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Speaking of Suburban Landmarks--"Northlake" being sold

Name of a mall of name of an area? When I say "Northlake" to people, I'm always taken aback when they immediately think of the mall. I'm not but that's beside the point. Anyway, according to news reports "The Mall" (if we must) is being sold by Simon Properties. Heres' a link: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/real_talk/2014/04/simon-property-unloading-northlake-mall.html

So people are asking: will this be good for the (Northlake) community? I suppose they're thinking "retail". I actually hope this becomes part of the "fugget a mall" movement and the 60+ acreas gets redeveloped into a "retail subordinate" city center. Unbelievably, I'm told that one of the impediments to a "tear-down" is the fact that the anchors (Sears, Penny's, Macy's) all own their parcels--and apparently they like the business the stores are doing.

The other thing about changing the site use into streets, squares and gardens is they don't make money--and much of a new "center" will be mid-to-high rise multi-family housing (lets not fall for that affluent young professional B.S.)--which will indeed become part of the same overcrowding problem in the local schools. Oh well--charter schools are on the rise--and being funded nearly fully by the state, so maybe we'll have a "Northlake School" (lower and upper) inside the development. 

Here's something I wrote just the other day on a "Mall Blog" which had a four year old entry on Northlake Mall:

"Discussion of the future of the mall, who will own it and how re-development will be underwritten with public dollars will track with the latest debate on the area becoming part of a new city. The emphasis on the mall's future should focus on the property, not its role as a retail center. It is 60 acres of prime  property in a location that begs for mixed-use town-center density--complete with new "street-blocks" and public uses (center green, meeting facitlites, government offices, post office and possibly schools and healthcare--to go with more traditional commercial use (including restaurants and entertainment). Discussion of "improving the mall" is virtually beside the point and focuses solely on propping up a 20th century construct of where "retail"  fits in a new economy--and more importantly what the "middle class" will be like (it is disappearing and getting poorer). The previous post mentions a "rainbow" of ethnicity that shop here. Having three clear cut markets (Latino, black and white) not only has household income impact, but so does "neighborhood" residents that have aged and retained their homes for 50 years. It is time to consider that the area's prime customer base should be "built in" with 5,000 to 10,000 new residents in more dense conditions (live-work-play).

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Tom Doolittle April 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Agree with all. My stuff on redevelopment is really limited by the marketplace. Only a gamechanger like commuter rail combined with some new Federal grant program would kick start change. So maybe the conversation in the intervening years is "what would such gamechangers be?" on the order of a geopolitical shift. I don't think forming a city would do that much unless such a thing gave access to a "gamechanger" strategy. More on the public conversation vein--the sooner we stop talking about the Mall PROPERTY as "The Mall", the faster we can prepare for the future--and take part in it.
Michael Swahn April 25, 2014 at 07:58 AM
Yes and no Longerthanu. A little more digging and you find out that Mark Ordan is CEO of the new company. He is tasked with "finding value" in the new company. What that means is strip it down so that it looks good on a balance sheet so they can prepare the company for sale. He has done this twice now. So I don't see any major changes except a lowering in the quality of service, and a new paint job as Simon's prepares Washington Prime Group, which includes Northlake Mall to someone. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-25/simon-names-ordan-ceo-of-mall-spinoff-washington-prime.html
Longerthanu April 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM
Yes, Michael Swahn, I agree. It's all about the balance sheet. I should have said I wouldn't expect any "positive" change for Northlake Mall.
Patricia Killingsworth April 26, 2014 at 09:34 AM
There is a key element to development in the Northlake area that was never clearly addressed by Lakeside, and then Tucker. Developers are not going to want to have to deal with two different cities, possibly three, and the county when putting together a grand plan for the evolution of multiple cohesive developments that, hopefully, compliment existing communities. Splitting the Northlake area up with the various boundaries that evolved during the session will create at least two different zoning boards to deal with and probable tax variables that will kill any interest major developers might otherwise have. As it stands, you might be looking at competing developers focusing on their specific interests supported by different city zoning boards, with no grand plan in place for the area as a whole. In short, a mosh, a neighborhood nightmare. And that is not a far-fetched scenario.
Tom Doolittle May 16, 2014 at 05:22 PM
Somebody sees a future market along North Druid--maybe its the CID: --Northe DeKalb Mall sold: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/real_talk/2014/05/lennar-sterling-buy-north-dekalb-mall.html?ana=e_du_pap&s=article_du&ed=2014-05-16&u=mlWD4/DUT4SU8NFt2cUlibICK9p&t=1400275110

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