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I am relatively new to this region. I noticed the mall shopping isn't the best. I visited all the malls except Chesapeake Square and some I kinda liked and some I didn't at all. I did not like Military Circle and Pembroke. Kohl's was the only thing I liked about Pembroke. I did like the movie theatre of Military Circle but its selection of stores is horrible and Pembroke feels old and run down and Military Circle feels old, run down and ghetto. Greenbrier was fair but very overated. It had a lot of vacancies near a department store and feels old. It was like a bland average mall. Alot of people told me it was a great mall. I kinda liked Lynnhaven and MacArthur Center but they both leave alot to be desired. However, they are the best in the area. Those seemed slightly upscale and cleaner than the others. MacArthur Center's management should put some stores in those 3 vacant areas they have and they need a Chick-fil-A in their food court. Well I been to Patrick Henry and its another overated mall. I love the flooring and fireplace near the food court but its small and could use some more stores. I am from Charlotte and Northern Virginia and I am used to nice malls like Tysons Galleria. How come the malls in this area aren't that great as people claim? I been to Short Pump Town Center in Richmond many times and that mall is great and have a great selection of retailers and restaurants but it does not top Tyson's Galleria. I did read an article in the paper a couple of weeks ago about Virginia Beach Town Center and that alot of women go to Richmond and DC to shop. I think with all these cities there should be a big mall or town center where you could do some good quality shopping. Sometimes with these malls around here, I think about making a drive to Richmond or NOVA to shop because they have so many things that aren't in the Hampton Roads area. What do you guys think? What malls would you recommend to shop at? Why aren't the malls here that great?
MacArthur is about as good as it gets for this area, its the newest and largest but still not that great of a mall when you consider malls in other large metro areas. I thought Coliseum Mall in Hampton was going to be re done to be a huge mall but its seems they have other plans for it. Richmond or NOVA might be your best bet.
I think that the original poster is referring to upscale shopping. Even Richmond didn't have Stony Point or Short Pump until 5 years ago, and they have both struggled to stay afloat. Originally, there was supposed to be a Lord and Taylor at Short Pump, but they pulled out when they saw the way Nordstrom was under-performing. Many of the original stores at Short Pump have closed. The Saks and Nordstrom in Richmond are the smallest I've ever seen. I love shopping there because noone else does.
I think Virginia Beach has seen this and doesn't want to pump tons of money into a project that isn't going to be economically beneficial to the city.
I haven't been to New Town in Williamsburg but I will go there one day. I heard it was nice but isn't fully leased yet. I heard there was a PacSun, Chico's, Barnes and Noble, White House/Black Market, etc. there as well as a theatre.
stacylee926...Greenbrier doesn't feel like Fair Oaks to me. Fair Oaks is better and it has alot of upscale stores in it. Fair Oaks even has a Cheesecake Factory attached to the mall. Greenbrier really doesn't have much, if any, upscale retail and looks old but the housing in that area of Chesapeake looks pretty upper middle class to affluent. I noticed they have alot of stores in the two shopping centers across the street...you know your usual big stores...Target, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc. I guess it has something to do with the market and the consumer tastes.
jhrichmond...I do prefer upscale malls due to the selection of merchandise, appearance, quality and environment but I like regular malls too..you know with your Old Navy, GAP, etc. Its just that these malls around here don't impress me. Upscale malls have the best restaurants like alot of the ones at Short Pump, Stony Point, MacArthur (Kincaids and California Pizza Kitchen) and Va Beach Town Center. I love Short Pump and Stony Point is nice but Stony Point has alot of vacancies in it. When I go to Short Pump, it usually has alot of people on the weekends, but the weekdays are slow. I am suprised to hear they are struggling. I did notice that the Nordstrom is smaller in Richmond than the ones in NOVA. Even the Nordstrom at MacArthur Center in Downtown Norfolk is alot bigger than the one in Richmond. Other than that, I like Short Pump. What were some of the original stores that closed? Tyson's Galleria is the best because it has so many stores that are just not here in Hampton Roads. SouthPark in Charlotte is very nice as well and MacArthur and Lynnhaven have nothing on them. The malls in this area seem very small and MacArthur only has two department stores. It just seems like Hampton Roads has more of your usual big boxes (Wal-Mart, Target, etc.) and thats all everybody here wants. It leaves alot to be desired in my opinion.
Also never been to Chesapeake Square before. How is that mall and what is it like? Would you recommend it? What was Coliseum Mall like and why did they tear it down? Also where are the best areas in Hampton Roads for nightlife?
I visited Hampton's Coliseum Mall back in the late 80s. Its was nice but really nothing to write home about. If I remember correctly even though it was right on I-64, it wasn't easy getting to that mall.
Lynnhaven at the time was THE big mall at the time in Hampton Roads. Very nice mall at the time though as recently as the 80s, Hampton Roads had those blue laws that didn't allow stores to sell clothes on Sundays. This was a time when Virginia had a lot of their own department stores like Thalhimers, Miller & Rhodes and Leggetts , and from what I heard all of them were founded by very conservative families. And all of those chains had mulitple locations in both Richmond and Hampton Roads and I believe Roanoke as well. The only exception to the blue laws I believe were those tourist shops selling T-shirts and other beach clothes ( EX..17th Street Surf Shop ) on or near the oceanfront. They were allowed to sell clothes on Sundays.
By the time the blue laws were dropped Miller & Rhodes was bankrupt ( some say the blue laws did them in, others it was bad management ) and Thalhimers was purchased by the May Company. Leggetts still continued to be closed on Sundays and for awhile they took a lot of heat from that from many mall owners. It wasn't until Leggetts became Belk when they started opening on Sundays.
Somewhat surprised that Saks and Nordstrom isn't doing all that well in Richmond but then again not really. I have a lot of friends and family who do like to shop at those upscale stores but not in Richmond. They actually would rather drive up to DC to shop at Nordstroms than go to the one in Richmond. I guess to make a day out of it.
Same reason why so many people enjoy checking out Macys in New York City but would never or seldom check out the Macys at their local mall. To me Macys is Macys but I guess to others there is that "something special" thing about being at Macys in the Big Apple that one just can't get, say in Roanoke.
I don't know if Short Pump Town Center and Stony Point are still under-performing. It just took a while for people around here to catch on. However, I ran into Saks last week to buy some sunglasses and it was very empty. I don't think they'll close or anything, though (I hope not!).
Some of the stores at Short Pump that closed were Rattle & Roll, Bebe Sport, InnerSelf, and Glass and Powder Board Shop. Those are just a few off the top of my head. On the other hand, though, a few new places have opened and thrive. Red Door Spa, West Elm, South Moon Under (my favorite store EVER)and Orvis to name a few.
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