News and Miscellany

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It’s been a while since we offered anything other than shopping center write-ups, and we realize that part of the advantage of having a chronological blog is the ability to post current information.

In suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a large upscale regional mall proposal called Pabst Farms Town Center is tenatively back on, but this time with a different developer and possibly a different format.  In October, Chicago-based General Growth Properties dropped the project, citing lack of interest for the upscale tenants the city wanted to attract, such as Nordstrom or Von Maur.  Today, Doris Hajewski writes in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the city has found a new developer in Developers Diversified Realty (DDR) of Cleveland.  However, DDR’s portfolio does not include high end department stores, and it was reported that the center will probably be open-air rather than enclosed as previously planned.  Yet the city of Oconomowoc is repeatedly pressing that the site not be just a collection of big box stores or any other sort of bland ephemera, like the development a couple exits to the east along I-94 at WI 83 in Delafield.Personally, this turn of events is kind of a let down.  The state of Wisconsin, which has an above average rate of growth, has not had a new regional mall constructed in over twenty years.  In fact, it has lost several in the same span of time.  More specifically to this project, Waukesha County is a fast-growing and wealthy county, with an estimate of 380,000 residents as of 2006.  Waukesha County currently has one regional shopping center, located in the far eastern side of the county in Brookfield; it was constructed over thirty years ago and is a simple one-level barbell design with three anchors.  

As the entirety of Waukesha County is suburban Milwaukee, residents also utilize the shopping options there, which have also dwindled in recent years and focus on Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa and Bayshore Town Center in Glendale.  However, as suburban growth has invaded Waukesha County, the county’s center of population has moved significantly west away from Milwaukee.  In addition, the towns closest to the center in the “Lakes” area are some of the wealthiest in the state. 

This project would simultaneously take advantage of both the center of population shift in Waukesha County and the lack of large regional centers in the area.  Located in western Waukesha County with easy access to I-94 and the new WI 67 bypass around Oconomowoc, the center would draw from a large and wealthy base, including rapidly growing areas along I-94 west all the way to Madison which is only 40 minutes away and the state’s second largest population center.  

So, the argument that the density is low in Oconomowoc and that no one would come is completley ludicrous.  People will travel to get to this type of center, if it’s made destination-worthy.  And, it sounds like it would have been and possibly will be if the city and others get their way.  They definitely have the right idea, and have been planning this project for years, even working with the WI Department of Transportation upgrading the interchange there and locating a business park with a future hospital at the southern end of the interchange.  I think it’s entirely appropriate for the city to send the message to developers that they don’t want another generic strip mall of big box stores; that sort of thing already exists a few miles down the road anyway and has been growing tremendously over the past several years.  

In addition, the shift from an enclosed mall portion to the development to open-air may reflect popular trends right now, but let’s get a few things straight.  For one, consider the average temperature in Wisconsin in January is 15 degrees.  Who wants to walk around a pretend-village going store to store in the winter?  Or even when it’s raining?  Or really hot?  That brings us to another point.  Many of these open-air “Lifestyle Centers” are the same vapid looking, whitewashed village downtown, often built in suburban areas on reclaimed farmland and consist of the same group of stores often found in enclosed malls.  What’s the deal with this?  These developments become even more ridiculous when the concrete sea of parking lots surrounding them really makes them nothing better than glorified strip malls; they aren’t that nice.  Let’s not have one of these?

In other news, Levitz Furniture appears to be closing up shop following an auction of its assets.  The New York-based chain has also given many employees hints they may be permanently layed off in January, even though the winning bidder has not indicated whether they will liquidate the stores and give up, or resume doing business.  Levitz has not been doing well for some time, having scaled back significantly from having a nationwide operation several years ago to focusing on core markets on the west coast and New York metropolitan area today.  

And finally, a little bit of fun.  We’ve unearthed a vintage mall tour from 1987 of the now-defunct Crystal Point Mall in Crystal Lake, Illinois, posted on YouTube.  Located about 40 miles northwest of Chicago, Crystal Point Mall existed from 1976-1998 and was McHenry County’s only regional enclosed mall.  It was anchored by Joseph Spiess and Robert Hall Village, which later became K-Mart.  In 1996, Spiess went out of business and K-mart soon closed off their mall entrance, and the mall’s in-line stores slowly vacated as their leases weren’t renewed because the owner wanted a strip mall with big box stores, and not an enclosed mall.  You can read more about Crystal Point Mall at Lisa’s neat retro page all about the mall, complete with photos.  

35 Responses to “News and Miscellany”

  1. It certainly is disheartening looking at the photos and whatnot. Lifestyle centers are miserable, at first I thought they were essentially like malls but now realize that they are simply strip malls. I hope they want to make it enclosed. And if they don’t, I wish it to fail.

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  2. I still don’t see how lifestyle centers are conveinent. Sure there’s parking near the store you want to go to but you still have to walk there and then walk farther to another store you want to go to. Not to mention that in northern states it can get pretty cold and snowy and in southern states in can get hot and muggy. Really I don’t known anyone that would shop in extremely cold or hot weather when they can just go to the mall and shop confortably.

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  3. Don’t forget about bombay is liquidating it’s stores & discovery channel is doing the same. I wonder whats next.

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  4. Lifestyle centers are popping up all over the place and not all of them are good. In NJ, I can think of probably 3 or 4 that are worth it:
    – The Grove at Shrewsbury (the original lifestyle center)
    – The Promenade at Sagemore
    – Tices Corner
    – the new lifestyle center @ Freehold Raceway Mall.

    Honorable Mention: Aspen Grove in Littleton, CO.

    There are some that are absolutely abbysmal and it’s those copycats that ruin it. I still prefer a mall.

    At least Bombay’s closing will open up some space in The Grove (fingers crossed for The Sharper Image or Apple).

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  5. I lived in this area from 1999-2005, and I don’t know of anyone in the Waukesha/Pewaukee/Lake Country area that ventured any farther east to shop than Brookfield Square. I would imagine that many people shop in Delafield in the big box/strip mall area around I-94, the outlet mall at Johnson Creek, or in Madison. When I lived there, I would have loved to have either Nordstrom or Von Maur nearby, but I think the main stereotype of Milwaukee and Wisconsin being made up of low brow, blue collar, beer & brats people still abounds. (I recall a hearing a rumor a few years ago of Von Maur looking at opening in the Mequon area. Of course that was before the revitalization of Bayshore.) Oconomowoc is afraid of the land becoming the next Bluemound Road, and rightfully so.

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  6. This development in Wisconsin is the closest thing that I have read about the anouncement of an enclosed regional mall being planned. And now you this may not happen when it was so close to happening. Hard to believe that General Growth Properties gave up on the project so fast. If they could not get anchors like Nordstoms or Van Maur, perhaps they could have tried to court Dillards, Parisian, Lord & Taylor or Bon Ton to anchor rather than give up on the project alltogether. And what would be wrong with a JCPenney, Kohls or Belk?, likely too downscale for what they must have had in mind. But I guess they were aiming for the “upscale” and that would mean at least having one of the very high end department stores like Nordstroms, Neimen Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue or Bloomingdales. And just like all malls there “must” be anchors, at least 1 or 2, because no matter how many fancy stores are on the inline space, the anchors are still key to making a “shopping destination”.

    Hopefully some of the citizens of the county and city, as well as the city/county planners will push the new developers for true regional mall. And they will not let one of these eye sore big box or horrible lifestyle centers get built.

    I totally agree about the these lifestyle centers. The one in Baton Rouge is horrible. Just like you said, a big mish mash of strip centers, vapid looking to say the least. When driving by the center on Corporate Boulevard and looking at it from your car it looks like a bunch of disorganized buildings with driveways through them. And the large tract of land at the corner of Jefferson Highway and Corporate Boulevard where the center was built, used to be the Cedar Lodge horse stables, thus where the name came from, “Town Center at Cedar Lodge”. It is very confusing to drive through center and find the stores, especially the smaller ones. I think the attempt with all the different designs of buildings was to make people look at it and say “wow look at this nice shopping center with all the mall stores that you can just drive up to and park in front of the store and go in and get out”. It is anchored by Whole Foods not department stores. Both malls in Baton Rouge have lost tenants to Town Center, with the 31 year old Cortana Mall being hit the worst. The last of the retail space that will be built on the center is almost complete, adding a Books A Million and Banana Republic which are now open, and Bath And Body Works and Zea Rotisserie are coming soon. The new buildings appear to have enough space for a few more tenants but no others have been announced yet.

    I had asked this question under the Mall at Turtle Creek in Jonesboro, AR posting, which was the only enclosed mall opened in 2006 that was built from the ground up, and I will ask it again. Is there any enclosed mall built from the ground up that opened in the calender year of 2007????? Another question: Is there any planned for opening or development in 2008? I have been unable to find any article anywhere on the internet or on ICSC’s website, and other websites like Plain Vanilla Shell and Retail Traffic about a new indoor regional mall opening somewhere in the United States in 2007. And any announcement of new centers under development by such companies as General Growth Properties, Simon Properties and CBL Properties are all mixed use “outdoor” centers. This just can’t be the last indoor mall built. I just cant believe there will never be another traditional regional/super regional “indoor” mall built. This just has to be a passing fad that will come to an end. But when will this trend end? Or is this just wishful thinking on my part to think it is not a trend and there will be no more indoor malls? Does the opening of the Mall at Turtle Creek in Jonesboro AR mark the end of the indoor regional mall era? Something that we treasure so much as part of our retail landscape.

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  7. I seriously doubt that Turtle Creek will be THE last ever enclosed mall built in this country, especially since I continue to believe that the current ‘lifestyle center’ is just a fad that’ll eventually start to become less popular, a la what has occurred to enclosed malls in the last few years. I think if anything, I’m cautiously holding hope that the trend will eventually swing back towards building shopping centers that aren’t so spread out(particularly lifestyle centers) at some point, causing at least a slight increase in enclosed malls being built.

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  8. Along the recently-opened southern extension of I-355 through Chicago’s far southwestern suburbs there are two tracts of land which are “supposedly” earmarked for construction of malls. We shall see. Sure the area is booming down that way but generic “lifestyle centers” will likely be the type of development that gets built, I predict.

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  9. Mallguy: Wasn’t the first prototype lifestyle center supposed to be Princeton Forrestal Village?

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  10. “Generic” lifestyle centers versus malls? Not much of a choice there. Other than some malls which have expanded or regrouped in some way, the vast majority of malls have been pretty “generic” if not soul deadening in their design since the early 70s. If those places could establish the kinds of loyalties that have been expressed here, then I’m sure lifestyle centers can engender the same kinds of attachments.

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  11. The thing I don’t like about that lifestyle centers (and I forgot to post this in my other reply) is that it makes driving a necessity. With gas prices the way they are, at least you save gas going to a mall and not driving from one store to another (cuz really I doubt people will walk from a Chico’s on one end to Talbots on the other end in 20 degree weather). It’s just stupid and it’s more urban sprawl to deal with.

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  12. Amen to that, danroman! I totally second your thought about the fact that at least if you’re shopping at a mall vs. a lifestyle center, you don’t drive from store to store within there, and that you don’t have a choice but to walk between store to store, thus giving yourself exercise. :)

    To Charles: Speaking of the I-355 extension, isn’t there a current proposal to eventually build some sort of major shopping center or mall in the suburb of New Lenox? I remember reading somewhere that some sort of major project was being discussed, though I can’t remember if it was a hybrid mall/lifestyle center project, or if it was ONLY one or the other.

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  13. AceJay:

    I actually think that it was The Grove…if I remember correctly, they opened 1st (1988)…don’t remember the opening year of Forrestal Village, but it was close to that (maybe 1989 or 1990).

    I must say that I was always saddened that Princeton Forrestal Village never made it in its original form. I don’t think the outside issue was a factor, but instead, its location and the times. True it’s on route 1, but it is way set back from the highway and for those who don’t know the area, it could be easily missed (unlike Marketfair, which was built about the same time). Also, the economic downturn was starting to begin (this was about the time that Short Hills was losing Bonwit Teller and B Altman…many thinking it would be dead in a few years…Short Hills was having a lot of troubles prior to the expansion that brought on board Saks, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom) and there was little demand for high-end goods in NJ during this time. To save themselves, they transformed to a factory outlet center and apparently now, they are trying to switch back. Ruth’s Chris is coming, Salt Creek Grille is already there, the former Marriott is now a Westin and with the upcoming expansion and renovation of Quakerbridge, this could be very interesting.

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  14. I hate to hijack a subject, but while it’s on retail news, a shooting at the 39-year-old Westroads Mall happened a few days ago. Better check it out while you can…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westroads_Mall_shooting

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  15. Well I guess it might be going a little overboard to say there will never be another enclosed mall. But 2007 might be the first year the an enclosed regional mall did not open. And maybe there will be many more years before a true regional mall is built new from the ground up. And even when the next enclosed regional mall is built, it will more than likely have certain characteristics of the lifestyle concept integrated into the design. That is what Mall At Turtle Creek is. And I am not saying that it is necessarily a bad thing. There have been many changes in the mall concept over the years.

    The first malls had eateries throughout the mall and usually a cafeteria type restaurant like Picadilly or Morrison’s, or a lunch counter in a drug store like Walgreens, and 2 or 3 sit down restauraunts inside the mall. Anybody remember The Sizeler? Then in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the food court came along. So older malls that did not have them, built new wings for a food court or remodeled existing space accomodate the new concept. Casual dining sit down restaurants started to disappear at this time, although many older malls never lost there Picadilly, especially here in Louisiana. Most malls built in the 70’s had a movie theater as an anchor, but by the late 80’s the movie theaters were leaving the malls in favor of a big cinema megaplex located on the perimater of the mall or not too far down the street. Most new malls built in the 90’s had no cinema or even one nearby. But then in the early 00’s malls started having cinemas again, either as an anchor or on the mall perimater.

    Jones Lang Lasalle Retail, the largest third party retail management firm in the country, according to the company’s website, had this very intersting special report on there corporate homepage. It is a 4 page pdf file titled “The Changing Face of Regional Malls”. There is a graph on page 1 of the report showing how many enclosed malls opened from 1991 to 2005. The peak year was 1997 with 15, and lowest year was 2004 with 3. According to the graph 4 enclosed malls opened in 2005. The report also discusses the change that has occurred in retail that is leading to the decline in regional malls and what malls can do to adapt to changing retail patterns of consumers. It is a very insightful report and seems to hit the target of what is being discussed in this posting. Here is the link:

    http://www.jllretail.com/NR/rdonlyres/C4CD7205-EAF7-4C21-824D-FFC2E8190779/0/The_Changing_Face_of_Regional_Malls.pdf

    It is so horrible what happened in Omaha at Westroads Mall. Condolences to the families of the victims.

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  16. Mallguy: I used to frequent that place a lot due to my mom working at the Marriott. Ah the good old days of “The Underdog” then off to Ben and Jerry’s.

    Fun times, fun times.

    I should check that place out. I haven’t been in years.

    Their website makes the place look so beautiful, lol.

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  17. Part of the initial appeal of malls came from their perceived safety (compared with urban downtowns and neighborhood shopping), hence, the ugly fortres-like designs of the 1970s. This may be why malls tend to die rapidly after high profile crimes. The relative safety of malls (and danger of urban environments) has always been exaggerated It will be interesting to see what happens to Westroads in light of this. I wonder if we will see more visible security in malls. For some people, that breeds comfort. For others, it suggests that there’s a reason for security and evokes danger. Mostly, I doubt that it makes much difference in terms of safety.

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  18. Jamie:

    The next mall that I am aware of that is upcoming is the Mall at Oyster Bay (Long Island)…the first mall with frontage on the LIE…but that’s not opening until at least 2009.

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  19. Wonderful news! Thanks mallguy for the info. Well, I just had to do a google search and found a 10 page pdf brochure on the plans of the mall. Hopefully plans will go though as described in the brochure. Looks like it will be very upscale with Neiman Marcus and Nordstroms as anchors, with the 2 level galleria architecture. And it is a Taubman mall and they build mostly upscale centers like this. Well at least there is one new enclosed mall in the works.

    I wonder how many lifestyle and/or mixed use centers opened in 2006 and 2007?

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  20. Looks like Lord & Taylor was planned, and some residents are protesting it.

    Where did you get that PDF, anyways?

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  21. There is an outside chance that the mall in Oyster Bay will never get out of the ground the way things are shaping up. It was in news day not to long ago.

    Taubman had spent an estenmated $140,000,000 & may loose a whole lot more if they don’t watch them selves.

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  22. Here is the pdf file from Taubman’s website for the Mall at Oyster Bay. In the brochure it says this the first major “fashion”shopping center built in Long Island in 30 years. Barney’s New York is also listed as an anchor.

    http://www.taubman.com/images/pdf_cache/3405.pdf

    I sure hope it does get built. I looks like it would be a great shopping destination and would be good for tourism.

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  23. I feel Pabst Farms Town Center can attract a Von Maur and /or a Macy’s. Von Maur really wants to come to the Milwaukee Market. Here is a link from the Journal Sentinel from 2 mouths ago,
    http://blogs.jsonline.com/shoptalk/archive/tags/Von+Maur/default.aspx
    “Von Maur had been looking at the Pabst Farms center as a place for a new store” I sure Von Maur is still interested. Also since this is a new devolpment the Boston Store( Bon-Ton) can not block the store.
    Even thougth Macy’s still have some problems with the north division, past articles did say Macy’s was interested in the new mall. Macy’s/Marshall Field’s have a limited amount of stores in Wisconsin. There is room to grow in Wisconsin. I sure the Milwaukee market can support a other Macy’s store.

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  24. Time for me to chime in.

    I’ve been following this Pabst Farms development since its inception earlier this decade. I was really excited when General Growth was the announced developer, only to be shocked when they bailed on the project.

    They just don’t realize the untapped market out that way. The suburbs are going out west, northwest, and southwest of the city. Either that, or they don’t want to effect their flagship Mayfair property, which I can understand.

    All the big developers, except for Westfield, has a stake in the market. Simon with Southridge, GGP with Mayfair, and CBL with Brookfield.

    Simon is looking to do a huge overhaul of Southridge, which I feel is badly needed….or the mall is not going to survive another 5 years. It used to be a great mall with lots of variety, but it’s now getting filled with lower-quality tenants…I mean, come on, Steve & Barrys, and only taking one floor of a former two-level department store pad? Von Maur could have taken Youkers’ old digs…they should’ve jumped on it, but probably saw the rather average tenant mix and declined.

    Mayfair is well positioned and centrally located. They seemed to have gotten a handle on the issues they were having with unruly kids and young adults at that mall. Haven’t heard of any issues since they clamped down and put that curfew in place. A parking deck in the rear of the complex would have to be built, but I could see a 3rd anchor there….Von Maur, Nordstrom (if they’d even bother to look at the Wisconsin market)

    Brookfield got remodeled 10 years ago, and is already in need of another. Keep in mind that the mall opened in 1968, and barring paint jobs and removals of fountains, looked the same until 1996-1997 when it got a huge multi-million dollar renovation to freshen it up and add a food court in the old Woolworths anchor. Problem is, the appearance is already outdated and the exterior looks tired. CBL is already on track and remodeling will really kick in next year.

    Bayshore Town Center has their own niche all set for themselves. Save for Sears (which is kind of a whimpy anchor to that mall…but they’ve been there since 1956)….they’re rebuilding their tenant mix from being ‘ho hum’ to being decidedly upscale. The outdoor junk puts me off, but that’s the trend. So be it. The hoity-toity’ type folk can have their ‘lifestyle centers’. I want my enclosed mall, dammit!

    And that brings us to this Pabst thing…..which, up until GGPs falling out of the project, had me very excited. We haven’t seen a HUGE mall development in at least 20-25 years, and the last mall to be ‘built’ (or rather expanded) was the Washington Mall, becoming Paradise Mall (post renovation / expansion), in West Bend, and that was a complete faiulre in attracting tenants. The city itself was just too close to Northridge (still thriving at the time and only 20-25 minutes away) and the population base of WB itself was too small to support a mall yet.

    I’ve visited DDR’s site and they are not the right candidate for this project. We DO NOT NEED another ‘lifestyle center’, we DO NOT NEED more boxes (unless of course, those boxes are anchors attatched to a mall). This leaves Westfield, but what are they doing?

    Simon’s got their hands full with Southridge, I’ll say that much. (And to boot, that malls’ gone through no less than 4-5 different ownerships since 1988 when Taubman / Kohl’s gave it up…Urban Retail properties, Blackstone, and Mills, to name three). Repositioning that mall will be a Goliath-sized task, but if they could pull it off and bring that mall back to its 1970s-1980s glory when the Kohl family / Taubman owned it, I would applaud them. In my opinion though, I feel they should dump that mall and take on this Pabst Farms project. They can start from the ground up and bring chains that the Milwaukee Metro area hasn’t seen before…or normally would have to drive down the ridiculous mess called the I-290 Tollway that branches off to Hawthorne, Oak Brook or Woodfield Malls.

    I’m hoping for the best, and will definitly keep an eye on this story.

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  25. Rich said: “This may be why malls tend to die rapidly after high profile crimes.”

    So the question now is: what happens when there’s a high-profile crime at a lifestyle center? The Shoppes at Blackstone Valley in Millbury, MA – where I work – just experienced a murder in the crowded parking lot at the end of last month. Business doesn’t appear to be hurting yet – probably because (shockingly enough) people seem to have realized that it wasn’t a random psycho or roving gangs roaming the parking lots, but domestic violence writ large with its victim just so happening to work there. It should be interesting to see, though. I’ve heard so many stories of crime or even perceived crime killing malls, but this is ever-so-slightly different.

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  26. ghome,

    Milwaukee cannot support another Macy’s. The existing one is despised by the locals as it took away their only high-end store, that being Marshall Field’s. Heck, even Chicago can’t support another Macy’s due to that debacle. I give Macy’s five years before they close up or sell out the Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Twin Cities markets to someone else. That’s five years from 9/9/2006.

    Now, a Von Maur or a Nordstrom, or dare I say, a Lord & Taylor, that market could easily support.

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  27. Not to mention Nordstom, or Von Maur would be a good ‘high end’ replacement to the loss of Marshall Field.

    Also, Bon Ton would not open stores here under their own banner. They would go under the Boston Store name in the region.

    Considering all their ‘original’ suburban locations (not locations taken over from former Gimbles stores in Milwaukee or Pranges in Madison) are all rather dated on the exteriors, a fresh new box would be something to see.

    I do think people in the Fox Valley (Appleton) region have been a bit more receptive to the Macys locatoin at Fox River Mall, but everyone I talk to around this part of the state where I live, still fondly recall Pranges and misses them. For our region and the rest of the state pretty much, they were our department store….something we could call our own. Just like Chicago with its Marshall Field Co.

    VERY hard to shake that out of people and get them to change. Customer loyalty is a very strong thing, and if a chain loses that, they’re toast.

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  28. Brandon I have to disargee with you about Macy’s. I really fell that if MACY’s stick to their guns and let the debacle run ot. Macys can survive in the Detroit,Milwaukee,Twin Cites. Macy’s will hurt in the short term but with some changes Macys can survive in the long term. Change takes time and Milwaukee can easily support another Macy’s,a Von Maur, Nordstrom and a Lord and Taylor.

    But Nordstrom does not even care about the Milwaukee market. Lord and Taylor still have to work on the effects that the May Department Stores . But anything could happen in the future.

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  29. von maur is the best bet at getting a upscale store in the milwaukee market. thay have three stores in the chicago aria with the closest being in glenviews glen yes a dreded lifestyle center but the von maur makes it tolarable. the store is alwas cleen neet and has a well traind and frendly staff. plus there perks are like none other in the indistry. thay do free shipping anyware in the us , free giftraping an any purchace, and no intrest on there charge card. it is the way nordstrum used to do busness before thay got so big and gave up everything that made them specheal.

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  30. Shoppers (particularly rich white female shoppers) are more afraid of gangs (particularly gangs of roaming minority youth, usually black) then they are of mentally crazed wackos shooting them. People still go to Ward Parkway Center in Kansas City after the shooting last spring (by a mentally crazed middle aged white guy). Bannister Mall never had any shootings but the rumors scared the shoppers away. Many blamed the Troost bus line bringing kids from the inner city to Bannister Mall and Hypermart.

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  31. Somehow, I’d bet Von Maur would be more itching to have a Milwaukee area store than Nordstrom, due to the fact that they have a significant concentration of stores throughout the Midwest, and also because Wisconsin is one of the only states(besides the Dakotas) in the Upper Midwest subregion of the Midwest that they haven’t built a store in yet.

    And as for Milwaukee-area malls(despite that I’m nowhere near being a great expert on Milwaukee), it’s interesting to see that Southridge still doesn’t have a future renovation plan on their drawing board, yet that Brookfield is about to get one, Bayshore already got one, and I imagine Mayfair already underwent one years ago, especially if it’s the most successful mall in the Milwakee area. Hopefully Southridge will get one soon enough, especially since it’s the last of the 2 ‘-ridge’ malls to still exist in the Milwaukee area, and since both were built by Taubman.

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  32. southridge has had problems in the last few years. it had been sold to mills corp and is now a simon mall im sure that now that it is in there hands it will have something done soon thay also had a large problem filling a empty ancor spot that was now devided up but the mall is as bussey as ever. you also have to remember the southside of milwaukee tends to be cheep thay wood rather have a wal-mart then a von maur around them

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  33. Sorry to say, but New Lenox is building 2 lifestyle centers at the same interchange, I-355 and US 6. One of the centers is being built by Forest City. These things will kill off Lincoln Mall in Matteson and really hurt Orland Square and Louis Joliet malls.

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  34. In response to John (about Southridge):
    Yeah, I noticed this, especially since the turn of the new decade. Back when I visited Southridge in 1994, then again two years later (1996) (at which time, the mall was owned by Blackstone Realty, managed and leased by Urban Retail Group of IL), it was literally a thriving mall with a good variety of shops. They still claim to be “Wisconsin’s Largest Shopping Center”, but it’s far from that claim.

    However, the problem back then was an, overall, outdated appearance (woodframe storefronts, old store logos/signs, et al). LOTS of them, especially in my 1994 visit. It just looked a little tired (though nowadays I’d probably relish in taking in such a setting).

    Much of that outdatedness was dealt with by 1996, since a lot of the chains that had outdated looks all went belly up by then.

    Nowadays, their problem is tenant mix. Recently they’ve really gone downscale….I mean, Steve & Barry’s? Old Navy? Then most of the vacant storefronts are filled by specialty shops that sell a lot of junk. Although the mall did get some remodeling done in 1990 (to blend it into the ‘then’ new food court), then again in 2000 to eliminate fountains and give the place a fresh coat of paint….it’s due for a full-scale top-to-bottom renovation to bring back softer variants of neutral color schemes it may have had in the 1970s, and reinstate seating areas it lost to kiosks throughout the 1990s.

    I think in terms of ‘overall’ square footage, Mayfair takes the claim, followed by Fox River Mall in the Appleton area in second.

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  35. Well, what I wonder about the lifespan of lifestyle centers. Already we’re seeing a homogenized tenant mix. Although none are “on the chopping block”, will we see the trend slow in

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