Greetings from Stehekin,WA. Wow…Hartford Mall! I thought that Sal outdid himself again and introduced another special flavor with his newest #exlog 95. From the “Friendly’s French Dip Burger” consumption and then the super-crisp 4K drone fly-overs which were already very much enjoyed in some of his earlier mall visits. So for me personally please more ‘mall finger-food reviews’ and definitely fly-overs so that #exlogs are now being seen as a true cinematic experience including waitresses with high hair! Getting serviced at the ‘Infinite Wireless’ store was also a pleasure to see as this kind of care, expertise and pride can never be gotten at Best Buy with the Geek Squad.
As usual the Hartford Mall financial and owners report was spot-on! Always appreciated. But as to the future of the mall I as well immediately questioned the cities 'Planning Commission' discussion on the Sears teardown and the introduction or addition of a new outside Lifestyle Center. Very much like SIMON did in 2013 at their ailing Nanuet Mall. David Simon at the time called it ‘reimagining’ the old Nanuet Mall in NY. Essentially creating a brand new Lifestyle Center and in the process totally demolishing the old enclosed mall section. David was also steadfast that ‘Lifestyle Centers’ do not require any sort of traditional department store anchors and saw the Nanuet Lifestyle recommendation as a clear winner. David of course at the time already had inside information and communications that both Sears and Macys at Nanuet would not survive the long-run. The naming of the newly proposed lifestyle center to “The Shops at Harford Mall” sounded very familiar and which is identical to what SIMON called its lifestyle venture at Nanuet.
If you now check-out Simon’s present status of their “Shops at Nanuet” you will find that the concept essentially failed. Even though SIMON earlier in 2013 having committed and steered significant construction funds and tenant allowances into the deal. David Simon even proffered many of the hand-picked Nanuet luxury tenant’s better locations and deals at his ‘Outlet Centers’ and to quickly make the leasing for the Nanuet Lifestyle Shops happening. In this regard I stand reserved whether or not a ‘Lifestyle Center’ injection at Hartford Mall will save the situation at hand. One thing for sure it will be the final stake in the ground for the remaining enclosed mall section.
To be sure my now dear wife LeeAnne was the General Manager at Nanuet Mall and involved in the initial idea-hatching for a Lifestyle Center rescue operation. She later followed me to Natick with GGP and transferred as a GM to Simon’s Chestnut Hill Mall in Boston. Little did we know then that we both would wind-up working in the UAE and getting married in Dubai? It’s a small world!
I was glad to see a lot of YouTube commentary on the Hartford Mall Exlog 95. Much about supermarkets taking over former Sears or JCPenney spaces like in Natick Mall, Beaver Valley and Columbia Mall. In Indianapolis the 500,000 square foot Eastgate Center Mall was totally taken over by a newly constructed ‘Lifeline Data Center’ from Chicago-based New Generation Power International and installing a solar farm on the facility. Additionally the now totally demolished Eastgate Mall site also plays host to FBI and regional Homeland Security operational centers both having entered into a 25 year lease agreement. So as malls on the edge go there are viable alternatives out there and not all is doom and gloom.
There was talk about Macy’s leaving Hartford Mall in 2022 and I am hoping that this will not be the case! I used to work closely with Matt Dominsky at Urban during my times at Copley Place and in the days when we both grew-up as juniors in the industry. Then Matt later going with CBL in Chattanooga joining its Board of Directors. CBL was lucky to have napped him as Matt was a square shooter and knew is stuff better than most. Hartford Mall in turn is lucky to have CBL at the helm. I hope in this regard that Hartford Mall will farewell and not ultimately fall victim to unscrupulous pirates like Captain Kohan and Igor Namdar!
Well Sal keep up the good work and maintain the 4K drones buzzing in the air. Again many thanks for the great work you have done to date.
Simon’s ‘Shops at Nanuet’ a beautiful Lifestyle Center presentation and design. Originally in 2013 well leased with high quality tenants but later turning into an unexpected failure due to a quick succession of store closings. As of 2021 there are a total of 40 remaining tenants.
Wegmans at Natick Mall taking over a former JCPenney space on 2 levels
A brand new 350,000 square foot Indianapolis based Lifeline Data Center
and home to regional FBI and Homeland Security operational centers
and where once the 1957 opened Eastgate Center Mall was located.
The interior of the ‘Lifeline Data Center’ ready to taking-on the hardware
components and equipment for IT operations, storage systems; servers;
network infrastructure, and various information security elements.
As Hailey Geertgens reported on YouTube ExLog 95, a new Rural King in
Beaver Valley Mall replaced the vacated Sears building! Not all is lost!
Lidl opening at the Mall of Columbia, MD, transforming the 30,000-square-foot
ground level of the former Sears space at the Mall into their new home. Lidl is
the third largest retail food seller in the world, behind Walmart (1) and Kroger
(2) and is currently in the process of expansion into the US-market and with an
additional fifty locations planned to open by the end of 2021.
LeeAnne always loved the action of new construction. Here in Dubai her
Nanuet Mall days are surly a distant memory, but getting the new retail
construction supervisors here on the same page is not.
Construction sort-off? This time with Tamir setting-up our all new two-level mall convention exhibit booth and architectural models. For LeeAnne a big affair because now she can make her contribution in marketing, leasing, model assembly, decorations, space assignments and construction. Our twice annual Dubai shopping center conventions are always a very good time and for us essentially a full week away from the heat and press of the onsite projects. Then being served the best of foods, lots of smiles and getting to mingling with the crème de la crème and the others.
When LeeAnne joined me later in Dubai I was glad that she adopted well
and especially to the never-ending hot weather even well into the night.
Here she is in our conference room making sure that her mall management
and operations people are being taken care off by development and the
onsite construction teams.
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