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So you stayed in the most vanilla part of town and came back with a opinion about the city as a whole. Well done.

Yeah, seriously. So you are telling me if you stayed across the street from a shopping mall in Columbia (or anywhere else) that you would expect your experience to be any different? You really need to visit some of the other neighborhoods (Uptown, South End, NoDa, Plaza Midwood, Elizabeth, Dilworth) before you have an opinion.

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Makes the future placement of Dick's rather suspect

Me reading this thread:

A little late, but the Gucci store is now open at SouthPark. Only location in NC. 

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Well, my own hometown gets a lot of tough love from me, as it is fantastic during the Fall (football season) and in the Spring with all the festivals, but can be a bit lame at other times. Should we choose to spend another weekend there, we'll seek out a more hip neighborhood. We are big fans of Charleston, Savannah, and Asheville, but have found the some of the other bigger towns lamentably lacking in character.

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My wife and I took a little weekend trip to Charlotte, only because its not far from Columbia, and the kids wouldn't be there. Stayed at the Rennaisance at South Park, where we shared lodging with the Houston Texans and the Secret Service. That circumstance was far more interesting than anything we saw at South Park Mall. Charlotte has a lot of money and clean looking people, but damn, its dull.

I've lived in Columbia for most of my life and have lived in Charlotte for 7 years and I can assure you that Charlotte has way more character, culture and things to do than Columbia. You my friend are in denial and was just lazy to venture out to other areas of the city: Uptown, SouthEnd, Plaza-Midwood, Dilworth, NoDa, Elizabeth etc. do you not know about the whitewater center?? Next time try to do something else other than go to a mall.

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I think with any of the larger cities in NC if you are in suburbia you feel like you are in cookie cutter central. You could be in North Raleigh and feel like you are in suburban Charlotte, Greensboro, Wilmington (minus the palm trees) Cary etc etc. The key is to explore the older areas (pre WW2) of the cities if you want to get any sense of place...otherwise you are just surrounded by subdivisions and shopping centers...and sure if you are in town to shop for Christmas presents or something that is fine, but if you want to try to get a feel for the soul of the city you'll prolly need to look elsewhere.

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To each their own I suppose, but as others have said you can't possibly base you opinion on Charlotte (or any city for that matter) by what you experienced at a mall. I love living here but admit that Charlotte doesn't have the same personality as some other cities. It can be stale by comparison. However, there are a lot of great, quirky neighborhoods in the area. NoDa, Plaza Midwood, Dilworth and South End all come to mind. Southpark is very much the suburban, car-centric and cluster *#%& of an area that it is. It has some nice shopping destinations and some solid restaurants (The Cowfish is hands down my favorite CLT restaurant). But it doesn't compare in terms of personality to other neighborhoods. Hopefully you come back and check out some of the other areas of town. It might surprise you @victory.

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Why don't they just tear out the roof and make SouthPark a really cool lifestyle center, upscale of course like the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto near San Francisco.

Most stores are open now. There are only about 8 stores still closed. I wouldn't really like SouthPark as a lifestyle center. In fact, I am not too crazy about lifestyle centers. The few I think I would like are St. Johns Town Center, Americana at Brand, The Grove, and Stanford. Most are just too generic, and I like malls better because they have air conditioning-a must during the summer! :) I really wouldn't want to see any malls turned into lifestyle centers. I think they should be built as a lifestyle center or a mall. I just never really liked them for some reason?

As for boring, I have been around Columbia a bunch of times and while SouthPark isn't the most exciting place, it is definitely more exciting than basically anywhere in Columbia. SouthPark is my favorite area in Charlotte, but I like uptown, Dilworth, South End, etc. basically just as much. Charlotte doesn't have the personality of my hometown, Asheville, but I still prefer Charlotte over Asheville anyway.

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Most stores are open now. There are only about 8 stores still closed. I wouldn't really like South Park as a lifestyle center. In fact, I am not too crazy about lifestyle centers. The few I think I would like are St. Johns Town Center, Americana at Brand, The Grove, and Stanford. Most are just too generic, and I like malls better because they have air conditioning-a must during the summer! :) I really wouldn't want to see any malls turned into lifestyle centers. I think they should be built as a lifestyle center or a mall. I just never really liked them for some reason?

Well ct, you have a good point. Florida and California and other areas out west have a climate that can support the lifestyle centers. I personally have never been to fond of them myself when I lived here in the South. Hot, humid, and muggy summers, and then cold winters with that wind chill factor. Then there is the issue of parking, where you go round and round and finally get a space say to go into GameStop, but then you need to go to Coach or maybe Yankee Candle, so once again around and around you go, and by the time you get a space or walk from GameStop to Coach, you are drenched in sweat and look like a bum lol! :blink: , or if winter, a frozen peace of beef! :cold: , so I agree with you. I made an unwise suggestion. But you know it seems the consumers would be tiring of these "GLORIFIED" shopping centers. Maybe sooner than later I hope.

I do think as you pointed out that St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville was done well considering it is a Simon Property. The Domain in Austin is nice also ( not sure if that is Simon or not) then you move up into the more upscale centers like South Park and I think of course Stanford was done very nicely, no doubt about Bal Harbour, and even up in New York, I love the architectural layout of Americana at Manhasset.

Since Lenox Square used to be one level in the main mall, isn't it engineering possible to add a second level to some area or all of South Park? No doubt it's incredible success calls for some type of expansion to reel in the other retailers that upscale Charlotte is seeking.

I just might study South Park and come up with some ideas via architectural blueprints, and like you, throw it out at Simon and see if they bite.

On another note, do you or anyone else know if Nicole Bostic is still the GM for South Park? Before South Park she was the GM of Phipps Plaza for about four years.

Edited by Kenneth Disraili-Jean
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I have heard it straight from Randy's mouth that H&M is NOT coming to SouthPark. H&M requires 22,000 square feet and there is no space in the mall that big.

Aww...H&M isn't my favorite store, but I was warming up to the idea of one at SouthPark. :(

Well ct, you have a good point. Florida and California and other areas out west have a climate that can support the lifestyle centers. I personally have never been to fond of them myself when I lived here in the South. Hot, humid, and muggy summers, and then cold winters with that wind chill factor. Then there is the issue of parking, where you go round and round and finally get a space say to go into GameStop, but then you need to go to Coach or maybe Yankee Candle, so once again around and around you go, and by the time you get a space or walk from GameStop to Coach, you are drenched in sweat and look like a bum lol! :blink: , or if winter, a frozen peace of beef! :cold: , so I agree with you. I made an unwise suggestion. But you know it seems the consumers would be tiring of these "GLORIFIED" shopping centers. Maybe sooner than later I hope.

I do think as you pointed out that St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville was done well considering it is a Simon Property. The Domain in Austin is nice also ( not sure if that is Simon or not) then you move up into the more upscale centers like South Park and I think of course Stanford was done very nicely, no doubt about Bal Harbour, and even up in New York, I love the architectural layout of Americana at Manhasset.

Since Lenox Square used to be one level in the main mall, isn't it engineering possible to add a second level to some area or all of South Park? No doubt it's incredible success calls for some type of expansion to reel in the other retailers that upscale Charlotte is seeking.

I just might study South Park and come up with some ideas via architectural blueprints, and like you, throw it out at Simon and see if they bite.

On another note, do you or anyone else know if Nicole Bostic is still the GM for South Park? Before South Park she was the GM of Phipps Plaza for about four years.

Yes, I do not like lifestyle centers very much! It is very, very annoying to find a parking space. I haven't been to many lifestyle centers, but I have found that to be a problem at all of them. St. Johns Town Center is very nice, as is the Domain which is a Simon property.

As for another level at SouthPark, I don't think it is possible to add a second level to the mall. Also, SouthPark has high ceilings (another thing I love about it) so it would be very odd to have a second level. There is parking underneath the mall, and escalators leading underneath the mall, so an underground level would work, but I don't really see that happening. I think the best thing for now is just to not renew the lease of the cheaper stores and fill them with more expensive ones. There isn't too much that Charlotte doesn't have, except for boutiques and Charlotte really isn't big enough. I think SouthPark could maybe pull in a Gucci, Omega, and Henri Bendel. It may be a little wishful thinking but they might be able to do Emporio Armani, Ferragamo, etc. Neiman Marcus carries Gucci and Ferragamo, I believe, but our Neiman's is seems to be doing very well. From what I could tell there were more people in there than Macy's, but it is a lot smaller so that could be why it seemed there were so many people in there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, Lenox Square had the high ceilings too. In fact the angled glass panes at the mall entrance to Rich's were two levels high. The second level ended about 15-20 feet from the entrance. On the sides were this dark aluminum paneling with the Rich's logo on the right and left sides the two mall entrances and all of this tall angled glass in the middle. And not only was the ceiling impressive, but so were the skylights. Neiman Marcus had a beautiful entrance with a giant logo above the mall entrance since there was no second level. But in 1998 the second level add on was completed under the ever so watchfull eye of Simon Properties, and then in 2007 the Luxury Wing second level was completed, and then they went to the back of the mall and ripped up Plaza Court so it would match the rest of the mall, and finally they ripped out the retail area at the back to make way for the 21 Forever Superstore, and the rest is history.

Now that I have seen a mall that was one level with high ceilings and skylights, and what now is a 2 level mall with the first level making you feel like the ceiling is so close, that you could jump up and touch it, and the second level with the upscale, industrial, upscale industrial look, and repeat, I now wish Lenox Square had been left one level. There are several different ways they could have expanded, but I feel Simon played a role in this disasterous look the mall now has.

So with that said, I say keep South Park one level and expand out from the back, and keep it one level too, so that the entire mall will match and not be mismatched.

And btw, it seems Nashville is having a big parade because The Mall at Greenhills is getting a Jimmy Choo Boutique and an Eileen Fisher Store, which Eileen Fisher is not really big news to me. Saks has an Eileen Fisher leased boutique down in the Woman's Department, but it seems Atlanta women preferr Karen Millen England over Eileen Fisher, but I certainly do not want to rain on thier parade lol :P

They still however do not have a Ralph Lauren, Hermes, and thier Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton boutiques are very, very, small. Where Charlotte's are much larger. Oh I almost forgot, the two levels that were occuppied by Crate & Barrel are going to be such a let down. Thank you Tisha Melay, Simon Marketing Director for Lenox and Phipps. Anyway most of the first level is going to be a BeBe Superstore, and still no word on level two. I do not want to even repeat the curse words that were typed on two Atlanta retail blogs. It is pretty bad lol.

Take care my Charlotte friends and I will chat with you later!!

Kenneth Loves Charlotte!!!

Edited by Kenneth Disraili-Jean
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I am now hearing some rumblings from various people connected with the mall (but not a trustworthy source) that H&M still may come to SouthPark. The details don't make any sense at all (H&M and Apple SHARING the old GAP location) so I really don't see it happening but these people seem very adament about it. But considering who it is coming from I'm not putting any stock into it.

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I am now hearing some rumblings from various people connected with the mall (but not a trustworthy source) that H&M still may come to SouthPark. The details don't make any sense at all (H&M and Apple SHARING the old GAP location) so I really don't see it happening but these people seem very adament about it. But considering who it is coming from I'm not putting any stock into it.

I walked by the Old Gap store....Apparently it's being broken into 3 different spots. The far left next to true religion will be Hanna Anderson children's clothing (really, another kids store?), the middle spot will be a Porsche design store (pretty decent), and the far right spot is still blank.....I'm confused as to when and where apple will expand?

Edited by Temeteron
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I bet the far right one will be Apple. A Porsche store will be kind of cool. I know there's a Ferari store at the Aventura Mall, but I don't know where there is anything similar.

Those 2 stores will be pretty small. They will probably take up the Gap Kids store and Apple will take over the Gap space. I'm glad, too. That was just too large for Apple. Even though big stores are nice, when you have like 10 products and some accessories you don't really need a 14,000 square foot space. The current one is always packed, but if they take over only the former GAP space then it will be double the size. With the Gap Kids it would have been around 3.5 times the size. A store that big (even for Apple) would probably seem pretty empty.

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I walked by the Old Gap store....Apparently it's being broken into 3 different spots. The far left next to true religion will be Hanna Anderson children's clothing (really, another kids store?), the middle spot will be a Porsche design store (pretty decent), and the far right spot is still blank.....I'm confused as to when and where apple will expand?

Porche Design is pretty exclusive - there are only 11 stores in the country out there right now.

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The Raleigh store opened in 2004....if they signed a 10 yr lease 2014 may not be a good year for Triangle Town Center....I have no idea how the store is doing, I hear it's never really busy but I imagine with Saks price points they don't have to get alot of ppl in the store to make a profit. Plus Triangle Town Center is sort of like Northlake in that it's a typical middle class mall with "okay" sales per square foot (like under $300 compared to Southpoint at $550ish and Crabtree at $650+).

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It's seems like the only Saks locations that seem to be doing well are the outlets stocked with a wide variety of designers, and those seem to be limited to the larger cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, New York, among others. Many seem to prefer Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus over Saks Fifth Avenue because they typically have better inventory.

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The Raleigh store opened in 2004....if they signed a 10 yr lease 2014 may not be a good year for Triangle Town Center....I have no idea how the store is doing, I hear it's never really busy but I imagine with Saks price points they don't have to get alot of ppl in the store to make a profit. Plus Triangle Town Center is sort of like Northlake in that it's a typical middle class mall with "okay" sales per square foot (like under $300 compared to Southpoint at $550ish and Crabtree at $650+).

Neiman's in Charlotte is doing great!! Every Saturday I'm there, there's a lot of people, and they are definitely buying stuff! It's not as busy as Nordstrom, but I swear there were more people in there than Macy's. Northlake is just okay, and Triangle is worse since Northlake has better stores, but no Saks. Either way, both malls basically bore me to death. They are both better than the Asheville Mall, but that really isn't saying much.

I believe this store will become permanent after the holiday period. I hope so at least.

It's just a pop up store-meaning that it will only be there for the holidays and then will go. Why would you want it to stay? It's just a store full of stuff you can get at Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc. and probably has higher prices as well. Being Microsoft, I can't imagine any superb customer service either. I've heard that people just go for the free internet and some teenagers play around on the video game systems, and hardly anyone buys anything. I just really hope one doesn't open at SouthPark because there are so many better stores that should open there. I really don't see too many boutiques far behind because on the weekends they are never empty and seem to be doing well. If you look at similar sized cities shopping, Charlotte is really great. Charlotte can pretty much by-pass any city it's size (except Orlando) and skip up to be closer to the level of San Diego, Tampa, etc. (cities with at least 1 million more people). That is very, very good. There's always people buying Gucci at Neiman's, so maybe it's time to expand to a boutique. Also, with Emporio Armani opening a new store in Orlando this summer, maybe they would want to open one in Atlanta and Charlotte as well. Also, Henri Bendel, David Yurman, Herve Leger, etc. could be possibilities. I would love Cartier to open, but after closing their boutique inside Neiman's I can't really see them opening a boutique in the mall.

It's seems like the only Saks locations that seem to be doing well are the outlets stocked with a wide variety of designers, and those seem to be limited to the larger cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, New York, among others. Many seem to prefer Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus over Saks Fifth Avenue because they typically have better inventory.

I like Saks, but it's just not as good as Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus. I could see them closing all of their stores except for the larger city ones, and most of the Florida ones since there are so many rich people who retire there from NY. Neiman's is just more appealing. They usually have nicer, newer stores, and better layouts. Neiman Marcus is almost perfect because it is pretty open but isn't so open that it's a waste of space. Some Saks stores I have been to have been like that-it was really open and was basically a waste of space in some parts and kind of cramped in other parts of the store. I like all 4 stores (Saks, Bloomies, Nordstrom and Neiman's), but I greatly prefer Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus over the other 2.

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The Raleigh store opened in 2004....if they signed a 10 yr lease 2014 may not be a good year for Triangle Town Center....I have no idea how the store is doing, I hear it's never really busy but I imagine with Saks price points they don't have to get alot of ppl in the store to make a profit. Plus Triangle Town Center is sort of like Northlake in that it's a typical middle class mall with "okay" sales per square foot (like under $300 compared to Southpoint at $550ish and Crabtree at $650+).

Yeah, seriously. I couldn't believe that one of their last round of store closings included the only one in San Diego. If that says anything - i.e. if people in SoCal can't support a store in a city as big as San Diego - then it seems Sak's is in trouble.

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Speaking of Neiman in Charlotte. That store was so small and the selection that they had where so outdated. There are a pair of Prada shoes that I saw in the mens shoes that were being sold at full price but I found that same shoe at that outlet here in Atlanta for 250 dollars less. I didnt see any D squared no Jimmy choo no y S L no balmain no lanvin no Alexander McQueen shoes and the list goes on the men's section was very small and very limited. Which makes me ask this question. Are there any flagship stores in South Park besides Belk? Even urban Outfitters was a little watered down compared to here in Atlanta This is not to rain on South Park being a good mall because the mall interior was everything very very much inviting decor in that mall was excellent. It's a beautiful mall. I was just there for 4 days visiting my partner. Of course I'm not trying to make this a Atlanta vs Charlotte.

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Speaking of Neiman in Charlotte. That store was so small and the selection that they had where so outdated. There are a pair of Prada shoes that I saw in the mens shoes that were being sold at full price but I found that same shoe at that outlet here in Atlanta for 250 dollars less. I didnt see any D squared no Jimmy choo no y S L no balmain no lanvin no Alexander McQueen shoes and the list goes on the men's section was very small and very limited. Which makes me ask this question. Are there any flagship stores in South Park besides Belk? Even urban Outfitters was a little watered down compared to here in Atlanta This is not to rain on South Park being a good mall because the mall interior was everything very very much inviting decor in that mall was excellent. It's a beautiful mall. I was just there for 4 days visiting my partner. Of course I'm not trying to make this a Atlanta vs Charlotte.

I remember what SouthPark was like 10 years ago. It has changed dramatically since. Probably 70% of the stores we have now were not there. Not only did the mall expand, but also added more luxury stores than before. I feel that even within the next 10 years it will continue grow and be a regional and national destination. However, I think they are running out of space. Either Simon properties must consider building a 2nd floor, or build another property nearby (similar to how Phipps and Lenox are).

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