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- Redevelopment Of A Store At 110
- Redevelopment Of A Store At 11 Years
- Redevelopment Of A Store At 11 Weeks
Seritage Growth Properties ASHEVILLE — In an era when shopping malls are fading into oblivion, the Asheville Mall has no intention of following suit. Part of its strategy? Living there.
A preliminary permit plan submitted last month by Seritage SRC Finance LLC to the city's development services department details a $45 million redevelopment project in and near the mall's Sears store. Plans show the addition of restaurants, retail stores, a 10-screen multiplex movie theater and a six-story structure with 204 multifamily housing units.
A rendering of the building at 4528 Freret Street after its proposed redevelopment into a grocery store with condos above the parking lot. Architect Nick Marshall noted that the building was a Canal Villere grocery store in the 1970s and 80s.
It likely would be among the largest single investments at the facility since it was built in the early 1970s. Even in Asheville's modern development culture — where rental housing is necessary, given a period of sustained demand — the project could be a game-changer, at least as far as the mall's long-term viability is concerned. Its addition differs from tradition in the shopping-heavy corridor of Tunnel Road, and from enclosed shopping malls, in general. MORE: Proposed $45M Asheville Mall redevelopment features movie theater, restaurants, housing If developers envision a future as bright as the past at Western North Carolina's largest mall, it might be a necessity, industry experts say. 'There has been a shift and it’s more experience-based, more about creating town-like experiences and environments,' said John Kirk, a partner at New York City-based architecture and design firm Cooper Robertson. 'That means people living above shops and close to shops and also close to services.' Kirk, who visited the Asheville Mall some years ago, said its problem is drawing in 'sophisticated Ashevillians,' those who may find solace shopping downtown in places like the historic Grove Arcade.
Because Asheville residents have choices, he said the mall is 'less of a destination than it might want to be.' Story continues below. Seritage Growth Properties It's a reality many indoor malls are facing.
Redevelopment Of A Store At 110
A 2017 report by Credit Suisse found that 25 percent of U.S. Malls, some 275 shopping centers, are expected to close by 2022.
The majority have experienced a decline in foot traffic in recent years. Credit Suisse analysts surmise it is related to the continued growth of online shopping, the rise of discount retailers like T.J. Maxx or Marshall's and the so-called retail apocalypse that has purged tried-and-true brands like J.C. Penney, Macy's and American Apparel. Kirk, whose firm is not involved with the mall project, said shopping centers thrive on foot traffic and what he calls 'dwell time.'
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- The last of Iowa's former Dahl's stores is headed for redevelopment. Nebraska Furniture Mart is expected to buy the former Dahl's store in Clive and move its store there next spring.
The longer a person dwells in an area, he argues, the more money they'll likely spend — which only bodes well for a shopping mall. MORE: Could Alamo Drafthouse come to the Asheville Mall? 'It's about walkability, about the complete experience,' he said. 'Is this a good idea? Yeah, it’s a good idea and it has a lot of potential. Are malls dying?
Yes, they are. But if you speak with people in the retail business, people with disposable income are looking for an experience.' The mall project's developer is New York-based Seritage Growth Properties through a subsidiary, Seritage SRC Finance LLC. Seritage Senior Vice President of Development Paul D'Arelli submitted the rezoning and concept plan application to the city. 'Our goal is to transform the property into a first-class mixed-use residential and retail development that fits within and adds value to the local community,' Seritage said in a statement Thursday.
'We’re still early in the process, but are energized and encouraged by the support our vision has received and look forward to continuing the dialogue with the community.' Not yet shared on the project is its timeline for completion, how much consideration developers have given to issues like traffic and building walkable space to accommodate new tenants or what it means for the Sears store currently located in the area where the development would be. A spokesperson for Sears said the retailer has not received notice that Seritage, which owns the space and leases it back to them, has any plans to change the storefront or recapture the auto center space. 'As such, it’s business as usual,' Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Sears Holdings, said, 'and we will continue to serve our members and customers as we have for the last 45 years at Asheville Mall.' Story continues below.
Citizen Times file photo The city already is preparing for a shift of this magnitude at the mall and elsewhere. Alan Glines, assistant director of the Planning & Urban Design department, said in an email the city is in the final stages of developing its Living Asheville Comprehensive Plan. Glines said the plan notes that some of the larger retail tracts like the Asheville Mall have 'the potential over time to be redeveloped to be a new 'town center' development.' 'We are seeing a big shift in the scale and nature of retail uses going on right now across the country,' he said. 'Many properties that are used primarily for retail are being repurposed because of the rise of the online retail platform. The Sears property at the Asheville Mall and their proposal specifically is a reaction to this change.'
He added that by creating town centers and servicing the roadways around them with transit options, the city can continue to create needed residential housing along primary corridors 'while finding a new model for success for aging and/or obsolete properties.” It comes at a time of significant redevelopment in the corridor. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera Bread and Durham-based Rise Biscuits and Donuts are planned tenants at a forthcoming retail center dubbed The Peaks that likely will open this year across from the mall. At capacity, the site of the now-demolished Beaucatcher Cinemas 7 will have 12 restaurant and retail spaces for a total of 33,517 square feet.
Texas-based United Development Co. Told the Citizen Times in October it is expected to open on the property by mid-2018. Additionally, existing shopping center Overlook Village, also near the mall, will see a redevelopment project after being acquired for $25.5 million last month. GBT Realty Corp., through its Capital Holdings division, said this week it plans to finalize development plans for the site by the spring. The wave could add a new flavor to the area, and nowhere more so than at the mall where plans showing it evolving with mixed-use trends more commonly found downtown.
'Developers by necessity and nature are visionary,' Altamus LLC president Wes Reinhardt said. 'This concept to evolve the Sears location, it's innovative and pioneering.' Reinhardt, who runs the Asheville-based property management firm, added that owners of real estate within mall areas are 'looking for ways to capture more attention and more visitors.'
Reinhardt said although the reported plans for the mall appear 'very preliminary,' its proximity to the city's downtown area as well as its connectivity to transportation channels could bode well for its success. 'It certainly could mean more of a lifestyle component and more everyday foot traffic to that area,' he said.
Redevelopment Of A Store At 11 Years
'If that came to fruition, you’d see that concept, if it proves to be successful, I think you’ll see other developers trying to explore how to capture that success.' Story continues below. William Woody / [email protected] Both Kirk and Reinhardt singled out the Grove Arcade as a model of how a mixed-use property can thrive. The arcade opened in 1929 but did find its current iteration until 2002, opening after years of dormancy with shops, restaurants and 42 apartments. Kelee Flannery, the Grove Arcade's property manager, said the surest path forward for the facility was treating people well, a virtue she said she carries with all of her tenants. 'It’s going to be key about anything they do in the new property at the mall — it’s how you treat people, plain and simple,' Flannery said. She added it doesn't hurt to have an 'immaculate, beautiful' building, either.
Redevelopment Of A Store At 11 Weeks
Asked if she would consider living at the mall, Flannery said, 'I've never thought about it.' She said she might living at the Grove Arcade if she didn't work there. 'It’s going to depend on how well (the mall development) is managed and where it’s located,' she said. 'For a lot of folks, people are going to love the convenience of what you’re talking about but if it is well-managed, it will solve itself.'