still wins out as the power-shopping destination for Charlotte's well-to-do"

Chart of Charlotte area Malls (current and to be built):

Name Type Owner Quality rating

Birkdale Village Lifestyle Center Inland Retail N/A

Carolina Mall Mall Hull Storey B

Carolina Place Mall General Growth B+

Concord Mills Mega-Mall Mills Corp. B+

Eastland Mall Mall Glimcher C-

Eastridge Mall Mall Westfield C

Northlake Mall Mall Taubman N/A

Bridges at Mint Hill Mall General Growth N/A

Southpark Mall Mall Simon A+

sorry I dont think this chart came out very well

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Northlake's location was supposed to strategically be the gateway mall to the affluent northern suburbs of Huntersville, Davidson, Cornelius, et. It only takes a few security incidents and the nightma

Charlotte has three successful malls. I'll spare numbers, because frankly most consumers don't look up stats before they shop, they go off of image, selection, and clientele. Southpark, Concord Mills,

Terrible for all those workers, but certainly to the benefit of Rack Room Shoes, which is headquarted in University City.

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supposedly 2 years after the mall opens it'll open... so around September 2007 i guess

also, to put an end to any speculation, in today's paper it said that Hecht's will in fact open as a Hecht's store, not Macy's.

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But Hecht's will eventually be converted into Macy's right?

I think they said they will start converting stores in 2006...

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This mall could go either way.....it could either become similar to Atlanta's Permiter mall, and be a competitive high-end mall, or it could go the other way and become like Carolina Place.......it depends on which demographic gains the foot-hold first, but I can guarantee that if the Lakies don't like the demographics that they will have no problem driving to SP or staying at Birkdale.......in this respect, I believe that Taubman is doing everything in their power to convince Saks to go there.

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Very true. There is also the Pennisula and along with the upcoming state/county/city funding to completely rebuild West Catawba into a nice avenue, a lot of high end retail is moving into the area. This is an area where a Mercedes and Lexus is a very common vehicle and may very well become a high end shopping destination that competes with SP and the new mall.

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Very true.  There is also the Pennisula and along with the upcoming state/county/city funding to completely rebuild West Catawba into a nice avenue, a lot of high end retail is moving into the area.  This is an area where a Mercedes and Lexus is a very common vehicle and may very well become a high end shopping destination that competes with SP and the new mall.

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Look at Raleigh's suburban Triangle Town Center, It got Saks...not Crabtree

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Look at Raleigh's suburban Triangle Town Center, It got Saks...not Crabtree

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Saks went for Triangle Town Center because the Jacobs Group aggressively courted them and because Crabtree didn't have any available anchor spaces at the time. Had they known that May Company was trying to unload the Lord & Taylor space at Crabtree, I think it would have ended up there instead.

Personally, I think Saks would have been smarter to have gone to Crabtree. My recent visit to their store at Triangle Town Center revealed that Saks had cut their hours and a salesperson described buisness as "sporadic." I think if they were at Crabtree, the business would be more even and they would be able to stay open longer than 7 on the weekdays.

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Saks went for Triangle Town Center because the Jacobs Group aggressively courted them and because Crabtree didn't have any available anchor spaces at the time.  Had they known that May Company was trying to unload the Lord & Taylor space at Crabtree, I think it would have ended up there instead. 

Personally, I think Saks would have been smarter to have gone to Crabtree.  My recent visit to their store at Triangle Town Center revealed that Saks had cut their hours and a salesperson described buisness as "sporadic."  I think if they were at Crabtree, the business would be more even and they would be able to stay open longer than 7 on the weekdays.

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I was at Saks at TTC on opening day (hense those pics I took) and crowds were no where near Nordstrom's opening at SP..

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I was at Saks at TTC on opening day (hense those pics I took) and crowds were no where near Nordstrom's opening at SP..

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Some of the Raleigh store's low opening traffic could be blamed on inadequate marketing and Saks's traditionally high-fashion, high-priced image as opposed to the relentless Charlotte marketing blitz and comparitively fairer prices at Nordstrom.

But I think that Saks picked the wrong neighborhood to locate in Raleigh. The US 1 corridor is a great place to run a store if you're middle-market, but horrible for upscale retail, even with the Lexus dealership down the street from TTC.

The Jacobs Group was tring so hard to make the mall distictive that they lost track of the emerging, but still not quite ready for Saks demographic that is the center's primary market.

Most people who shop at Saks don't live near the mall, and when they get finished shopping there, they don't go into the mall. That last fact means that a lot of the nicer stores that came to TTC because Saks was there don't get much foot traffic at all.

I think eventually Saks may pull out of TTC for greener pastures (my guess: North Hills or Crabtree) ecause business is so weak, I can't see them sticking it out for a decade to let the market grow enough to get sales going.

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Some of the Raleigh store's low opening traffic could be blamed on inadequate marketing and Saks's traditionally high-fashion, high-priced image as opposed to the relentless Charlotte marketing blitz and comparitively fairer prices at Nordstrom.

But I think that Saks picked the wrong neighborhood to locate in Raleigh.  The US 1 corridor is a great place to run a store if you're middle-market, but horrible for upscale retail, even with the Lexus dealership down the street from TTC. 

The Jacobs Group was tring so hard to make the mall distictive that they lost track of the emerging, but still not quite ready for Saks demographic that is the center's primary market.

Most people who shop at Saks don't live near the mall, and when they get finished shopping there, they don't go into the mall.  That last fact means that a lot of the nicer stores that came to TTC because Saks was there don't get much foot traffic at all.

I think eventually Saks may pull out of TTC for greener pastures (my guess: North Hills or Crabtree) ecause business is so weak, I can't see them sticking it out for a decade to let the market grow enough to get sales going.

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I can see them doing a swap with Penney's at North Hills or the soon-to-be vacant Lord & Taylor at Crabtree if Neiman's doesn't grab the spot first.

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I can see them doing a swap with Penney's at North Hills or the soon-to-be vacant Lord & Taylor at Crabtree if Neiman's doesn't grab the spot first.

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Put your money on the latter. Penney's is a North Hills institution and it's not likely to move anytime soon. If Saks came to North Hills, it would likely build from scratch in the expansion area across Six Forks Road that's coming online in a few years.

The Lord & Taylor at Crabtree is a far more likely location. It's the right size building in the right mall and it wouldn't require much renovation to make it work.

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I recently spoke to one of my friend's who is one of the marketing manager at SAKS in Manhattan about the SAKS at TTC and its not a level 1 SAKS ITS LIKE level 3 (which was very obvious when i visited),which means that the merchandise that they sell there is alot older and more reasonable .......just like the Bloomingdales in ATL.....personally SAKS is just a old name to me just like most other retailers but I would take neiman marcus over them anyday and NM is a tough market to catch...there are SAKS expanding everywhere and that says something ...but NM has no plans on opening no more stores in the south for a while.So I don't care if CLT doesn't get one...no big deal....NM is here .

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Put your money on the latter.  Penney's is a North Hills institution and it's not likely to move anytime soon.  If Saks came to North Hills, it would likely build from scratch in the expansion area across Six Forks Road  that's coming online in a few years. 

The Lord & Taylor at Crabtree is a far more likely location.  It's the right size building in the right mall and it wouldn't require much renovation to make it work.

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I think I overlooked the fact that JC Penney at NH is the #1 Penney's store in the state

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I think I overlooked the fact that JC Penney at NH is the #1 Penney's store in the state

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That store is a landmark. It dates from back in the turqouise-and-black P era.

Now, Sears at Crabtree...that could be less than long-lasting proposition now that they're owned by the big K.

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That store is a landmark.  It dates from back in the turqouise-and-black P era.

Now, Sears at Crabtree...that could be less than long-lasting proposition now that they're owned by the big K.

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I also forgot Crabtree's expanding southward (south of Hudson Belk).. they might have room for something there

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I also forgot Crabtree's expanding southward (south of Hudson Belk).. they might have room for something there

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There's always that possibility. I thought that it would be a good idea for Hudson Belk to rebuild its store right besie the old location and turn the old store into additional mall space. Just moving Hudson Belk would free up some prime retail space for a new anchor or two and some entertainemnt options at Crabtree.

The long time stumbling block to that plan is the Covenience Center, sitting right in the path of my proposed expansion, and it is pretty much fully occupied. If there was a way to get Toys R-Us and Pier 1 to move, the rest of the stores would vacate and the fantasy project I have could get underway.

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There's always that possibility.  I thought that it would be a good idea for Hudson Belk to rebuild its store right besie the old location and turn the old store into additional mall space.  Just moving Hudson Belk would free up some prime retail space for a new anchor or two and some entertainemnt options at Crabtree.

The long time stumbling block to that plan is the Covenience Center, sitting right in the path of my proposed expansion, and it is pretty much fully occupied.  If there was a way to get Toys R-Us and Pier 1 to move, the rest of the stores would vacate and the fantasy project I have could get underway.

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If and when they do remodel Hudson Belk, do you think it will look like Belk SouthPark?

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