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Old 09-07-2011, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
267 posts, read 592,828 times
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i do believe northgate was bought
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northwoodsman View Post
i do believe northgate was bought
When and by whom? The last purchase I am aware of was a couple years ago by an investment group supposedly organized to revive malls. From what I know little has actually happened at Northgate.

I have a son who lives in the area and over the years the few times I have visited Northgate were usually prior to Christmas when I accompanied him on the typical male shopping trip having no idea what to buy or where to get it. I remember years ago when it was a very busy place. Of course, back then so were Kenwood, Beechmont, Eastgate, and Tri-County.

Forest Fair seemed to just be the wrong place at the wrong time. Whether it was overly ambitious with tenant costs too high to make a profit is a matter of speculation. I am sure some in the business could give us a little insight on that.

The original Kenwood Plaza was more of a large open strip center than a mall. Having grown up in Madeira it was one of our primary shopping destinations. The original Pogues and McAlpins represented the two ends in department stores - Pogues high class and high price, McAlpins the everyday working man with kids store. Then they built Kenwood Mall across the street, a modestly sized enclosed mall where Shillito's originally located. Both of these locations did not require a half a day to make a single purchase.

I would go to Tri-County primarily to shop at Sears. The original double-sided open front design was like a larger strip center. Even then it was a bear to get in and out of during the conjested Holiday Season shopping.

Then somebody decided bigger was better. They double-decked Tri-County, enclosed, and expanded it. Even with the addition of some parking garages the result is something I will not go close to without a specific reason, although the last time I visited it was a breeze since nobody was there.

They did the same thing in creating Kenwood Towne Center. Other than the unfinished monstrosity next to I-71 it appears to be hanging in there tenant wise, though I do not thoroughly understand why. For years it has been one of the worst places to get into, park and shop anywhere near your destination, and get out of. I can only attribute its continued viability to the affluence of the residential areas surrounding it and the alternatives they are presented with. From Indian Hill, through Madeira and onto Montgomery and Blue Ash you are talking about a lot of people with money to spend. Where else are they to go? Downtown with hardly a decent retail store left? Kenwood Towne Center is a throwback existing on the fact its main patrons have nowhere else better to go.

To get more current we have locations like Rookwood Commons in Norwood, its most distinguishing feature still being the smokestack from the power plant of the old LeBlond Co. for which I worked my entire career. That Fleur-de-lis symbol you see on the side of the smokestack was their company emblem. Yes, it is French. You may recognize it more readily as the symbol of the Boy Scouts of America.

Then we move to areas such as Deerfield Towne Center close to where I live. This is a throwback to the old strip center approach, just with a lot more strips. It has a little bit of everything, ranging from the national fast food chains to more upscale bar and grill establishments fronting Mason-Montgomery Rd to the larger chain retail establishments in the second and third tiers, to the high-class and espensive health/fitness centers pulling up the rear.

I am not a fan of the so-called open air design retail plaza, simply because in bad weather it is a pain to shop there. The mega-mall is obviously also a relic of the past due to the hassle of actually shopping there.

So what is the next idea in retail? Why not the concept of a smaller enclosed mall with convenient access but encompassing only one specific area - clothing, sport goods, furniture, etc. Close to me we have the Kings Auto Mall, about 2 dozen competing dealers selling the entire range of vehicles. It has been around for quite awhile and the dealers must be successful or they would not survive. To me it exemplifies people have their own independent reasoning concerning what they want to buy. Competitors can be side by side and still attact different customers.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:24 AM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,950,603 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
When and by whom? The last purchase I am aware of was a couple years ago by an investment group supposedly organized to revive malls. From what I know little has actually happened at Northgate.,,.

Update: Colerain zoning approves Northgate plan | Northwest POV
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:48 AM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,794 times
Reputation: 1385
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post

They did the same thing in creating Kenwood Towne Center. Other than the unfinished monstrosity next to I-71 it appears to be hanging in there tenant wise, though I do not thoroughly understand why. For years it has been one of the worst places to get into, park and shop anywhere near your destination, and get out of. I can only attribute its continued viability to the affluence of the residential areas surrounding it and the alternatives they are presented with. From Indian Hill, through Madeira and onto Montgomery and Blue Ash you are talking about a lot of people with money to spend. Where else are they to go? Downtown with hardly a decent retail store left? Kenwood Towne Center is a throwback existing on the fact its main patrons have nowhere else better to go.
I'd say that Kenwood Towne Centre is doing more than just "hanging in there." It's easily the premiere enclosed mall in the Tri-state, with quite a few unique retailers that you can't find anywhere else around here. It's almost always smam-packed, particularly on weekends, and it's not the easiest thing in the world to get a table at Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano's or some of those other places there. And Kenwood has southwest Ohio's lone Apple store, which by itself probably generates more traffic than all the stores at TC Mall combined. I agree that it's past time to figure out what to do with that rusting, half-finished hulk of a structure looming over I-71. It's an embarrassing monument to this recession and it has to be infuriating for the tenants in that building, such as Crate & Barrel and the Container Store.

I still don't understand why a metro this size (more than 2.2 million people) really only has one healthy, thriving, legitimate mall. Even Dayton has more than that, with Dayton Mall, the Mall at Fairfield Commons near Wright State and The Greene, the new outdoor mall venue in Beavercreek. Each of that trio would have to be considered far better than anything Cincinnati has, except for Kenwood. Of course, I've never been to Florence Mall. Maybe that is also a healthy mall?

Last edited by abr7rmj; 09-07-2011 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
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Again, the affluence of the surrounding neighborhoods is what sustains Kenwood Towne Center. If you are going to open a Nordstorm in Cincinnati, where else are you going to pick? Same thing for Crate and Barrel. But to say it is a well designed, satisfying shopping experience is a real stretch.

You can kick me again, but the last time I went there was about 5 years ago to try and purchase some garments for my elderly 92 year old mother at Dillards. The so-called clerk had no idea how to fit a 92 year old woman or even ask the right questions, and mom was a petite 5'-2" and around 130 lbs.I left in frustration and went back to the internet. Used the sizing charts to order the slacks and tops she wanted and they arrived within a few days.

Other than a couple of computer monitors, TVs, and things I wanted right now, the majority of our purchases have been off of the Internet for the past several years. You can take your time, do a lot of price comparison, and basicaly save your body from not tromping around the countryside. For those who are the carbon-footprint advocates this should be a good thing. But once they realize this is not good for the local merchant it may not be such a good thing.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:19 PM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Again, the affluence of the surrounding neighborhoods is what sustains Kenwood Towne Center. If you are going to open a Nordstorm in Cincinnati, where else are you going to pick? Same thing for Crate and Barrel. But to say it is a well designed, satisfying shopping experience is a real stretch.

You can kick me again, but the last time I went there was about 5 years ago to try and purchase some garments for my elderly 92 year old mother at Dillards. The so-called clerk had no idea how to fit a 92 year old woman or even ask the right questions, and mom was a petite 5'-2" and around 130 lbs.I left in frustration and went back to the internet. Used the sizing charts to order the slacks and tops she wanted and they arrived within a few days.

Other than a couple of computer monitors, TVs, and things I wanted right now, the majority of our purchases have been off of the Internet for the past several years. You can take your time, do a lot of price comparison, and basicaly save your body from not tromping around the countryside. For those who are the carbon-footprint advocates this should be a good thing. But once they realize this is not good for the local merchant it may not be such a good thing.
The design of the parking lots - particularly the side that faces Montgomery Road - is definitely inconvenient. And trying to get out of the mall is just slightly less difficult than trying to find the exit of a large Las Vegas casino. It's like the mall doesn't want you to leave.

Turning left onto Montgomery Road from the mall is frustrating; trying to get into the turn lane for I-71 north is even worse, despite the redesigned bridge.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abr7rmj View Post
The design of the parking lots - particularly the side that faces Montgomery Road - is definitely inconvenient. And trying to get out of the mall is just slightly less difficult than trying to find the exit of a large Las Vegas casino. It's like the mall doesn't want you to leave.

Turning left onto Montgomery Road from the mall is frustrating; trying to get into the turn lane for I-71 north is even worse, despite the redesigned bridge.
Glad we agree on something. In my opinion Kenwood Towne Center is a white elephant which has not yet turned white. I am old enough to remember when Swifton Center was the most happening place in Cincinnati, and will admit I went there quite often. It is quite amazing how in the vogue places fall out of vogue.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:28 PM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Glad we agree on something. In my opinion Kenwood Towne Center is a white elephant which has not yet turned white. I am old enough to remember when Swifton Center was the most happening place in Cincinnati, and will admit I went there quite often. It is quite amazing how in the vogue places fall out of vogue.
That's the nature of America's retail centers. One rises as another one falls. Kenwood, however, has stayed healthy despite the addition of the nearby Rookwood Commons, which is also a vibrant, healthy retail destination that is about to embark on an expansion.

If you give the consumer things they can't find elsewhere - in Kenwood's case, that's Apple, Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware and others - you'll thrive. If you just duplicate what's found everywhere else (Tri-County Mall), you'll struggle.

And if you're Cincinnati Mills, well, I don't know what you can possibly do at this point. Perhaps a wrecking ball would be the best answer?
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
Reputation: 1919
On a similar topic, what is the attraction of the so-called outlet malls? The newer Cincinnati Premium Outlets near Monroe off I-75 in particular comes to mind. Just how many outlets can any company have unless they specifically create product for them? Then where is the outlet?

A number of years ago there was an enclosed outlet mall at the North end of Kings Island Drive and Kings Mills Rd. It had a large sign very visible from I-71. I assume they expected traffic from Kings Island to be curious and stop there. I went there a few times until I realized the so-called outlet prices where as phony as a two-dollar bill. When it closed the building was converted into offices. For awhile a large national finance outfit utilized it, I believe as a credit card processing center. Then they decided to relocate. I am not sure whether it is currently occupied or mostly empty.

But the Mecca of outlet malls has to be Pigeon Forge Tennessee. After not having been to the Smokeys for a large number of years we decided to rent a cabin and have all the kids and grandkids there for the Christmas Holidays. The cabin was great, 3-stories with a hot tub on each balcony and sleeping accommodations for 25. Since there was extra space we invited the sister-in-law, brother-in-law and some of their grandkids to join us. Then all of the women discovered Pigeon Forge and went nuts. My son and son-in-laws said Dad we appreciate the vacation time you provided for all of us here, but what the wives are spending in these outlet malls is killing us.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:30 PM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,794 times
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The Jeffersonville outlets about 30 miles north of Kings Island seem to do well, being located between Cincy and Columbus, but another outlet mall built about five miles north of that is almost completely empty. I've been to the Cincinnati Premium Outlets once and it wasn't too crowded, but it was a cool, rainy day. I can't imagine too many people would be willing to walk around there in the winter. It is in a high-traffic location though, being right next to the two flea markets and right off I-75.
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