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cyclingundertheson

Gwinnett Place Mall

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Will the Gwinnett Place Mall wind up on deadmalls.com or will the county step up and save this potential retail casualty. It seems that a county with 757,104 should substain three malls. Orlando by comparison has at least 5 regional malls with a population similar to Gwinnett County. Columbia South Carolina has 3 malls at a population of only 300,000. I really hope the county will push developers to bring unique stores and renovations to the mall so this area of the county does not go to waste. A redeveloped mixed use retail on the scale of Atlantic Station would be perfect for that area. Upscale condos and offices will greatly benefit this area. Come on Gwinnett do something to this potential gold mine before it is to late. This area is to nice to become another West End or South Dekalb. I even think a Stonecrest type development would be good for the area if they want to keep the mall.

What would you like to see redeveloped at Gwinnett Place?

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Will the Gwinnett Place Mall wind up on deadmalls.com or will the county step up and save this potential retail casualty. It seems that a county with 757,104 should substain three malls. Orlando by comparison has at least 5 regional malls with a population similar to Gwinnett County. Columbia South Carolina has 3 malls at a population of only 300,000. I really hope the county will push developers to bring unique stores and renovations to the mall so this area of the county does not go to waste. A redeveloped mixed use retail on the scale of Atlantic Station would be perfect for that area. Upscale condos and offices will greatly benefit this area. Come on Gwinnett do something to this potential gold mine before it is to late. This area is to nice to become another West End or South Dekalb. I even think a Stonecrest type development would be good for the area if they want to keep the mall.

What would you like to see redeveloped at Gwinnett Place?

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I have't been to that mall in years and hey I thought I was the only one that knew about deadmalls.com.

Sorry to hear it's not fairing well and it is interseting because Simon owns that mall and you would think the same bunch that owns Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza would not let one of thier properties decline like that.

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I have't been to that mall in years and hey I thought I was the only one that knew about deadmalls.com.

Sorry to hear it's not fairing well and it is interseting because Simon owns that mall and you would think the same bunch that owns Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza would not let one of thier properties decline like that.

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I think in addition to the "Global Station" proposal from Wayne Mason, he also proposed building skyrise condos attached to the mall in the parking lot of the Macy's near where the new Fry's is located. I don't think anything ever happened with it though.

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I wonder how malls outside of Lenox and Phipps are doing? I don't visit them often, but I was at the Mall of Georgia and was surprised by the number of empty store spaces. On the other hand I went to Discovery Mills (not quite the same type of mall) and it seemed to be bustling. When I was a kid nothing was cooler than going to the mall and now... there is nothing so special about it. Even the newer Euro-Retailers (H&M and Zara) steer away from stores in malls if it can be avoided. I think we are going to see a shift back to the way store fronts use to be (Street level retail).

Also, not to be too technical, but West End mall has one of the highest occupancy rates of Metro Area Malls. It may not have a Gap, but its full of shops and is profitable. I recently read an article about it and it's scheduled remodeling (Sorry no link). Also, the mall is small and neighborhood-centric so is not even in competition with Metro Area malls. May not be best example to use of a dead mall.

Now back to GPM... It has to do something different, because I'm always amazed by the number of Gwinnett license plates I see intown on the weekends. GPM needs to find a way to remain vital to the area, and the way the demographics are changing in Gwinnett County as a whole I have now idea what GPM can do to remain relevant for much longer. The areas surrounding the mall seem to serve the community more than the mall itself. It is quickly becoming a symbol of a by gone era.

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Also, not to be too technical, but West End mall has one of the highest occupancy rates of Metro Area Malls. It may not have a Gap, but its full of shops and is profitable. I recently read an article about it and it's scheduled remodeling (Sorry no link). Also, the mall is small and neighborhood-centric so is not even in competition with Metro Area malls.

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On a similar subject, just on a different mall, a walk through Town Center at Cobb (Gwinnett Place's Sister Mall) indicates that Simon is trying to bring in more of an upscale lineup. Coach has recently opened and Swarovski is on the way. Although the mall is very outdated in its decor, it still seems to be very successful even though Cobb has 2 regional malls and 2 Avenue lifestyle centers, with a third Avenue on the way in nearby Woodstock.

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From CoStar Group...

Korean retailer Mega Mart will open their first store in the US at Gwinnett Place Mall in the vacant 240,000 SF Macy's building.

The massive Mega Mart, expected to open spring 2009, will include a 75,000-square-foot grocery store on the first floor, as well as apparel, home goods, general merchandise, a food court and event facility on upper floors.

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I would assume that Discover Mills is an anchor mall for the county?

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From CoStar Group...

Korean retailer Mega Mart will open their first store in the US at Gwinnett Place Mall in the vacant 240,000 SF Macy's building.

The massive Mega Mart, expected to open spring 2009, will include a 75,000-square-foot grocery store on the first floor, as well as apparel, home goods, general merchandise, a food court and event facility on upper floors.

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no major international retailer is going to resign their lease with this MegaMart coming in.

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I just think it solidifies the slow decline of this mall. With the new alternatives in the area - Mall of Ga, The Forum Peachtree Parkway, The Avenue Webb Ginn, etc. - I foresee retailers like Express, Abercrombie, and other retailers of that appeal going where they are surrounded by other retailers of their caliber. A Korean Mega Mart does not fit that.

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The addition of a Korean Megamarket doesn't bode well for the mall. I know it's the kind of business that the area high immigrant population will support, I think the old Harry's on Satellite would be a better location for this market. A lot of discussion about malls involve the "connectivity" of the anchor to the mall, in this case psychological connectivity, as opposed to physical connectivity. Many different articles have stated that mass merchants such as Sears and JCPenney are finding malls to no longer be the best location for their stores, as their customers often shop those stores as destinations and are interested in the department stores(Macy's, Belk, Dillard's, etc.) or the small shops. Discount stores such as Wal-Mart and Target have even less customer exchange with the the mass merchants, and Megamarket seems to fit the bill of a Korean Wal-Mart. Now I'm not saying none of the customers shop the mall, but that the customer in these type stores are shopping the store primarily and rarely shop the mall or shop the mall in a separate trip. It's really how malls have evolved to the point that successful malls have at least a slightly upscale to upscale tenant mix and are seen as a destination for fashion oriented shopping as opposed to the more utilitarian shopping that drives mass merchants and discounters. Early malls had a broad tenant mix that included supermarkets, drug stores, variety store/5&10, discount stores, department stores, boutiques, etc. but by the 1970's, malls became a more fashion oriented destination, something that hasn't really changed. The early malls that didn't evolve became among the first deadmalls, will some early malls reinvinted themselves. Atlanta has a prime example of such a mall, Lennox Square. It opened with Rich's, Davison's, Kresge 5&10, and a Colonial Supermarket as its primary tenants and was hardly the upscale mall it is today. A sign of the decline of malls built in the 1970's and 80's is often not just the loss of one or two anchors, which given the consolidation in the department store industry, is not bad, but rather a growing number of mall vacancies, local shops filling mall spaces, and the appearance of more utilitarian retailers in the anchor spots.

I have a soft spot for Gwinnett Place, even though Cumberland and Town Center were the primary mall destinations for me when I was younger. It represents the coming of age for Gwinnett, and much of how Gwinnett county can be described is Pre-GP and Post-GP. For all the growth Gwinnett had experience prior to Gwinnett Place's 1984 opening, Gwinnett seemed really rural before 1984, despite have almost 250,000 residents at the time. I would like to see Gwinnett Place see a renewal much like Cumberland Mall has experienced, but it seems its not going to happen soon. Of course, Northlake, North DeKalb, South DeKalb, Greenbriar, and Shannon/Union Station have been diagnosed as dying for much of the last 20 years, and they continue to survive, so Gwinnett could still continue for another 20 years as its currently exists. I wonder if Simon operating all three Gwinnett county malls is why Gwinnett Place is being allowed to languish and decline. In Cobb, Town Center is Simon while GGP operates Cumberland. Simon operates Northlake in DeKalb, wiht GGP having Perimeter is its competitor. You have to consider Simon-owned Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square in tandem with GGP's NorthPoint Mall as the Fulton county competition in this analogy, but it makes me wonder if Gwinnett Place wouldn't fare better if it or Mall of Georgia were operated by competing mall developers instead of GP being the older of Simon's Gwinnett county malls.

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I'm not disagreeing....I just don't understand how signing a retailer to a space thats been empty for five years is viewed as a decline. I think it will ultimately be whether the other stores are making any money that determines if they stay or go and not that they're offended by a discount retailer. Sears and JCPenney aren't exactly upscale. (It does still have these stores doesnt it?)

As for Simon, I don't think the ownership matters since there is no real draw to Gwinnett Place with Mall of GA being just a few miles away with all of the same stuff and more. I actually think this transition to attract the county's exploding asian community is actually the best hope it has for survival.

Edit: If they have one of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OVL6Sbuv34, I'll surely be stopping by when I visit friends in Gwinnett.

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That's pretty cool - almost like a Korean IKEA. You know, hopefully this will be a neat type of place. It's just when I read about it, it sounded more like a flea market and I didn't get the greatest mental impression. I think the fact that the first one of these in the US is going to be in Atlanta is pretty indicative of our reputation in the Asian community.

My thoughts on the other retailers were based on envisioning this as a flea market or bazaar that would not have high aesthetic or design standards. That coupled with the preference shift to lifestyle centers.

What is driving Gwinnett's popularity with the Asian demographic?

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I'm just happy to see anything go into the old Macy's space. It's been dead for a while.

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I read in Georgia Trend that rather than a Mega Mart they are planning a new concept called M Marketplace. The store is expected to open this summer I think.

I was surprised to learn that the Gwinnett Place CID has established a redevelopment plan for the area in the hopes of transforming it into a more walkable, urban center. I took the image below from one of their presentations to illustrate the level of urbanism they have in mind in Gwinnett county !?!? :shok:

In related news, the county commission recently approved the rezoning that will allow buildings up to 25 stories and there is one proposal for a residential high rise that the developer still hopes to build.

gwinnettplaceredo.jpg

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