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DigitalSky

Big Boxes Of Independence & More

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These are pics I took and my friend took *while driving* on Independence Blvd 3/25/05.

So they aren't the greatest quality pictures, but the thing was to get the point across and share with people who haven't been down Independence Blvd.

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Midtown Square Mall - S Kings/S Independence Blvd - slated for demolition to make way for a Target/Home Depot Expo Design Center and outdoor village shopping and a high rise.

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Midtown Square Mall again. These pics were taken from the Kenilworth Avenue side of the mall.

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Former Harris Teeter store at Independence & Idlewild that closed late last year. Now, the closest grocery store is the Food Lion at WT Harris & Idlewild (1.5 miles).

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Former Service Merchandise at Independence & Buick Dr. Has been closed for years. There used to be an Office store next to it and a Barnes and Noble, which both have closed since. Currently where the Barnes & Noble and Office store were, is a temporary car dealer.

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BJ's Wharehouse Club. Formerly a Target, Gold Circle and originally a Richway store. This is probably a good example of big box revitalization. This is across the Service Merchandise, at the corner of Conference Dr and Independence. In the same shopping center, Toys R Us is still open but the former Circuit City is still vacant.

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Rhodes Furniture. Closed, and moved down Independence to Matthews, which I believe is closing that store too. Obiously, still vacant.

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Former Super K Mart, closed in 2002. At the corner of Sardis Rd N & Independence.

The 2nd Super K Center in the country when it opened.

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a sign from Independence

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A big mound! This is at Independence & Sam Newell where the rock quary is in Matthews. The mound is built to cover view of the rock quarry, and there's a car dealership going up in front of it.

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Lowe's of Matthews. This one is in Sycamore Commons, and it's the third time Lowe's has moved on Independence in Matthews. It originally started off in Matthews Plaza where Carolina Lanes is today, then moved to Crown Point, then left for Sycamore Commons (where Circuit City is today too).

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Matthews Festival, across Sycamore Commons. There used to be a movie theater and A&P in this shopping center, at the corner of 51 Byp and Independence. It's still thriving though. Target is across the street (51 bypass) from the shopping center.

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Old Kmart & Matthews Plaza. There used to be a Bi-Lo next to it too. This Kmart has been vacant for 10+ years now, and finally an Ashley Furniture Home Store is moving into the vacant Kmart.

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Central Piedmont Community College's South Levine Campus, at 485 near Independence. There are proposed auto malls that will be coming up around the campus in the upcoming years.

hope you enjoyed the tour.

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Thanks for the tour.

A little more information for you. The building that you correctly identify above as the closed Circuit City/open Toys R US, was originally a Wickes Lumber Hardware/Furniture store. In the early 80's it was converted to the present format.

Something tells me that Super Kmart actually opened as something else but was soon converted to Kmart when they bought whatever that chain was that brought the concept to Charlotte.

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^American Fare is the chain that K-Mart bought.....wow, I can't believe I remember that......speaking of which I saw an old Richway's trailer being pulled with the paint removed, but you could still see the sun logo....

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Wow, I would have never remembered that name until you said it. LOL I do remember when it opened it was seen as something revolutionary to combine a department store with a grocery store.

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I guess since nothing any big box sells is american anymore (except the 'friendly' attitude of the check out kids), and "Chinese Fare" didn't do as well in the Focus Groups, so they had to look for other names.

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^American Fare is the chain that K-Mart bought.....wow, I can't believe I remember that......speaking of which I saw an old Richway's trailer being pulled with the paint removed, but you could still see the sun logo....

You got to it before I did, LOL! I remember when it opened, I went with my parents (was still a kid). I remember them saying "it's a store that has everything!"

It was the best looking K-Mart I have ever been inside. K-Mart is known for some skanky places.

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Thanks for the tour. 

A little more information for you.  The building that you correctly identify above as the closed Circuit City/open Toys R US, was originally a Wickes Lumber Hardware/Furniture store.  In the early 80's it was converted to the present format.

Something tells me that Super Kmart actually opened as something else but was soon converted to Kmart when they bought whatever that chain was that brought the concept to Charlotte.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ok, I did not know about the Wickes, thanks for that. And yeah It was American Fare, I had read somewhere it was the 2nd Super K Center (or American Fare), and the 1st was in Atlanta.

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It suprises me that there are so many empty boxes on Independence, considering it is a main thoroughfare from the southeastern 'burbs. Will its transition to the "Freeway" affect any of these?

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There is still a lot of stuff going on along Independence though. Plenty of neighborhoods and apartment complexes are either on or right off of it and there is a ton of retail. I wonder why the big chain stores don't work. It would be nice to not have car store row though.

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It suprises me that there are so many empty boxes on Independence, considering it is a main thoroughfare from the southeastern 'burbs. Will its transition to the "Freeway" affect any of these?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, and there are a whole bunch of vacant/semi-vacant big box strips within the current construction zone (between eastway and sharon amity) that shut down after construction began. Some were hanging on by a thread as it was, but the construction was the final nail in their coffins. I had read, though, that arbys around there had been one of the top selling stores in the company, but after construction began, they moved almost instantly to one of the worst performing.

In some ways, i wonder if DOT is trying to put them out of business. It makes land purchases cheaper for future widening, and also gives the appearance that their design/construction helped traffic, but it was really just that people don't make as many trips there.

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Heard from a reliable source that Wal-Mart will build a new Supercenter on the site of the Amity Gardens Shopping Center (Independence and Pierson, just before the Abemarle exit). It will also contain a new transit stop for BRT or LRT. Developers are also seeking to get the adjacent Coliseum Center shopping center and redevelop it at the same time. No timetable was mentioned, but it would probably start construction in late 2006 or early 2007.

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This would imply that they are going to close the one at Central and Eastway....that's good, because that area has pretty good potential, but they desperately need to get rid of that center.

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i need to consult a counselor... but this will be the second walmart that i'm excited about! Walmart may win me over if the continue to replace blighted areas with old vacant big-boxes.

I figured that now that a full interchange was built at Independence and Pierson that something positive could happen with that shopping center. It has been very ugly since Haverty's closed.

and i agree that it means their small center on eastway will need to close... and that can only be positive for that area.

i wonder if nearby shopping centers like the "Colliseum" center will renovate in expectation of higher volumes near the walmart.

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It'll be very awesome to see revival come to this part of Independence.. I remember being young and us going up there to shop at Kmart and Haverty's in the area.

Unfortunately, BAD NEWS for Eastway Crossing. They lost their Winn Dixie and as atlrvr said, this would imply that the Regular Wal-Mart would close in that shopping center too.

Edit: ok so this got me thinking... a few years back Wal-Mart closed their regular store on South Blvd & Arrowood Rd for a new store at S Tryon & I-485. If Wal-Mart is considering closing its regular stores in lieu of supercenters... then they would do as i mentioned with the Eastway Store, and I can see them doing this (as rumored) with the Albemarle Road Store too, closing that one and building a supercenter store at Albemarle Rd & I-485.

I don't think the regular Wal-Mart stores at University Place or The Arboretum will be affected though.

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I don't think the regular Wal-Mart stores at University Place or The Arboretum will be affected though.

Does the University Place store have room to expand into a SuperCenter on the southside? That area has relatively few groceries considering the population.

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Does the University Place store have room to expand into a SuperCenter on the southside? That area has relatively few groceries considering the population.

They could theoretically expand but that wouldn't leave a lot of room either way in the parking lot i think

http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=35.311264,-...09560&t=h&hl=en

But you're right, that area doesn't have a lot of grocery stores. There's a Bloom store off N Tryon.. and there used to be a Hannaford Store in that shopping center which is the current Sam's Club.

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Now I want to go back over there to check things out! The last time I was in that part of town was at least 5 years ago to play laser tag somewhere near the Town & Country Ford north of Idlewild with my dad. He said the area was worse than when we were there, but it seemed somewhat viable at the time, though things seemed to be moving along to Matthews.

Grocery shopping was always done at that Idlewild HT... A couple of times we saw Ric Flair (whoo!) shopping there, though wrestling was just a regional thing back in the early 80s. I remember that new BJs being a Richways, and just north of there was Zayers (sp?), which was later converted into a Hechinger's. The same thing happened around the same time to the South Blvd. Zayers I think. I may be confused, but I think there was a branch of the library in the same shopping center as Richway, further down independece? And yes, the furniture store -- the red and blue W was kind of neat, but the one or two times we went in there, it seemed like we were the only people.

The Service Merchandise always seemed to be busy, but the novelty of shopping via order form/limited floor inventory has long since passed. I think the Wendys (not sure if it is still there) between the then Richways and Service Merch was one of the first, if not first, in Charlotte?

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the independence freeway construction put the nail in the coffins of many of the old stores that were dying or teetering on the edge.

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I would just like for Independence to become a freeway/interstate and I would like to see a bulldozer rip down all of those shoddy buildings along the sides and replace them with trees. Yeah... that'll happen. Oh well.

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It'll be very awesome to see revival come to this part of Independence.. I remember being young and us going up there to shop at Kmart and Haverty's in the area.

Unfortunately, BAD NEWS for Eastway Crossing. They lost their Winn Dixie and as atlrvr said, this would imply that the Regular Wal-Mart would close in that shopping center too.

Edit: ok so this got me thinking... a few years back Wal-Mart closed their regular store on South Blvd & Arrowood Rd for a new store at S Tryon & I-485. If Wal-Mart is considering closing its regular stores in lieu of supercenters... then they would do as i mentioned with the Eastway Store, and I can see them doing this (as rumored) with the Albemarle Road Store too, closing that one and building a supercenter store at Albemarle Rd & I-485.

I don't think the regular Wal-Mart stores at University Place or The Arboretum will be affected though.

Well the Winn-Dixie space has already been filled at Eastway Crossing. Atlantic International Farmers Market will be opening there according to a large sign hanging on it. Personally, I'm much more excited about that than Winn-Dixie. I only went there once when Harris Teeter was out of my favorite spaghetti sauce and I was less than impressed.

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Now I want to go back over there to check things out! The last time I was in that part of town was at least 5 years ago to play laser tag somewhere near the Town & Country Ford north of Idlewild with my dad. He said the area was worse than when we were there, but it seemed somewhat viable at the time, though things seemed to be moving along to Matthews.

Grocery shopping was always done at that Idlewild HT... A couple of times we saw Ric Flair (whoo!) shopping there, though wrestling was just a regional thing back in the early 80s. I remember that new BJs being a Richways, and just north of there was Zayers (sp?), which was later converted into a Hechinger's. The same thing happened around the same time to the South Blvd. Zayers I think. I may be confused, but I think there was a branch of the library in the same shopping center as Richway, further down independece? And yes, the furniture store -- the red and blue W was kind of neat, but the one or two times we went in there, it seemed like we were the only people.

The Service Merchandise always seemed to be busy, but the novelty of shopping via order form/limited floor inventory has long since passed. I think the Wendys (not sure if it is still there) between the then Richways and Service Merch was one of the first, if not first, in Charlotte?

I believe you're right about a lot of stuff.. That HT had been there for over 30 years i think, my parents used to shop there when they lived in that area. The BJ's was most recently a Target store whcich closed in the late 90s I believe, and before that it was Gold Circle and Richway as you mentioned. Yes, also the public library was in that shopping center, now they've built a big branch behind the shopping cneter. I'm not sure about the Zayre's and Hechinger's but I don't remember that far back.

We used to go to the Service Merchandise a LOT, my mom loved that store. I think it might have been Charlotte's first one, and i think the Wendy's is still there too in front of BJ's.

Well the Winn-Dixie space has already been filled at Eastway Crossing. Atlantic International Farmers Market will be opening there according to a large sign hanging on it. Personally, I'm much more excited about that than Winn-Dixie. I only went there once when Harris Teeter was out of my favorite spaghetti sauce and I was less than impressed.

Ok thanks for the info, I didn't know that WD had been filled. Sounds like an interesting tenant too.

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I would just like for Independence to become a freeway/interstate and I would like to see a bulldozer rip down all of those shoddy buildings along the sides and replace them with trees. Yeah... that'll happen. Oh well.

i agree with you big time... but also that it isn't going to happen.

this shopping center and the one next door are by far the ugliest and blighted shopping centers on independence. at least around conference dr the stores are most all still in business, and same with further out.

http://virtualearth.msn.com/default.aspx?c...le=h&lvl=17&v=1

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i need to consult a counselor... but this will be the second walmart that i'm excited about! Walmart may win me over if the continue to replace blighted areas with old vacant big-boxes.

I figured that now that a full interchange was built at Independence and Pierson that something positive could happen with that shopping center. It has been very ugly since Haverty's closed.

and i agree that it means their small center on eastway will need to close... and that can only be positive for that area.

i wonder if nearby shopping centers like the "Colliseum" center will renovate in expectation of higher volumes near the walmart.

Dub, I will go in search of a counselor for you. You are seriously ill. :blink:

While it is good that Sprawl-Mart is doing some in-town stuff, you have to remember that when they open a new store, they leave an ugly big box behind. Someone else already mentioned the vacant Wal-Mart on Arrowood, and now Eastway Crossing might have two vacant big-boxes--Winn-Dixie and Wal-Mart.

To be fair, the one on Arrowood is being redeveleloped two years after it closed. CDOT is building Old Pineville Rd throught the parking lot to connect it with England St. and the Victory Christian Center recently purchased the WM for an "evangelist center" (whatever that is).

EDIT: Just read Authenticbeing's post. The Winn-Dixie space at E.C. is filled.

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