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Weaver24

MacArthur Center

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If you were the manager of MacArthur Center in Downtown Norfolk, what would you do differently with the mall? What tenants would you move or kick out? What tenants would you add in? What would you renovate? Would you have designed the center differently? What would you add in the vacant space reserved for a third anchor? What would you do about the retail mix? Do you think it's a good retail/restaurant mix in the mall? I personally think that could be improved as well as Military Circle. What do you think?

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I would of had the mall built in more of a grid pattern, that way it could of gone better with an urban fabric and felt like several urban mall buildings downtown rather than one giant suburban mall....but that's me. How is the vacancy rate in the mall these days? Does it still fair well and stay busy during the holiday seasons? When I left the mall was really active, but then I left when the novelty of it was still strong.

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I would've made it open air. If Richmond can have two open air malls, why can't Norfolk. Short Pump would've been a great template. The third level at MacArthur is just theaters, fast food courts, a furniture store, and B&N, so it wouldn't be awkward to have a tri-level outdoor mall. However, like urbanlife said, the mall should have more connections to the surrounding streetscape. I also would've wrapped the garages with street-level stores.

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However, like urbanlife said, the mall should have more connections to the surrounding streetscape. I also would've wrapped the garages with street-level stores.

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The mall in downtown Portland is basically 4 full city blocks that is divided up by the street grid so that the mall doesn't interrupt the urban grid of the city, but still allows to have a full mall downtown. Honestly I think every downtown should have a mall like this. When looking at Norfolk, the mall just cuts the city in two parts making it a hard sell to fully connect anything northeast of downtown into the rest of the urban fabric of downtown because you will always have to gor around the mall.

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Ground level retail space on the first floor facing outside.

Do more with the 3rd floor.

Parking is a bit confusing if you aren't really familiar with the mall.

Otherwise, it's just a mall!

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It will be interesting to see what the Wachovia Center developers are discussing IRT the Third Anchor site. Once LR comes up Monticello, there is a solid opportunity for a streetscape all the way up the street. In fact, I wish the city would consider closing off Monticello from City Hall, all the way to Bute, allowing crossings at Charlotte and Freemason, but nothing but pedestrian and LR traffic on Monticello. Some permitted traffic (loading and unloading at the NorVa for example).

Once that happens, then the Third Anchor site could be dynmite street facing, street access retail and restaurants. Maybe even an anchor, just with a lobby entrance on Monticello that opens into a setback first floor, with second and third floors "full sized".

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It will be interesting to see what the Wachovia Center developers are discussing IRT the Third Anchor site. Once LR comes up Monticello, there is a solid opportunity for a streetscape all the way up the street. In fact, I wish the city would consider closing off Monticello from City Hall, all the way to Bute, allowing crossings at Charlotte and Freemason, but nothing but pedestrian and LR traffic on Monticello. Some permitted traffic (loading and unloading at the NorVa for example).

Once that happens, then the Third Anchor site could be dynmite street facing, street access retail and restaurants. Maybe even an anchor, just with a lobby entrance on Monticello that opens into a setback first floor, with second and third floors "full sized".

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I would love to see that as well, but I'm not sure if they are willing to demo the parking garage on Monticello.. That would potentially open up another lot as well. There honestly isn't much use of a street being there other than valet parking for the mall and the Norva. The city (which has a building sitting on the corner) uses the parking garage across the street and can easly be relocated to the new wachovia structure parking deck.

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It will be interesting to see what the Wachovia Center developers are discussing IRT the Third Anchor site. Once LR comes up Monticello, there is a solid opportunity for a streetscape all the way up the street. In fact, I wish the city would consider closing off Monticello from City Hall, all the way to Bute, allowing crossings at Charlotte and Freemason, but nothing but pedestrian and LR traffic on Monticello. Some permitted traffic (loading and unloading at the NorVa for example).

Once that happens, then the Third Anchor site could be dynmite street facing, street access retail and restaurants. Maybe even an anchor, just with a lobby entrance on Monticello that opens into a setback first floor, with second and third floors "full sized".

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You know what's funny...if Norfolk would have settled for Hecht's as the third anchor, we would have a Macy's by now. Remember when the Macy's deal went down south before Macarthur was built. How ironic. Well, atleast Military Circle has a Macy's since it absorbed Hecht's. Although, it would be interesting to see how a Macy's would look at Macarthur Center, how it would differ from others in this area. What would be even more interesting is a Macy's that incorporates the ice skating rink, unless we're talking about relocating the ice rink in the event a third anchor commits. Of course there are other department stores like Bloomingdales, Nieman Marcus, and so on.

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When MacArthur was built, downtown was pretty sketchy. The developers actually wanted LESS street access at the time. Considering that the "open mall" craze hadn't hit the East Coast yet, I doubt that was considered. To be honest, the open mall is a gimmick recycled from the 60's and I am quite happy Mac Arthur is not one of those. It works in LA and San Diego, but anywhere else where there is WEATHER, it is really not great.

Some hopes for the future would be to have a third anchor worth visiting. Move the market/rink to the roof (nice views) or on top of the garage by the ghost anchor spot. Considering the mall is closing in on 10 years now, it still looks nice and has a good mix of retail. It's still a mall, but the multi-story layout does add something all the rest don't have here in HR.

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Yeeeaaah....they tried that in the 1970's on Granby. It didn't work. Streetscape almost never work to draw people.

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Macy's would be ok....but eh, every crappy mall has one. I'm still rooting for a Bloomingdale's. :)

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Macy's would be ok....but eh, every crappy mall has one. I'm still rooting for a Bloomingdale's. :)

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The idea of Macy's as a third anchor disappeared when Hecht's disappeared. As soon as Macy's took their place, and watered down the brand, any chance of Macy's opening up at MacArthur was gone (that's from the mall GM) The only chance of a third anchor would be an exclusive to HR store, Bloomingdale etc, you won't see a MAcy's or JCPenny or any other existing anchor retailer in the area open up on the site.

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Its painfully obvious that something was suppose to go there, I guess that's the biggiest problem i have with the lot. I think the skating ring is a great community idea and I'm willing to relocate or loose it for something great. If something does go there, the little area cross from the mall next to the norva will do just fine with a little tinkering..

I would love to see them move the food court to that open area, in some tri-level form. I think the current food court setup is a joke and waist of space and view. It also stunts the growth of the third anchor.. I guess that goes back to streetscape, and really the entire mall on the outside should have been lined with places to eat and shop with dedicated access to the movie theater.

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I would've made it open air. If Richmond can have two open air malls, why can't Norfolk. Short Pump would've been a great template. The third level at MacArthur is just theaters, fast food courts, a furniture store, and B&N, so it wouldn't be awkward to have a tri-level outdoor mall. However, like urbanlife said, the mall should have more connections to the surrounding streetscape. I also would've wrapped the garages with street-level stores.

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When MacArthur was built, downtown was pretty sketchy. The developers actually wanted LESS street access at the time. Considering that the "open mall" craze hadn't hit the East Coast yet, I doubt that was considered. To be honest, the open mall is a gimmick recycled from the 60's and I am quite happy Mac Arthur is not one of those. It works in LA and San Diego, but anywhere else where there is WEATHER, it is really not great.

Some hopes for the future would be to have a third anchor worth visiting. Move the market/rink to the roof (nice views) or on top of the garage by the ghost anchor spot. Considering the mall is closing in on 10 years now, it still looks nice and has a good mix of retail. It's still a mall, but the multi-story layout does add something all the rest don't have here in HR.

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Those of you craving new food court possibilities should get your chance in 3 years when HMSHost loses their contract (Cheesecake, Cajun, Lotus, Fresh Attractions, Nathans, Burger King and Starbucks)

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Carter876, I agree parking at MacArthur can be confusing to a newcomer, but when I visited a year or so ago, it was free -- unless I somehow skipped out without knowing I was doing so. I recall looking around for an attendant and/or a closed gate and saw neither, so I just proceeded thru a confusing exit to the street.

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Carter876, I agree parking at MacArthur can be confusing to a newcomer, but when I visited a year or so ago, it was free -- unless I somehow skipped out without knowing I was doing so. I recall looking around for an attendant and/or a closed gate and saw neither, so I just proceeded thru a confusing exit to the street.

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Another store leaving MacArthur Center but not because of the location or the fact that is isn't performing well. BOMBAY (which is between Lindt Chocolate and Talbots) is leaving the mall at the end of December. The location in Va Beach on Laskin Rd in the Hilltop section is also closing. They both have store closing sales so you may want to catch them if you into their merchandise. The company filed for bankruptcy and all locations in the country are closing so it isn't due to the mall. I also heard the mall charges very high rent and are very tough negotiators. They raised the rents on some tenants (like White House/Black Market store) and alot of companies made a decision to close the stores there, even though alot were doing pretty well. That is one of the reasons why the mall can't keep alot of stores. I heard this from people who used to work in stores in the mall and in stores that closed. I heard ALDO had problems with their contract and they were doing well in the mall, but they had to close due to some problem with renewing their lease. They will open locations in Patrick Henry and Lynnhaven. I hope the mall put in some good stores to fill up the vacant spaces.

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Why are they charging such high rents? It seems like the mall is shooting itself in the foot with those stupid policies.

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