Has an enclosed mall ever completely rebounded?

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Super S
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Has an enclosed mall ever completely rebounded?

Post by Super S » January 29th, 2018, 12:12 pm

I walked through Kelso, Washington's Three Rivers Mall this morning and noticed that more of the interior mall shops have closed, including ALL of the food court tenants. I think there are two national chain stores left not counting anchor stores.

I got to wondering...has there ever been an instance where a mall this empty has rebounded without the interior portion of the mall being demolished?

The excellent visibility along Interstate 5 points towards years of mismanagement, although the local economy has been struggling. It seems like a mall with the right variety could still do well in an area where it rains a lot.

And I know about Amazon etc. But I know plenty of folks who travel to Vancouver or Olympia regularly to shop, and there is a lot of money that leaves the local economy.

I think the right mix of stores could keep a mall going, as not everybody likes dealing with mail order, especially when returning stuff or wanting to physically see things before purchasing, especially large items.

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wnetmacman
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Re: Has an enclosed mall ever completely rebounded?

Post by wnetmacman » January 29th, 2018, 1:51 pm

Super S wrote:
January 29th, 2018, 12:12 pm
I walked through Kelso, Washington's Three Rivers Mall this morning and noticed that more of the interior mall shops have closed, including ALL of the food court tenants. I think there are two national chain stores left not counting anchor stores.

I got to wondering...has there ever been an instance where a mall this empty has rebounded without the interior portion of the mall being demolished?

The excellent visibility along Interstate 5 points towards years of mismanagement, although the local economy has been struggling. It seems like a mall with the right variety could still do well in an area where it rains a lot.

And I know about Amazon etc. But I know plenty of folks who travel to Vancouver or Olympia regularly to shop, and there is a lot of money that leaves the local economy.

I think the right mix of stores could keep a mall going, as not everybody likes dealing with mail order, especially when returning stuff or wanting to physically see things before purchasing, especially large items.
Sometimes these malls have more happening than just what's missing inside. I'll use two Louisiana cities as an example.

In 1964, Bon Marche Shopping Center was built in Baton Rouge. It would eventually come to be anchored by Montgomery Ward, JCPenney and New Orleans locals Maison Blanche and DH Holmes. Over time, the center was enclosed, and was the hub of Baton Rouge retail, until 1976. 2 miles away, Cortana Mall was built, and it took JCP and Maison Blanche with it, and brought Sears from down the road, along with a newcomer to Baton Rouge, Dillard's. Cortana would rule for 21 years, but over time, the neighborhood wore down, hitting Bon Marche first with crime and lower income residents who just didn't need a mall. In 1997, the Mall of Louisiana opened on the other side of town. While no anchors moved to the new mall (Sears, JCPenney,Maison Blanche, Dillards and McRae's all opened new stores there), MOL was in a much better area of town, and it was a larger mall, with better amenities and room to expand. Now, Cortana has lost all but one anchor (out of 6) and the neighborhood that cut into Bon Marche has now arrived to bring it down as well. Bon Marche is now known as Bon Carre Business Center, and houses Cox Communications' Baton Rouge offices. Cortana's future is up in the air.

Lafayette had a similar happening, but only with 2 malls: Northgate Mall opened in Lafayette in 1967 with Montgomery Ward and JCPenney as anchors, as well as TG&Y, Weingarten, K&B Drug as junior anchors. It would be expanded to also include HJ Wilson as a third anchor and WF Beall as a junior anchor by 1971. As the north side of Lafayette began to change and move much more to lower income, plans were drawn up to build another mall on the south side of town. Much like Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, nobody moved initially when Acadiana Mall opened in 1978. The new mall had Sears, DHHolmes and Godchaux out of Baton Rouge. In 1989, however, Penney began the process of building a larger store at Acadiana Mall that would include shuttering the Northgate store. That store sat empty in that mall for several years, eventually being torn down and replaced by an Albertsons store (now closed) in 1997. When Wards folded in 2001, the mall was deep in decline. Wilson's replacement, Service Merchandise, closed its Northgate store before the rest of the chain, and Rite Aid closed soon after Ward. Wards was bulldozed and replaced with Home Depot. TG&Y and Weingarten had been gone since the 80's, and just 2 weeks ago, the Stage store that replaced Beall-Ladymon closed. There isn't much left in that mall. it's been foreclosed twice, but manages to stay open by its bank owners.

Three of these malls were done in more by location than by bad management.

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Re: Has an enclosed mall ever completely rebounded?

Post by SamSpade » January 29th, 2018, 5:55 pm

wnetmacman wrote:
January 29th, 2018, 1:51 pm
Sometimes these malls have more happening than just what's missing inside. I'll use two Louisiana cities as an example.

In 1964, Bon Marche Shopping Center was built in Baton Rouge. It would eventually come to be anchored by Montgomery Ward, JCPenney and New Orleans locals Maison Blanche and DH Holmes. Over time, the center was enclosed, and was the hub of Baton Rouge retail, until 1976. 2 miles away, Cortana Mall was built, and it took JCP and Maison Blanche with it, and brought Sears from down the road, along with a newcomer to Baton Rouge, Dillard's. Cortana would rule for 21 years, but over time, the neighborhood wore down, hitting Bon Marche first with crime and lower income residents who just didn't need a mall. In 1997, the Mall of Louisiana opened on the other side of town. While no anchors moved to the new mall (Sears, JCPenney,Maison Blanche, Dillards and McRae's all opened new stores there), MOL was in a much better area of town, and it was a larger mall, with better amenities and room to expand. Now, Cortana has lost all but one anchor (out of 6) and the neighborhood that cut into Bon Marche has now arrived to bring it down as well. Bon Marche is now known as Bon Carre Business Center, and houses Cox Communications' Baton Rouge offices. Cortana's future is up in the air.
Cortana looks like it's in excellent albeit a little dated condition inside (except the rotting former Mervyn's) and has a good looking parking lot (except for the part that was probably Sears responsibility to maintain); hopefully some plans and additional alternative uses can be found for the interior. It would seem that a growing metro like Baton Rouge (802,000) could support at least 2 enclosed centers.

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Re: Has an enclosed mall ever completely rebounded?

Post by klkla » February 19th, 2018, 8:01 pm

Super S wrote:
January 29th, 2018, 12:12 pm
I got to wondering...has there ever been an instance where a mall this empty has rebounded without the interior portion of the mall being demolished?
I can think of one. Fallbrook Center in West Hills, which is a suburb in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.

You can see an aerial view here:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Canog ... 18.6058609

By the late 1990's this once thriving mall was nearly empty. But the owners never gave up and contiunally re-invested and found new tenants. Today it retains the same basic layout but the interior enclosed portion of the mall was converted to open air at one point so not sure it meets 100% of your requirement.

You can read the malls history here:
http://mall-hall-of-fame.blogspot.com/2 ... -23rd.html

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Re: Has an enclosed mall ever completely rebounded?

Post by buckguy » February 23rd, 2018, 8:36 am

It looks like they basically changed it into a big box center which is not unusual for dead malls--often much or most of the space is bulldozed for this. Some are successes (Westgate in Cleveland), but many of these ultimately fail or limp along (St Louis has a couple examples). It really depends if the economic base is sound and if the stores that go in are not already saturated nearby. Malls can limp along if the anchors remain, but the inline stores turnover continuously and become mostly local no-names, but once the anchors are gone, it's time to find a new use for the property.

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Re: Has an enclosed mall ever completely rebounded?

Post by Jeff » February 23rd, 2018, 5:41 pm

Two more I can think of in Los Angeles:

Eastland Mall - West Covina
Mall completely died when May Co pulled the plug on the Eastland store to move it to Plaza West Covina. May Co demolished for Target, except for the basement level which became Burlington, Mervyns stayed open during the construction, and the mall became a strip center with the original concourse inside the new big box stores. Mervyns closed and became a Walmart. Always interesting to see both a Walmart and Target in the same center.

Paseo Colorado - Pasadena.
Actually an interesting case. Reborn from the dead Plaza Pasadena, kept the old Broadway/Macys store and open aired the mall. Really successful for several years, including a Gelsons Market.
Fast forward to 2016. Gelsons closes, Macys closes. Down to about 30% occupancy. No anchors except for the Arclight. Now its another rebound. Macys site is becoming a hotel. New restaurants are added, and its getting busy again.

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Re: Has an enclosed mall ever completely rebounded?

Post by klkla » February 25th, 2018, 12:27 pm

Jeff wrote:
February 23rd, 2018, 5:41 pm
Actually an interesting case. Reborn from the dead Plaza Pasadena, kept the old Broadway/Macys store and open aired the mall. Really successful for several years, including a Gelsons Market.
Fast forward to 2016. Gelsons closes, Macys closes. Down to about 30% occupancy. No anchors except for the Arclight. Now its another rebound. Macys site is becoming a hotel. New restaurants are added, and its getting busy again.
That mall is definitely an interesting store. It also has high-end apartments in addition to the stores.

As far as the Gelson's goes it was never a success. As I mentioned in another thread the store literally opened the day after 9/11. They were ready to close it within a year but agreed to stay open after reaching a deal for five years free rent. It lasted a few more years after that but as part of the buyout agreement with TPG Capital they had to close that store (and another in Northridge). It's a live theater now.

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Re: Has an enclosed mall ever completely rebounded?

Post by Brian Lutz » March 12th, 2018, 10:01 am

Crossroads in Bellevue WA is probably the best example I can think of here. It's a small mall that had pretty well hit the skids by the early 80s, but new ownership was able to change its focus and turn it around to the point that it has thrived for many years now. That said, it's not really a traditional mall (the "anchors" would be Jo-Ann Fabrics, Michael's, QFC and Bed Bath & Beyond)but it focuses more on being a community gathering place, with a diverse food court consisting mostly of local places (aside from a Cold Stone Creamery and a Starbucks that was probably there before Starbucks started expanding across the country) and musical performances several times a week by various local bands. If they had tried to operate it as a conventional mall the place probably would have shut down long ago, but in general when I go there the place is packed.

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