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Old 09-06-2017, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprintuser2014 View Post
There is a coffee shop already in that mall across from Sears, it's been open for years and seems to be doing well. Also Stein Mart won't be happening they just had a terrible quarter and lost money and sales are down. They won't be opening anymore stores if anything they will be closing some.
Yeah, that spot is not so great, I think...it's ok, but a dunkin donuts would truly be moreso of a multitude of attractions/reasons to go out and visit the mall, quite possibly. If Stein Mart doesn't work, an out of the box idea would be to split up the space into restaurants or a food court even!
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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I passed by the Fort Henry Mall today and the mall owners/management are putting up a new Fort Henry Mall sign, which indicates all 4 of the anchors, and they've left room (optimistically) for another anchor to fill up the Sears space eventually. In addition, the mall is renovating both entrances currently and the new signage should be up there in the next week or two.

Dunham's Sports just opened about 2 weeks ago, and NCG Cinemas opened over the summer. The mall is really putting in a lot of investment dollars into a facility I--and many others--would have thought of as being a long-dead mall already.

If you walk into the interior of the mall, there are still probably 50% of the stores that are vacant. The mall's owners have temporarily rectified this issue by placing "Kingsport history" murals on the drywall covering the vacant stores, in different areas of the mall.

I don't really see a lot of long term potential with Fort Henry Mall, unless they start to attract and open new tenants/restaurants/stores that are "must-see or must-visit" attractions.

In order to survive longer term, I think the mall needs a food court, with a mix of 5-6 restaurants. In addition, there should be 3, 4 outparcel restaurants built around the edge of the mall, like Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday's, Steak n Shake, Chik Fil A, Dunkin Donuts, etc. Long term financial feasibility is just not possible most likely unless continued attracting and leasing of new and original tenants is accomplished.
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
I passed by the Fort Henry Mall today and the mall owners/management are putting up a new Fort Henry Mall sign, which indicates all 4 of the anchors, and they've left room (optimistically) for another anchor to fill up the Sears space eventually. In addition, the mall is renovating both entrances currently and the new signage should be up there in the next week or two.

Dunham's Sports just opened about 2 weeks ago, and NCG Cinemas opened over the summer. The mall is really putting in a lot of investment dollars into a facility I--and many others--would have thought of as being a long-dead mall already.

If you walk into the interior of the mall, there are still probably 50% of the stores that are vacant. The mall's owners have temporarily rectified this issue by placing "Kingsport history" murals on the drywall covering the vacant stores, in different areas of the mall.

I don't really see a lot of long term potential with Fort Henry Mall, unless they start to attract and open new tenants/restaurants/stores that are "must-see or must-visit" attractions.

In order to survive longer term, I think the mall needs a food court, with a mix of 5-6 restaurants. In addition, there should be 3, 4 outparcel restaurants built around the edge of the mall, like Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday's, Steak n Shake, Chik Fil A, Dunkin Donuts, etc. Long term financial feasibility is just not possible most likely unless continued attracting and leasing of new and original tenants is accomplished.
I need to go in there just to check it out for myself. I don't think I've been in there since I moved back, and may not have been in there in five years or so.

I'm glad to see something going into the mall, but these sports stores are a dime a dozen. We are saturated with them in this area - there are at least two Dick's (they are outrageous - no idea how they stay in business), Bass Pro/Cabela's (not totally the same but some overlap), Mahoney's, Academy (the best of the bunch, IMO). I can't imagine all these surviving long-term.

I agree - I don't think the mall, as currently constituted, will survive for too many more years, and that's not to put down the efforts of the current owners. They're trying, and they may succeed. With that said, the mall has been troubled for so many years that shopper behavior has changed. I used to go to the mall all the time as a kid. I don't even consider the mall now - it's not that I think about it and plan to go elsewhere, it just never comes up at all.

I lived in Kingsport until the last couple of months. Since I've been back, I could probably count on one hand the number of things I bought in Kingsport that were not groceries after work or meals out. There just isn't much retail base there now.

If the mall succeeds, it's going to require some out of the box, innovative thinking.
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,700 posts, read 10,132,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I need to go in there just to check it out for myself. I don't think I've been in there since I moved back, and may not have been in there in five years or so.

I'm glad to see something going into the mall, but these sports stores are a dime a dozen. We are saturated with them in this area - there are at least two Dick's (they are outrageous - no idea how they stay in business), Bass Pro/Cabela's (not totally the same but some overlap), Mahoney's, Academy (the best of the bunch, IMO). I can't imagine all these surviving long-term.

I agree - I don't think the mall, as currently constituted, will survive for too many more years, and that's not to put down the efforts of the current owners. They're trying, and they may succeed. With that said, the mall has been troubled for so many years that shopper behavior has changed. I used to go to the mall all the time as a kid. I don't even consider the mall now - it's not that I think about it and plan to go elsewhere, it just never comes up at all.

I lived in Kingsport until the last couple of months. Since I've been back, I could probably count on one hand the number of things I bought in Kingsport that were not groceries after work or meals out. There just isn't much retail base there now.

If the mall succeeds, it's going to require some out of the box, innovative thinking.
Agree about the Sports stores--unfortunately the market in the tri-cities is now flooded. Dick's though, is very much overpriced, as you mentioned--I cannot see how they stay in the game much longer without lowering their prices. So, how Dunham's will fare, only time will tell.

I've heard that Kingsport was in the running for the current Bass Pro Shoppe which is now at The Pinnacle in Bristol. If this is true, Kingsport really screwed that up. Bass Pro is exactly what could've dramatically changed the fortunes in a hugely positive way for the Fort Henry Mall. It's unreal how they missed out on that.

My thinking is still bullish on the mall approaching a major grocery chain to locate in the Sears spot. Publix is coming to Kingsport, and I've said time and time again that this would be an ideal location for Publix.
Within a 1/2 mile of the mall there used to be 4 major grocery chains successfully operating for decades--Winn Dixie, Food Lion, Food City and Oakwood. Up until 8-10 years ago when they closed, they had the customer base in that region. Now Food City has a monopoly on those neighborhoods. Closest is Kroger on Stone Drive.

Anyway, you are right, they have to do something to continue mixing up the attractions there. A theme restaurant? A museum inside? Opening the mall "up to the outside" to allow for a sidewalk-downtown themed shopping experience? Leveling the mall portions and creating outdoor plazas interconnecting the major stores?

I don't know, but as-is, the mall will perk up based on these 2 new store additions for a year or two, but then start its decline again. JCPenny may be on shaky ground, so that could be another nail in the coffin if that store closed....time will tell I suppose.

Last edited by jjbradleynyc; 11-21-2017 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 11-21-2017, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
Agree about the Sports stores--unfortunately the market in the tri-cities is now flooded. Dick's though, is very much overpriced, as you mentioned--I cannot see how they stay in the game much longer without lowering their prices. So, how Dunham's will fare, only time will tell.

I've heard that Kingsport was in the running for the current Bass Pro Shoppe which is now at The Pinnacle in Bristol. If this is true, Kingsport really screwed that up. Bass Pro is exactly what could've dramatically changed the fortunes in a hugely positive way for the Fort Henry Mall. It's unreal how they missed out on that.

My thinking is still bullish on the mall approaching a major grocery chain to locate in the Sears spot. Publix is coming to Kingsport, and I've said time and time again that this would be an ideal location for Publix.
Within a 1/2 mile of the mall there used to be 4 major grocery chains successfully operating for decades--Winn Dixie, Food Lion, Food City and Oakwood. Up until 8-10 years ago when they closed, they had the customer base in that region. Now Food City has a monopoly on those neighborhoods. Closest is Kroger on Stone Drive.

Anyway, you are right, they have to do something to continue mixing up the attractions there. A theme restaurant? A museum inside? Opening the mall "up to the outside" to allow for a sidewalk-downtown themed shopping experience? Leveling the mall portions and creating outdoor plazas interconnecting the major stores?

I don't know, but as-is, the mall will perk up based on these 2 new store additions for a year or two, but then start its decline again. JCPenny may be on shaky ground, so that could be another nail in the coffin if that store closed....time will tell I suppose.
The thing with the mall is that it needs something different, but attracting that something to Kingsport is going to be a challenge.

I've seen a couple D&B's in the "lifestyle center" concept, but those were in major metros. We're too small for that. Other "not mall" retail that I've seen in the "lifestyle center" spaces, like Earthfare and Trader Joe's - small-ish presences that could fit in a mall anchor sized space, just aren't a good fit with Kingsport. To the extent that something new comes to the area, it is almost always going to go to Johnson City or even Bristol before Kingsport. What we don't need is more redundancy. I'd like to see something like an Abuelo's Mexican franchise come in - something a bit different the other cities do not have. If the mall is going to succeed long-term, it has to do something to make itself a destination.

Scrapping the whole thing now isn't going to happen with the investments made in the theater and Dunham's at this point. We're probably stuck with "what looks like a mall." I doubt the site will be significantly altered unless the whole place goes under. I'd have been happy as a clam had the whole site been razed and a Costco put there

I think Publix is the only thing that makes sense that we'd also have a realistic chance at getting. Kingsport badly needs an additional grocery option. The Kingsport Kroger sucks compared to the one in Bristol and the one by ETSU. Ingles is too far out to be convenient for a lot of people. Food City and Walmart have a near grocery monopoly. Prices are high, quality is low, selection is poor. Publix is a larger competitor and hopefully could force some price competition in the mainstream grocery sector.
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Old 11-21-2017, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,700 posts, read 10,132,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Scrapping the whole thing now isn't going to happen with the investments made in the theater and Dunham's at this point. We're probably stuck with "what looks like a mall." I doubt the site will be significantly altered unless the whole place goes under. I'd have been happy as a clam had the whole site been razed and a Costco put there

I think Publix is the only thing that makes sense that we'd also have a realistic chance at getting. Kingsport badly needs an additional grocery option. The Kingsport Kroger sucks compared to the one in Bristol and the one by ETSU. Ingles is too far out to be convenient for a lot of people. Food City and Walmart have a near grocery monopoly. Prices are high, quality is low, selection is poor. Publix is a larger competitor and hopefully could force some price competition in the mainstream grocery sector.
A Costco would've been incredible! I agree, that idea is a dang good one.

As for the grocery stores, yeah, Publix is coming (according to one of their real estate associates I've chatted with) but an official location has not been confirmed just yet, because the deal is not completely done. I have mentioned the Sears site to them a couple of times, but I"m not holding my breath haha.

The Sears site should just be razed and a restaurant built there. That would probably be their best option at this point.
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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I stopped in today.

I was pleasantly surprised at the changes. The new lighting and ceiling tiles gave it a fresh, open, well-lit appearance. It seemed new and modern. The signage is perfectly on point. The floors are basically yanked up to bare concrete and new flooring will go in soon.

There is still a problem with vacant retail spaces, but after years of neglect and stupidity by previous owners, the current owners have a hole to dig out of. The Kingsport murals and the walling off of those spaces makes it feel less empty than it really is.

I think they're on the right track here. Retail is facing significant headwinds overall, but given what the owners have to work with, they are clearly trying very hard and the results are encouraging.
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,700 posts, read 10,132,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I stopped in today.

I was pleasantly surprised at the changes. The new lighting and ceiling tiles gave it a fresh, open, well-lit appearance. It seemed new and modern. The signage is perfectly on point. The floors are basically yanked up to bare concrete and new flooring will go in soon.

There is still a problem with vacant retail spaces, but after years of neglect and stupidity by previous owners, the current owners have a hole to dig out of. The Kingsport murals and the walling off of those spaces makes it feel less empty than it really is.

I think they're on the right track here. Retail is facing significant headwinds overall, but given what the owners have to work with, they are clearly trying very hard and the results are encouraging.
It does seem like it's just about to turn the corner, doesn't it?

The new owners do seem to have their skills of mall management about them, at the very least. The new signage is incredible, and does a world of makeover wonder for the mall. The new lighting is sleek and modern too, and I'm hoping once the new flooring goes in over the next couple of weeks, that this completes the makeover nicely.

For the mall to continue its momentum, it needs 3 or 4 new stores to come on board. Ideally, restaurants, but any new store would be good to keep the renovation momentum going.

I'd be curious to hear if anyone has insider info about new lease interest or signings?

The addition of the new theater and Dunham's sports has really brought the mall back to absolutely near dead to somewhat of a destination for people in the Kingsport area.
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,278 posts, read 21,192,463 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbradleynyc View Post
It does seem like it's just about to turn the corner, doesn't it?

The new owners do seem to have their skills of mall management about them, at the very least. The new signage is incredible, and does a world of makeover wonder for the mall. The new lighting is sleek and modern too, and I'm hoping once the new flooring goes in over the next couple of weeks, that this completes the makeover nicely.

For the mall to continue its momentum, it needs 3 or 4 new stores to come on board. Ideally, restaurants, but any new store would be good to keep the renovation momentum going.

I'd be curious to hear if anyone has insider info about new lease interest or signings?

The addition of the new theater and Dunham's sports has really brought the mall back to absolutely near dead to somewhat of a destination for people in the Kingsport area.
There were a decent number of people in there shopping Saturday. No, it wasn't as many as when the mall had more stores, but I was surprised it had as much as it did.

The big problem I saw is that the elevator was out of order, and with no escalator, it's going to be a nonstarter for people who cannot get up and down the stairs. They need to do something about that ASAP IMO. I'm not sure whether the current or previous owners removed the escalator, but that was foolish.

They are trying to lease the old Garfield's spot. Toro's was apparently not paying rent and the owners ultimately filed a suit to get the prior rent due.

Sears is ugly, dated, and like you, I think it just needs to go or be profoundly overhauled. The Garfield's spot could possibly be opened up and reconfigured into a small food court.
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Old 12-26-2017, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
6,700 posts, read 10,132,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
There were a decent number of people in there shopping Saturday. No, it wasn't as many as when the mall had more stores, but I was surprised it had as much as it did.

The big problem I saw is that the elevator was out of order, and with no escalator, it's going to be a nonstarter for people who cannot get up and down the stairs. They need to do something about that ASAP IMO. I'm not sure whether the current or previous owners removed the escalator, but that was foolish.

They are trying to lease the old Garfield's spot. Toro's was apparently not paying rent and the owners ultimately filed a suit to get the prior rent due.

Sears is ugly, dated, and like you, I think it just needs to go or be profoundly overhauled. The Garfield's spot could possibly be opened up and reconfigured into a small food court.
The problem continues to be--and what you had mentioned in a previous post--the former owners of the mall almost managed to drive the mall completely out of business. If that was their goal, they fell short, but managed to cripple the mall to an almost-completely-dead state.

So now, the current owners have a large task in front of them--marketing and appealing to retailers and restaurants who think the Pinnacle and the Mall in Johnson City are the "go-to" destinations in the tri-cities region. Add in the Kingsport Pavilion competition, and Fort Henry is staring at a huge uphill battle, still.

The Kingsport Pavilion contributed to Fort Henry Mall's slide, as Michael's moved there, and several "mall destination" stores like Ulta, Books a Million and Best Buy located out on Stone Drive at the Pavilion.

The Pinnacle has become a destination, but is about 20 miles away from Ft Henry--and in Bristol, TN. Unfortunately, I don't think national mall retailers differentiate Bristol's market from Kingsport's, though. Since Kingsport/Bristol is a metro region of 300,000. And, this is part of the problem.

Stores that go to Kingsport look at The Pavilion, and those going to Kingsport's metro look at The Pinnacle. Those looking at the consolidated metro region of Johnson City/Kingsport/Bristol, now go to The Mall at Johnson City.

Ft Henry has to somehow get over the hurdle as the destination for stores to consider when looking at the Kingsport-Bristol metro region.
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