mallguy

Citadel Mall

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I was surprised to see Citadel Mall included on a list published in Friday's Wall Street Journal of the 84 malls in the US (included in a survey of over 1,000) that have sales per square foot of $250 or below.

What gives? I went there 3 years ago (when Parisian was still there) and thought that it was a nice place, and isn't the Target newish and didn't JC Penney just re-join the mall?

It seemed like a healthy, thriving mall to me, and I'd go back with no problem.

Am I missing something? I'm not familiar with the Charleston retail scene, other than some time on King Street and two trips to Citadel; never been to Northwoods.

Thanks.

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I was surprised to see Citadel Mall included on a list published in Friday's Wall Street Journal of the 84 malls in the US (included in a survey of over 1,000) that have sales per square foot of $250 or below.

What gives? I went there 3 years ago (when Parisian was still there) and thought that it was a nice place, and isn't the Target newish and didn't JC Penney just re-join the mall?

It seemed like a healthy, thriving mall to me, and I'd go back with no problem.

Am I missing something? I'm not familiar with the Charleston retail scene, other than some time on King Street and two trips to Citadel; never been to Northwoods.

Thanks.

I am sure that it will be fine for a while. But I looked at that and I noticed that the majority of the malls in the southeast on the list were almost all CBL properties. What is CBL doing wrong may you ask: They do not do upscale. Even in this recession, the most upscale or upscale mall(s) in the city are the most sucessful. Example: Charlotte:SouthPark Atlanta: Lenox/Phipps/Perimeter (maybe NorthPoint) Philadelphia:King of Prussia Charleston:King Street Richmond: Short Pump Washington: Downtown/Tysons Corner & Galleria. What do you notice about them? The are all upscale. So, if CBL does not pull their act together, there may be many empty malls across the (mostly) south.

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I am sure that it will be fine for a while. But I looked at that and I noticed that the majority of the malls in the southeast on the list were almost all CBL properties. What is CBL doing wrong may you ask: They do not do upscale. Even in this recession, the most upscale or upscale mall(s) in the city are the most sucessful. Example: Charlotte:SouthPark Atlanta: Lenox/Phipps/Perimeter (maybe NorthPoint) Philadelphia:King of Prussia Charleston:King Street Richmond: Short Pump Washington: Downtown/Tysons Corner & Galleria. What do you notice about them? The are all upscale. So, if CBL does not pull their act together, there may be many empty malls across the (mostly) south.

CBL has so quality assets as well. Look at the Coastal Grand in Myrtle Beach or the Friendly Center in Greensboro, NC. And I would think that at least the new additional to Friendly Center is on the higher end or retail.

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CBL has so quality assets as well. Look at the Coastal Grand in Myrtle Beach or the Friendly Center in Greensboro, NC. And I would think that at least the new additional to Friendly Center is on the higher end or retail.

Well, Coastal Grand is not really that upscale. Friendly Center is,however, It was already upscale before CBL bought it. If it CBL did own it before, it would have been a lot more like Four Seasons. Do you ever see a Saks or Neimans or even a Lacoste at CBL? No. I they do it does not belong there (Triangle Town Center).

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Citadel Mall isn't "upscale", true, but it had a Parisian, which I always thought was pretty upscale (not Prada-level, but still higher end than Belk and Dillard's)- I do not understand why an A-list tenant like that would have chosen to locate in a struggling mall, and I do not understand how a mall like Citadel, with very low sales per square foot, would have very few vacancies, no problem filling anchor spaces (with JC Penney, Target, etc. moving in) and new editions of stores- it does not seem like a dying mall at all based on my visit, although the sales figures sure make it appear to be one.

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Citadel Mall isn't "upscale", true, but it had a Parisian, which I always thought was pretty upscale (not Prada-level, but still higher end than Belk and Dillard's)- I do not understand why an A-list tenant like that would have chosen to locate in a struggling mall, and I do not understand how a mall like Citadel, with very low sales per square foot, would have very few vacancies, no problem filling anchor spaces (with JC Penney, Target, etc. moving in) and new editions of stores- it does not seem like a dying mall at all based on my visit, although the sales figures sure make it appear to be one.

Parisian was sort of upscale. It was like a mix of Belk/Dillards and Nordstrom. Sort of like Lord & Taylor. I would think that it would not be doing bad. It really is not upscale at all: all of the upscale stores are on King (Pottery Barn, J. Crew, Coach, Apple, Ann Taylor, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren, Williams-Sonoma, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Saks, etc.)

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There is room, but apparently a lack of interest. The Mount Pleasant and Downtown markets are the choice of the hotter retailers in the market.

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The Charlotte Observer reports today that Citadel Mall's landlord is earning only 84 cents for each dollar of debt payments due on the mall, and occupancy is down to about 75%, with Cache and other retailers leaving; however, the landlord is actively marketing the mall and has 4 new tenants.

With that, and the WSJ article months ago stating that the mall is among the US malls with the lowest sales per square foot, it's not good. I am still confused though- with a new Target and new JC Penney and with a former Parisian (which usually seemed to be in good malls), how could the mall be troubled?

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The Charlotte Observer reports today that Citadel Mall's landlord is earning only 84 cents for each dollar of debt payments due on the mall, and occupancy is down to about 75%, with Cache and other retailers leaving; however, the landlord is actively marketing the mall and has 4 new tenants.

With that, and the WSJ article months ago stating that the mall is among the US malls with the lowest sales per square foot, it's not good. I am still confused though- with a new Target and new JC Penney and with a former Parisian (which usually seemed to be in good malls), how could the mall be troubled?

I don't have an answer to your question being on the outside of the mall's financial situation. But a few observations: 1) The mall is almost 30 years old and looks okay from the exterior but the interior needs to be updated in the common areas. To me, it looks dated and not an appealing place to go shop. 2) The mall is in a great location as far as where's it's located in West Ashley and its relatively close proximity to James and Johns Island, Hollywood and downtown. 3) West Ashley will continue to grow and much of the growth will occur within 3 to 6 miles from the mall. So the future is potentially bright if the owner's will put some capital into the mall and be patient. It's not like another mall is going to be built West Ashley or anywhere west of the ashley that would compete with Citadel.

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I don't have an answer to your question being on the outside of the mall's financial situation. But a few observations: 1) The mall is almost 30 years old and looks okay from the exterior but the interior needs to be updated in the common areas. To me, it looks dated and not an appealing place to go shop. 2) The mall is in a great location as far as where's it's located in West Ashley and its relatively close proximity to James and Johns Island, Hollywood and downtown. 3) West Ashley will continue to grow and much of the growth will occur within 3 to 6 miles from the mall. So the future is potentially bright if the owner's will put some capital into the mall and be patient. It's not like another mall is going to be built West Ashley or anywhere west of the ashley that would compete with Citadel.

The best hope for Citadel Mall at this point is that Macy's will finally prove the rumors true and build a department store here. It's no secret that the mall went into a downward spiral first when Thalhimers left in the early 1990's and then again when Parisian was sold and closed in the 2000's. Thalhimers & Parisian were similar in concept and the merchandise they carried and both were a step above the other department stores. Until something like a Macy's comes into Citadel, I don't believe that the mall will rebound. The location could not be better. It's extremely accessible, great parking and centrally located. It needs Macy's and then the mall's owners need to give it a much needed and long overdue facelift. The exterior could not look more dated and the parking lot and landscaping are horrid. They need to show a little pride in ownership and stop being a slumlord.

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The best hope for Citadel Mall at this point is that Macy's will finally prove the rumors true and build a department store here. It's no secret that the mall went into a downward spiral first when Thalhimers left in the early 1990's and then again when Parisian was sold and closed in the 2000's. Thalhimers & Parisian were similar in concept and the merchandise they carried and both were a step above the other department stores. Until something like a Macy's comes into Citadel, I don't believe that the mall will rebound. The location could not be better. It's extremely accessible, great parking and centrally located. It needs Macy's and then the mall's owners need to give it a much needed and long overdue facelift. The exterior could not look more dated and the parking lot and landscaping are horrid. They need to show a little pride in ownership and stop being a slumlord.

That's CBL for you. Here in Asheville they renovated the newest, smallest part of the mall and called it a "renovation". They just put new tile and nothing more. Then they left the rest of the mall alone. They said they were getting new carpet in the rest of the mall. But how stupid can they get? Put new carpet down? Why not tile? It's much better and wouldn't cost much more. But that just tells you that CBL is greedy and only care about making money, not nice centers for their shoppers. And I think one day it's going to come back and bite them in the butt. I can't think of one of their malls that looks as good as a comparable mall. Like Haywood Mall is similar to CoolSprings, but CoolSprings doesn't look as nice. I think that if a nicer mall management company bought all of CBL's malls (like Simon or Westfield), you would probably see minor improvements to each one.

Edited by ct36

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How on earth Citadel Mall and CBL lost retailers like GAP and Hollister is beyond me, what a bone headed move by them.

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Citadel Mall is facing foreclosure, according to the P&C.  According to the article, which is behind the paywall, they have been going downhill fast.

 

It seems that all the major cities in SC will have one and only one, successful enclosed mall soon.  Perhaps none in another 10 or so years.

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That's sad for Citadel Mall (and all the malls), a mall I've never been (because had no reason to go) as many times as I've been to Charleston; then I pretty much confine myself to the peninsula or a day trip to Folly Beach (my fav Charles areas) when I am in Charleston...

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