xivinrah

Peachtree Mall in Decay, Decline, and Disarray

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I'm curious to know in which direction the Peachtree Mall is headed. With many stores either closing it's doors or relocating to Columbus Park Crossing, there doesn't seem to be much hope for it anymore. If Macy's, Dillard's, or JC Penney's relocate or vacate the Columbus market altogether, I fear that that entire retail stretch will become a dead-zone much like what happened to Columbus Square. Any information on how or what management plans to do to make the mall much more viable than it is now? I did hear about there being an expansion proposed for the mall (2-3 stories) but it was turned down by the City Council. Anyone knows what will happen next. This is disheartening for a young college student who is new to the area and sees the mall as sort of a place to go beyond whatever the campus already has to offer in terms of food, definitely shopping at a slightly higher caliber than Columbus Park Crossing... I live along St. Mary's Road and having to go so far north just to go shopping is becoming more and more of a nuisance.

What do you think could be done to improve that mall and entice new, economically strong and slightly upscale retail in a mall in which everything seems to be pulling away from?

Besides... the library on Macon Road was a good idea, but what could they possibly do if the mall should become defunct other than expand or add a new runway to the Columbus Metro Airport?

Edited by xikartu
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I think the mall is doing fine. Yes, some stores have closed, but it is the economy that is doing that. Macon Mall is bankrupt and losing stores every week. That mall could close any day now. Peachtree Mall should be OK. The economy is killing retail right now.

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I think the mall is doing fine. Yes, some stores have closed, but it is the economy that is doing that. Macon Mall is bankrupt and losing stores every week. That mall could close any day now. Peachtree Mall should be OK. The economy is killing retail right now.

That makes a lot of sense. Makes me wish I had just posted a message instead of a whole new topic.

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I tend to agree with Columbus1984. Peachtree is still a good property with good demographics. The general trend of indoor malls has been to redevelop as hybrid indoor/outdoor malls, like the Brookwood Village in Birmingham, AL (also in the photo below). It has some similarities to Columbus' Peachtree Mall. It's on a major urban highway, it has a creek in front of it. It's undergone several renovations. Its last renovation was a major one to add the outdoor store fronts and sidewalks with outdoor dining.

If/when GGP comes out of bankruptcy, they could take a page from Colonials handbook (they've done it in other locales), the mall would continue to be not only viable but a hot property. GGP's recent renovation of the Augusta Mall did something similar. The old Parisian space, which is actually owned by Dillard's) would make an awesome location for a hotel with condos mixed in on top... Imagine watching airplanes land from your soundproof penthouse condo! Really, though, the best thing for the Mall might be if the airport is relocated to a more central location with Auburn-Opelika and the airport property get re-master planned for a master-planned community incorporating the Mall and the university.

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Edited by aboutmetro

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I tend to agree with previous posters. I think peachtree is doing ok. It's hard to see the mall closing some of the stores that are struggling nationally are leaving the market like Eddie Bauer which was projected to possibly go under this year. On a brighter side WRBL ran a story about Peachtree Mall about 2 weeks ago because there had been several rumors circulating around the valley that the mall was closing down. The mall manger stated that some stores were leaving, but there are several unnamed new tennants that will be opening in the mall in early spring. I tend to think that Columbus will do better than other parts of the state during the hard economic situation because of Ft. Benning. The base provides so much revenue to the city including Tourism dollars. Ft. Benning provides basic training as well as many schools which bring troops in from all over the country even some international. Those personal have graduation ceremonies which bring their families into the community and those families want to spend money and many of those dollars go to the stores at peachtree mall. As long as that base is there I think Peachtree will survive.

On a seperate note it is sad to hear about Macon Mall. The Macon Mall was the largest outside of Metro Atlanta in the state at one time. The Macon retail Market is changing drastically not just the mall.

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I tend to agree with previous posters. I think peachtree is doing ok. It's hard to see the mall closing some of the stores that are struggling nationally are leaving the market like Eddie Bauer which was projected to possibly go under this year. On a brighter side WRBL ran a story about Peachtree Mall about 2 weeks ago because there had been several rumors circulating around the valley that the mall was closing down. The mall manger stated that some stores were leaving, but there are several unnamed new tennants that will be opening in the mall in early spring. I tend to think that Columbus will do better than other parts of the state during the hard economic situation because of Ft. Benning. The base provides so much revenue to the city including Tourism dollars. Ft. Benning provides basic training as well as many schools which bring troops in from all over the country even some international. Those personal have graduation ceremonies which bring their families into the community and those families want to spend money and many of those dollars go to the stores at peachtree mall. As long as that base is there I think Peachtree will survive.

On a seperate note it is sad to hear about Macon Mall. The Macon Mall was the largest outside of Metro Atlanta in the state at one time. The Macon retail Market is changing drastically not just the mall.

I did read in some trade journals where GGP did get an extension on their debt, so no bankruptcy yet.

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WSJ reported in late March that GGP has been unable to renegotiate debt and is still working to avoid foreclosure. The past due debt is rare, but debt holders don't want to takeover the properties. Some communities have in other cases used local development funds to save major retail properties from closing. Columbus' leaders should seriously consider a situation like this if GGP turns sour.

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Simon_Property_Group-logo-A40CB17287-seeklogo.com.gif

Obviously the headline in this topic was unwarranted histeria. Good news, however, if Simon Properties Group ends up purchasing General Growth (and Peachtree Mall) as reported here by WSJ. Simon owns several shopping centers in the Atlanta area. Perhaps they could go ahead and fill the vacant [former] Parisian space. As I've mentioned before. A Costco in that spot would work great. Or even a hotel. Of course, if we could get some visionaries in local leadership and go with this airport plan, A LOT could be done with that area. Or it could be developed into a 'city within a city' concept like Atlantic Station.

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Abercrombie & Fitch is closing.

That store has been there forever.

Edited by Columbus1984

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Abercrombie & Fitch is editing its store base because of company-wide sales issues. I don't have any specific information on the local store, but I doubt the closing has much to with the mall or the market as much as A&F's dated product mix.

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Abercrombie & Fitch is editing its store base because of company-wide sales issues. I don't have any specific information on the local store, but I doubt the closing has much to with the mall or the market as much as A&F's dated product mix.

Pretty much. Guess the lease was up. However, I have heard that this particular location is usually empty and did very poorly.

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Wow that's really shocking. Is there a sign up?

No. I found it out from a guy that works at the Town Center A&F.

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Is the abercrombie and fitch store closing in columbus.or is this in another state or city your talking about.

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No. I found it out from a guy that works at the Town Center A&F.

Are you talking about Columbus, OH? Town Center A&F, never heard of that. Please let us know.

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Are you talking about Columbus, OH? Town Center A&F, never heard of that. Please let us know.

Columbus, GA

Town Center at Cobb

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Ledger did report today A-F's and the Rave's closing. But that Buckle will be opening. Buckle's (website) a pretty cool store. ICSC reported that A-F would be closing over 10% of their stores.

Edited by aboutmetro

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Ledger did report today A-F's and the Rave's closing. But that Buckle will be opening. Buckle's (website) a pretty cool store. ICSC reported that A-F would be closing over 10% of their stores.

Most of the 110 stores that are closing appear to be mostly abercrombie (kids) stores. Dallas had 7 at one point then downsized to five then three more stores closed over the past two weekends, so now they only have 2. A&F is doing fairly well at the moment, they are just trying to make their stores more exclusive and close their underperforming stores so that less of their stores will be in smaller markets, but they are closing some in larger markets as well. Like I said before, the Peachtree A&F was doing very poorly for a while. The store here in Asheville tends to do well and is a fairly large store. The A&F at Haywood is smaller on the men's side but larger on the women's side than the Asheville store, and both appear to be doing very well there, too.

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PEACHTREE MALL BOUNDING BACK FROM BANKRUPCTY (ledger-enquirer, By Tony Adams 6/5/11)

When considering Columbus for a Cinnabon store last summer, Frank Ross pondered the fact that Peachtree Mall’s parent company had been in bankruptcy more than a year. But that didn’t faze him.

“I didn’t hold back too much because I had already been convinced that if you put the right systems in place, people would still buy the product,” said Ross, a resident of Albany, Ga.

It also didn’t hurt that Cinnabon’s corporate office had studied the Columbus market and identified Peachtree as a target mall. That it also was the city’s only enclosed mall, strategically located near Interstate 185, with Fort Benning expanding, all were like sticky sweet icing on the bun for the chain

We’ve had some great success being in the right location and having the right timing,” said Ross, who opened the local bakery last December, a year after doing the same thing at Albany Mall and setting sales records that recently earned him Cinnabon’s Franchise Partner of the Year Award.

Sales at the Cinnabon in Columbus so far this year have been 20 percent to 25 percent higher than the outlet in Albany, he said.

Such success would seemingly portend good things to come for a shopping center that weathered the Great Recession relatively well, although it did take a few shots. The loss of retailers Waldenbooks, Eddie Bauer, Abercrombie & Fitch and Rave were the most significant losses, while the Manchester Expressway center has been working to fill in the gaps with temporary apparel shops and an occasional permanent store. The most recent additions are Buckle and Books-A-Million, which open this month.

The activity comes with Chicago-based General Growth Properties -- Peachtree’s owner -- having exited bankruptcy last November, eight months after the mall itself emerged from Chapter 11 status. It ended the largest retail bankruptcy in U.S. history.

“We’re doing fine,” said Peachtree Mall general manager Chris McCoy. “Our financial situation is basically historic as far as us coming out of bankruptcy and paying all of our debtors. We didn’t owe anybody anything coming out of bankruptcy. It wasn’t like anybody got shorted. It was a situation where everybody got paid what they were owed as we came out of bankruptcy.”

The mall’s occupancy rate now stands at about 94 percent, McCoy said, with 100 tenants and six vacancies. That includes a shuttered Arby’s eatery in the food court.

But it does not include the former Parisian department store space. The 86,700-square-foot anchor store closed in February 2006 after being

bought by the Belk chain, then was purchased by Dillard’s Inc., which has not done anything with the excess space that fronts the mall.

General Growth Properties is in the process of buying eight anchor buildings back from tenants, said McCoy, though he stopped short of confirming the Parisian wing in Columbus is one of them.

Julie Bull, director of investor relations for Little Rock, Ark.-based Dillard’s, which is one of three current anchor stores at Peachtree Mall -- the two others being JCPenney and Macy’s -- declined to comment on the possible development or sale of the property.

But selling property is not out of the ordinary for the 308-store chain that had struggled somewhat through the recession, but has regained its footing financially and on the New York Stock Exchange, with shares Friday trading near $55.

“We have sold some empty locations or some closed locations here and there,” Bull said. “I think with a vacant location there are a lot of possibilities considered, and I think I just probably have to leave it at that.”

For instance, Dillard’s sold properties last year in Macon, Ga., Austin, Texas, Chesapeake, Va., and in the Florida cities of Miami and Coral Springs.

“Three of those locations we sold in 2010 were vacant retail properties and two of them were operating stores that we ended up exiting as a result of the sale,” Bull said. “So we do consider a lot of different options with different locations.”

As recently as 2008, Peachtree Mall had a plan to develop the old Parisian building, but instead of returning to an anchor format, it would be transformed into space for several retailers and two restaurants. The Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro are two names that have been mentioned as possibilities.

“Hopefully at some point in the future that plan comes back around,” McCoy said.

Filling space may help other businesses

Such a move would be music to the ears -- and the cash registers -- of Leo Perez, manager of the Journeys shoe and accessory store just a few steps from the walled-up former Parisian entrance that is now graced by a huge American flag.

“I was kind of concerned when I came here about that being closed. But being across from the food court has helped,” said Perez, who took charge of the Journeys store two years ago, turned sales around, and was recently named Manager of the Year for the 850-store chain based in Nashville, Tenn.

Perez said he’s done well despite having no built-in foot traffic from customers entering the main portion of the mall through a large department store. His remodeled store, with added color and uptempo music being piped into it, also have pumped life into the business.

“I feel that if they did bring something in there, it would definitely allow the flow of traffic to see my store more,” Perez said. “I think a lot of people can be slightly impulsive when buying. So when they come inside and see something they really like, they often go ahead and buy it. So I definitely feel like that would raise sales in my store.”

Cinnabon franchisee Ross, whose bakery is fronted by the FYE music store, not far from the food court and the former Parisian space, agrees.

“It would definitely help our cause because it’s going to generate more traffic,” he said of plans to redevelop the old department store. “I hope that they’re working really, really hard to make that happen.”

Read more: http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2011/06/05/1606143/mall-starts-to-bounce-back-from.html#ixzz1OPEo3tlr

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I love Columbus. The people are so friendly and it seems to be growing very fast. I could not understand why Belk did not want a large mall presence in Columbus. It just does not make sense to me. They have built a new store in Macon and Newnan, they have a store at Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah, I am not sure about the Augusta Metro. But it seems like it would have been a perfect fit for Peachtree Mall. I have heard rumors over several years that Columbus was going to construct a new enclosed shopping mall much like Savannah Mall which was not near an interstate, far out of the city, and in the middle of marshlands. Parisian left first, then Belk, Montgomery Ward went bankrupt, and J.B. White was bought by Dillard's, and the Dillard's is still at that mall because they can not seem to find room to expand Oglethorpe Mall any further. (So they say)

The only drawback architecturally is the so called "Walk Through Syndrome", where you have to walk through a department store to get to the other side of the mall. Before the expansion of Macon Mall was demolished, you had to walk through jcpenney to get to the other side. That can be solved, but it would not be cheap either.

I also wonder if the Macy's has a load bearing factor where it could hold a second level? That would be great to have a larger two level Macy's, but I think they did a really great job renovating the former Montgomery Ward into a Rich's, then Rich's-Macy's, and finally Macy's. So a larger Macy's, Dillard's, jcpenney, and maybe Kohl's? They have taken the space of two former Parisian's in Atlanta at Northlake Mall and Stonecrest Mall. Just an idea to float out there.

I think adding a lifestyle component to the mall would be a good idea. Many older malls have done so and with great success. Maybe the mall entrance near jcpenney would or could be a good spot. Then add P.F. Chang's, The Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano's Italian Restaurant, and maybe a local bar & grill. As far as retail, the usual make-up is but not always, Chico's, Soma Intimates, Urban Outfitters, Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, 21 Forever and so on.

I really hope that something great will turn out of the former Parisian space, because the people of Metro Columbus deserve to have something really special for all to shop at, eat at, or whatever use it may be, and be able to really enjoy it. Retail IMO has not kept up with the growing Columbus Metro, and it is time that it caught up to and provide the services for the growing Columbus Metro Area. :)

Edited by Kenneth Disraili-Jean

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Best Buy Mobile is opening a new store near the food court of peachtree mall. The Mall remains over 95% occupied

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