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Old 02-19-2019, 03:49 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,471 posts, read 7,480,380 times
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I'm going to disagree a bit with CWG on a couple of small comments.

MoG is really nice.

But the traffic, road, and street planning in the area was horrible.

The built in the mall in the corner hemmed in by interstates and originally there was no road network into the area, as to to speak. It was mostly just GA20 going through the area.

The south part has some steep hills. The interstates make it hard to build-in more arterial routes and seconday access roads. It is a true Gauntlet.

Compare it to the Gwinnett Place Mall area, it is totally different in terms of street layout. From within the county, there are a dozen ways to drive into the area from different paths. Everyone doesn't have to drive through the gaunlet, or Pleasant Hill Rd. There are plenty ways to filter into the area.

The rest of Gwinnett county has a decent built arterial road network with good secondary feeders roads. Gwinnett Place, US78, 124, etc... most people don't access the area from the main road, but from other roads going through the area too. Even those US78, 124, Pleasant Hill, etc... are the biggest routes in the area.

This seems to be the crutch of the issues raised in the first few posts of the thread.

Beyond roads there are some sizable differences in Gwinnett between US 78 to US 29 and US 29 to US 23 and that is without getting into differences near Lawrenceville.

Is it mostly built off of a circa 70s-90s network, yes, absolutely. But there are different types of suburban areas too.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:52 AM
 
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I like the Mall of Georgia as a turn-of-the-Millennium era suburban regional shopping mall. I've always had a very pleasant experience whenever I have gone there.

Though, like many other posters on this thread, I am not a big fan at all of the limited surface ingress and egress in and out of the Mall of Georgia area.

Anyone who has been to the Mall of Georgia area during peak traffic times (especially during the Christmas shopping season) knows how challenging it can be to get in and out of the area by way of what is basically one main road (Georgia 20) that connects with two Interstates at either end of the MoG retail commercial district.

Though the Mall of Georgia development itself appears to remain viable during this era of an ongoing bricks-and-mortar 'retail apocalypse,' I do find it to be somewhat concerning that two of the six or so anchor department store spaces are filled with Macy's and JcPenney's, two department store retailers that have struggled to various degrees of significance in the current near-apocalyptic environment for bricks-and-mortar retail.

I agree with the assessment of those who say that the Mall of Georgia could be likely to remain a viable shopping destination for about the next decade or so.

I think that having part of the mall built as an outdoor lifestyle center has the potential to help the mall remain viable in what appears to be an increasingly challenging environment for indoor shopping malls and bricks-and-mortar retail in general.

Though, there definitely do seem to be challenges that could be cause for concern for a development like the Mall of Georgia in this current business environment where bricks-and-mortar retail has taken a beating over the past few years.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:55 AM
 
Location: NW Atlanta
5,189 posts, read 3,664,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
I don't know about that....

The metro area had a very strong history of "build a mall and the masses will come" for decades before Mall of Georgia went up. It happened in Kennesaw, Duluth and Alpharetta years before Mall of Georgia.

I think they knew it would explode. They just didn't care. Back when that mall was built, we were just finishing up the mall culture, where there was cache in having the largest mall in XXX. If I recall, Mall of Georgia was originally supposed to be the largest mall in the southeast. I don't know what ever happened to that, but it ended up just being the largest mall in Georgia (who cares?)

Anyway...what I'm trying to say is there's absolutely no excuse for that area to be planned as poorly as it was. Even some of the satellite shopping centers were built so close to GA 20 that you can't get in and out of them without a huge mess because cars are coming from both sides, wanting to turn right or left, but there's not enough room for them to queue, so they are just blocking everything. It's a disaster.
MoG was also placed where it was due to it being adjacent to the then-proposed Outer Perimeter (the road would've gone in the green strip just north of the shopping center where Target is).

I put the blame on Scott Hudgens who cannibalized his own Gwinnett Place Mall.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:06 AM
 
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I put the blame on Scott Hudgens who cannibalized his own Gwinnett Place Mall.
I'm glad someone else realizes this happened.

The media wants everyone to believe Gwinnett Place Mall was destroyed by "changing demographics" and other environmental factors. Those are easy scapegoats, but the truth is the mall was very purposely killed.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:15 AM
 
Location: NW Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
I'm glad someone else realizes this happened.

The media wants everyone to believe Gwinnett Place Mall was destroyed by "changing demographics" and other environmental factors. Those are easy scapegoats, but the truth is the mall was very purposely killed.
I wouldn't say Hudgens "purposely" tried to kill GPM, but he and every other developer and county politician definitely over estimated the demand for retail (on that scale) in Gwinnett.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:31 AM
 
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Well, I remember when GPM was really struggling, many of the retailers there told me their rent per square foot was just as expensive, or even more expensive, than it was at MOG, despite how much more traffic that mall generated. Simon really wanted to make sure good retailers abandoned GPM for MOG.

I call that purposely killing a mall.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:40 AM
 
Location: NW Atlanta
5,189 posts, read 3,664,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
Well, I remember when GPM was really struggling, many of the retailers there told me their rent per square foot was just as expensive, or even more expensive, than it was at MOG, despite how much more traffic that mall generated. Simon really wanted to make sure good retailers abandoned GPM for MOG.

I call that purposely killing a mall.
That would've been post-Hudgens then (he died in 2000).
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:49 AM
 
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Yeah, sorry, I don't know much about Hudgens. It was Simon Property Group that killed Gwinnett Place Mall. That's why they had to make sure it was good and dead beyond salvation before selling it. They couldn't have possibly done any better in finding a buyer who would ensure it stayed that way.

I still hope GPM will some day turn into something that puts MOG to shame. But I've basically lost all faith in that happening during my lifetime.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,471 posts, read 7,480,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
Well, I remember when GPM was really struggling, many of the retailers there told me their rent per square foot was just as expensive, or even more expensive, than it was at MOG, despite how much more traffic that mall generated. Simon really wanted to make sure good retailers abandoned GPM for MOG.

I call that purposely killing a mall.
I agree Simon killed it by over retailing the county, but I disagree they were getting retailers to abandon one for the other personally.


Simon was using larger regional contracts to keep many large chain stores open in GPM for a long time.They were struggling to keep those in contract in the latter years and most finished moving out when it was sold to a company that didn't have this contractual clout.




So I would say they were using all their contract power to keep stores open in GPM. Gwinnett County just had too much retail square footage per capita, compared to the rest of the region and it was not feasible to maintain it.


In defense of both Simon and Gwinnett County. Had MOG not been built, it likely would have been another company or placed in Hall County. Simon would have lost the market entirely and Gwinnett would have lost the tax revenue.


So much of this is the fault of natural leap-frog market dynamics of people liking shinier and newer.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Georgia native in McKinney, TX
7,077 posts, read 9,843,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
I agree Simon killed it by over retailing the county, but I disagree they were getting retailers to abandon one for the other personally.


Simon was using larger regional contracts to keep many large chain stores open in GPM for a long time.They were struggling to keep those in contract in the latter years and most finished moving out when it was sold to a company that didn't have this contractual clout.




So I would say they were using all their contract power to keep stores open in GPM. Gwinnett County just had too much retail square footage per capita, compared to the rest of the region and it was not feasible to maintain it.


In defense of both Simon and Gwinnett County. Had MOG not been built, it likely would have been another company or placed in Hall County. Simon would have lost the market entirely and Gwinnett would have lost the tax revenue.


So much of this is the fault of natural leap-frog market dynamics of people liking shinier and newer.
But this hasn't happened in the metro Atlanta mirror to Gwinnett: Cobb County. Town Center is thriving still and came along exactly the same time Gwinnett Place did. By this logic, an even newer and shinier mall should have gone in at Acworth or Woodstock or some point up 75 or 575. None has. I remember there being plans laid at River Run (? sorry if that is not the right name...) at the north end of Canton that showed a regional mall where the large big box center and movie theater have gone in. Right at old Highway 5 and 575. Someone help me with the name.... But that never came to be.

Town Center has done a lot to help the area stay viable. If I remember correctly, the Town Center CID is the original CID in the metro area. Road improvements and access across 75 and 575 have helped. Having KSU in the immediate area has helped as well. But Town Center has done well because a Mills mall and a Mall of Georgia clone did not go in anywhere up the road.
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