Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eastdale Mall: Montgomery, AL

The retail history of Montgomery seems to be a pretty disposable one.  With many dead strip malls, the city also is one of the few lucky ones to have two dead malls, which I covered prior to this post.  Eastdale is the newest mall in the city, if lifestyle centers do not count.  It has also shifted from an ancillary mall to the prominent destination mall providing the last traditional mall experience in the city since Montgomery Mall faded away two years ago.  Eastdale is quite an experience at that as well.  As Aronov Realty's premier mall, it effectively replaced Aronov's first center in the city as a super-regional shopping destination.  It is also the only mall in Alabama to feature its own ice skating rink, which is quite a unique element considering that ice skating is an unheard of activity in subtropical Southern Alabama.


The whole concept of Eastdale Mall to me seems to be roughly modeled on now-closed Eastland Mall in Charlotte.  Apparently Aronov must have visited the mall when it opened deciding to incorporate elements into his own mall.  Even the name suggests a connection, and definitely the ice rink in center court leads me to ponder that assessment.  Eastdale also hosted four anchors originally including stores never before in the city.  The mall itself opened in 1977, and despite renovations it holds much of its late 70's dusky charm with retro elements similar to Aronov's University Mall in Tuscaloosa.  With that, there was a lot to like about this mall, and the crowds in there confirm this.



Three pictures of the ice rink in Eastdale.  This is the only mall-based ice skating rink in Alabama. While never as impressive as the rink at Eastland in Charlotte, it is still quite a draw.


A map of the mall.  The ice rink is just south of one of the Belk stores, which originally was Pizitz and mainly McRae's.  The mall was otherwise pretty straightforward until it was greatly expanded in 2005.

The mall has seen many anchor changes since it opened, but several of the anchors still look original.  Its original anchors were Gayfer's, Pizitz, Parisian and Montgomery Ward.  Pizitz and Parisian were prominent Birmingham stores giving the mall a bigger city feel than its predecessor Montgomery Mall and a first for the city, though Pizitz itself carried over from downtown.  Eastdale Cinemas 8 was also an original anchor, and amazingly it is still there!  The first anchor change came in 1984 when Sears replaced the Montgomery Ward.  In 1987, Pizitz converted to McRae's and Gayfer's was folded into Dillard's in 1998.  The original mall was also last renovated in 2001, and I suspect it was renovated at least one time before during the 1980's most likely after Montgomery Mall updated itself.  Sears at the mall was also extensively renovated inside and out, and it bears no resemblance today to its former Montgomery Ward-styled appearance.  A food court was also added around 1989 along the original front entrance wing (now the JCPenney wing).  The new food court was attractive incorporating planters and fountains along with burgers and fries.  Nevertheless, the original mall was still not much different from the original Montgomery Mall...an older mall forming a straight shot.  Eastdale, though, has a memorable center court to distinguish it and always had more department stores.



The food court is lush and attractive, though not the most substantial I have seen.  The fountain in the center is nice.  It was added to the mall later.


A stroll down the main mall with not the best location for a photo.  This was on the Sears wing.  My camera did not like this darkness and artificial light.

In 2004, big changes began for the mall.  This was when a 30,000 square foot expansion was underway extending from center court to a new JCPenney store.  The JCPenney store would open in 2005 replacing the dated store at fading Montgomery Mall.  The expansion, however, was not just for the shoppers: it was necessary for survival.  The Shoppes at Eastchase, a new lifestyle center, had opened in 2002 and was stealing stores and shoppers from the mall.  The addition, along with the full anchor line-up, was the hopeful plan to keep Eastdale from succumbing to Eastchase.  The improvements definitely seem to work.


This part of the mall was the Dillard's wing looking toward center court.


The northwest entrance wing includes a mall movie theater, which in every respect appears to be original.


If not for the updated flooring, this could very well be a scene from 1977.  I'm sure the theater is updated inside, though.

Department store consolidation also had a huge effect on Eastdale.  Gayfer's was not the only victim, because Saks, Inc. really shook up the mall starting in 2006.  In 2006, this was when McRae's was sold off to Belk.  Apparently, instead of converting the store to Belk, Parisian doubled up at the mall.  This coincided with the closing of the Parisian at Montgomery Mall, which was a much larger store than the one at Eastdale.  Ultimately, Belk would come back to take over both stores converting both the former McRae's and Parisian over to Belk.  While this maintained five anchors, it reduced the actual department store count to four like it was originally. Belk had no presence in the market prior to 2007, and Parisian was committed to its existing stores, which is the likely reason why neither Parisian nor Belk opened at Eastchase.


Looking back toward the mall along the northwest entrance wing.


This should have been my best shot of the main mall, but the camera did not want to focus.  I am not meaning to show an empty store in all these photos, seriously!


Dillard's wing near Dillard's and Belk Women's (former Parisian)

The problem with Eastdale is that it is still part of the same original by-pass road that Normandale and Montgomery Malls faded and died on.  Less than five miles away, the failure of Montgomery Mall attracted to Eastdale the same element that helped to kill Montgomery Mall and Normandale.  That, unfortunately, is not a small problem for the mall as it now must compete with Eastchase, which is in a newer, nicer area with better stores in the area to support it.  Eastdale, in comparison, is at a crossroads.  The real or perceived fear of crime has killed many malls, and this is exacerbated when race or class is a factor, which unfortunately is an underlying major issue in this city.  Eastdale, however, still offers the better and more interesting shopping experience.  This is why it is my belief that had it not been for the 2005 expansion, the mall likely would be in trouble.  Eastdale's strength is in its anchors and excellent management, but if any choose to leave for Eastchase, it may itself be facing a future one day like its predecessor Montgomery Mall.  Since I always prefer the mall to survive over the tacky lifestyle center, I hope that never happens.


Dillard's here is an original Gayfer's.  This store design is almost a clone to the original Greenville Mall (SC) JB White store inside and out.  Both were Mercantile stores.


Inside, you can definitely tell Belk started out as Parisian.  Parisian takes up some of the mall space, and it is only one level.


JCPenney is new to the game, so the design is not original, though it shares the theme.  This whole court was not built until 2005.


Sears is original to the mall, but the store was renovated extensively inside and out around 2004.


Belk Men, Home and Kids here was formerly McRae's and originally Pizitz.  It was the only Pizitz mall store in Montgomery.  It is just north of the ice rink/center court.

When visiting Eastdale in March 2010, it seemed to be a vibrant mall, but I definitely detected a hostile element from some of the patrons.  Looking at the current lease plan today, I am wondering if what I noticed is starting to have an effect as vacancies have creeped higher in the mall with eleven empty shops counted on the latest leasing plan.  Perhaps it is just the economy, but I also visited Eastchase on that trip where I noticed a full parking lot, upscale stores and an obviously wealthier clientele.  The only thing, in fact, that keeps the two shopping centers complimenting each other is much the same that kept Montgomery and Eastdale doing so before: a more limited anchor overlap.  Eastchase has only Dillard's while Eastdale has Dillard's plus three other department stores stores.  What if Dillard's closed or downgraded that store followed by Belk and JCPenney deciding that Eastchase was the place to be?  I am really surprised that did not already happen and am even more surprised that JCPenney chose Eastdale over Eastchase.  JCPenney's move I am not complaining about, though, as Eastdale is fun and air conditioned while Eastchase is another boring cookie-cutter lifestyle center in the boiling Alabama sun.


The mall's Parisian, for a brutalist design, is actually very neat looking.  Today it is Belk Women's.


Dillard's, formerly Gayfer's, is unmistakably close to the original Greenville Mall JB White.


Pizitz kept it simple.  Unfortunately, most of their mall-based stores were rather weird looking and bland.  McRae's was here 1987-2006.


Sears attempted to renovate away any resemblance to the late 70's.  What a shame.


JCPenney took a trip to stucco land for this soon to mildew post-modern mess.

Here in 2010, the economy seems to be barely functioning mainly due to the freeze on lending combined with government instability.  Any major retail projects are likely to be halted or else financed internally, which will only help Eastdale in the long term.  If this same scenario had played out five years earlier, the picture would look very different today.  I am glad of this, though, because this mall was special despite its age.  To me, I also really enjoyed seeing some of the older elements mixed with the new such as the older ceiling treatments (which resembled older Taubman malls), fountains, vintage anchor designs and such combined with the updated appearance.  In an era of sameness and blandness, this is one of those malls I love to cover, because it offers something different.  I hope you will agree and can shed some light on the future of this mall.


I absolutely LOVE the way that Aronov keeps at least one mall entrance original in their malls.  No, that is not sarcasm.


Nothing original here, though.  This sign came with the last renovation.

31 comments:

  1. Evans A CriswellJuly 26, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    The main thing I disliked about the 2005 renovations is the Applebees in the mall closed. I hate that all malls seem to be losing all of their sit-down restaurants like Ruby Tuesday, The American Cafe, and Applebees. Having those kinds of restaurants in malls made them more of a place to meet friends. In summer 2005, I met a friend in Montgomery at Eastdale and the Applebees had just closed and we'd planned to eat lunch there, but we had to drive elsewhere to eat. I hate most fast-food mall places in food courts.

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  2. Thanks for this post. As I was born and (partially) raised in Montgomery, and came back to go to College, this has definitely been a trip down memory lane. I particularly enjoyed the Montgomery Mall post (which I'll comment on later). A couple of corrections about Eastdale, though: (1) The Sears store opened in 1984, having moved from their original Court Street location (where my Dad used to work in the 60s). The original store was Montgomery Ward. (2) The food court was added around 1989/1990 timeframe. (3) The Pizitz store was originally located downtown, but moved to the mall when it opened in 1977.

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  3. You know, I kind of want to vent something out about lifestyle centers in general, like Eastchase. I actually feel like it's a concept that'll eventually fail, and I'm not just saying that because I'm more partial to malls.

    I look at the weather situation, especially here in the Southeast. In this heatwave we're going through, I don't even like to leave my house, and when I do, I try to get to where I'm going from my car quickly. Now what makes you think I want to walk around a whole lifestyle center in this heat? Case in point: Why go to the Forum at Peachtree Parkway and walk around in the heat when you can go to Lenox, which has bigger versions of the same stores, and then some, and protection from the elements? I mean they're "cute" and all for now and they do cater to a semi-upscale yuppie clientele, but I think in the grand scheme of things malls will prevail.

    Another thing is that they generally lack the large department stores the malls do. If you're lucky you may get a Belk or a Kohl's, but very rarely a full-sized Macy's or Dillard's like store.

    Think about it: Isn't it interesting how malls started off as open-air center and then went enclosed over time (like Lenox)?

    Just something I wanted to comment on since it seems to be relevant to the whole Eastdale/Eastchase thing.

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  4. There are a number of reasonsdevelopers moved to lifestyle centers--(2) they discovered that well-located strips survive and adapt better than malls, which easily turn into white elephants with high maintanence costs, and (2) during the 90s, people started spending far less time in malls than they used to--the convenience of driving up to where you wanted to shop began to be important. People who shop the mall will always be there, but there less of a factor than they used to be. Kind of like "Ladies who lunch"--stores and malls once catered to them, but no anymore. there just aren't as numerous as they used to be. malls also are more fragmented in their clientele--the anchors at many malls draw a different group than the inline stores. Food Courts at some malls generate their own business, esp. at lunch, that rarely if ever ventures into the mall. Those kinds of models for shopping make a traditional mall less attractive to build and manage.

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  5. I don't think McRae's ever had a Montgomery location. The old Pizitz building operated as a secondary Parisian store, at least since 2001.

    As for thst JC Penney store, there are only so many spins an architect can put on a box.

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  6. Technically, Belk *did* have presence in the Montgomery/River Region market prior to 2007, as Belk anchored a strip mall in nearby suburban Prattville, just north of Montgomery. My experience with that particular store left me wondering just what exactly what type of retailer Belk was.

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  7. Eastdale Mall is fading fast.. the undesirable clientele, well loiterers, are becoming an everyday staple of the location, this was the exact same start that led to the demise of Montgomery Mall. The location around the mall, neighborhoods and neighboring shopping centers are facing the same fate and many, many locations are sitting empty. This lack luster appearance of the surrounding areas really does well to attract supporting clientele, those that have money to spend.

    I can tell from my own 33 years of experience with the mall, visiting it when it opened, hanging out in the 80's at the Orange Bowl, taking my kids there the last 20 years, that it is in definite irreversible decline.

    People want to feel safe, that feeling if fading fast from Eastdale Mall. Aronov has done well to keep it at bay, but it is growing past their ability. With tenants leaving, shoppers finding other places to go, it won't be long before we have another empty building. When the average spending per shopper drops, tenants will leave, this is happening already and getting the good ones is nearly impossible in such an old location and poor demographics of the area. The middle class neighborhood built around the mall in the 80's is decaying into a bottom feeder class of thugs, drugs, and blight. Much the same way it did when Montgomery Mall started foundering in the early 90's.

    Goodbye Eastdale Mall,.....

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  8. Thomas I agree with you. The Eastdale Mall is being filled with the refugees of the Montgomery Mall. I work there so I see it everyday. It will only be a matter of time before we have another empty building

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  9. We went there "accidentally" and LOVED it- it was doable- had a nice selection of stores, in 2007, when we were there, great prices, the SEARS replaced our battery in warranty/guarantee, and the ice rink was crazy for my Florida girls. I was raised on the old Omni, so I loved it myself. I posted on it in 2007: http://southsideatlantamemories.typepad.com/southside_atlanta_memorie/2007/07/on-the-road-to-.html
    As always- love this blog! Jeannie (not anonymous)

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  10. In the early 70's, my parents moved back to Montgomery to continue growing the family. They chose a new home at the end of a dead end street with a huge pasture to the side. They felt this would be great location to raise a family where they wouldn't have to worry about traffic. The next year, Aronov broke ground for Eastdale Mall.
    We were at the mall all the time, especially during the summer when it was soo hot outside (which makes me not understand the draw to Eastchase)
    It makes me sad to KNOW that this mall will go the way of Montgomery Mall.
    Some problemare not entirely the malls fault. GAP is leaving a lot of malls. Even ones they were successful in. And Bombay went bankrupt. But on my last trip to town, Ilive in s Georgia now, I noticed American Eagle was gone. THis makes a HUGE ugly spot at center court near the ice rink.
    A couple of monthes ago, a rink employee died near the ice rink. It was believed to be from a freon leak. There are fears that they may close down the ice rink completely.
    JC Pennys did not help. It just made people FEEL like Eastdale was becoming Montgomery Mall.
    There are too many national stores closing, little by little, and being replaced by ma and pa's.
    I agree about Apleebees. I felt as though that was a huge loss, b/c now people will go elsewhere to sit down.
    FYI, The movie theatre was originally 3 theatres. It was completely renovated and enlarged in the mid 90's. The grand opening weekend was the opening of Jurassic Park. They offered opening day tickets for $.99.
    Also, there was indeed a McRaes there for years. I can't remeber what it was called before 1988 but I don't think it was Pizitz.
    Where the JC Pennys,used to be the main entrance to the food court. Applebees was there. Before it was Applebees, there was a train car conected to the mall. It was a restaurant, I think called the Orient Express. Next to Sears, where Sears kids is now, was Ekhards (spelling?) drug store.
    I have so many memories of this place, but once people think that a place is bad, it's pretty much over.
    Can it make it 10 more years, or will it come "overnight" like Montgomery Mall did?

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  11. Based on the pictures, Eastdale Mall seems to share a lot of design similarities with Albany Mall, an Aronov mall in Albany, Georgia.

    The Albany Mall opened in 1976 and has changed very little since a 1988 renovation and expansion, and much of its original design (and all its original signage) remains.

    Among other things, Albany's Dillards store (orginally Gayfers) seems to be a nearly exact duplicate of the Eastdale version.

    None of Albany Mall's anchors have been updated since at least the 90s, and the entire mall is in a bit of a time warp, although without any real competition, it's still popular in the area.

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  12. Lived in Montgomery WAY too long VERY close to this mall, spent WAY too much time there...that being said...:)...great memories...couple of notes-1) That Orient Express was actually called Twickenham Station, actually a concept restaurant that I think came out of Huntsville, and 2) Eckerd Drugs is the one you are thinking of near Sears...Eastdale was interesting too in that it was a partnership initially between Aronov, the Lowders, and some other Commercial Real Estate family in town (not Jim Wilson)...

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  13. Pizitz was gone in 1987 when McRae's bought them out. Having ideal locations overall, most Pizitz did make the transition to McRae's. I think probably the only suburban location to close in the sale immediately was the Five Points West mini-mall store in B'ham.

    As to lifestyle centers, why is the Prattville one dead? Others I've run across seem to be struggling as well, and I have to think that maybe reinventing the wheel isn't as well perceived as believed. I still think lifestyle centers are poorly planned. When the weather is nice, fine, but I still like to go from store to store without getting in and out of my car constantly, and if it's raining there is no protection at all. If they at least covered the walkways and found a way to separate pedestrians from traffic more it would help. If it is downtown they want to recreate, then why don't they just go and start fixing up and moving into DOWNTOWN? Are the Limited Brands concepts allergic to downtowns outside of the California coast?

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  14. I agree with the post about Eastdale Mall becoming a thug hangout. I was seven years old when the mall opened and enjoyed it all through my teenage years.

    I worked at Gayfers in Montgomery Mall when I was in high school back in the late 80's and I remember the security guys telling me even back then that the theft was more than five times as bad at the Montgomery Mall Gayfers than at the Eastdale Mall location.

    Montgomery has gone down the toilet! Why else would so many families be moving up to the Pratville and Millbrook areas to live. What is really funny is when these corporate run restaurant chains come to Montgomery and set up shop on the Eastern Blvd. and think that they have hit the jackpot with the cheap rent and tax breaks they get.

    Hooters is the latest of the many victims to fall for this trap. My wife and I went there once for lunch simply because we going to Cohen's to purchase a new dishwasher.

    Several of the servers said that they got some good customers at lunch but the place was almost scary at night. They said a couple of fights had broken out and that the tips were terrible.

    I honestly believe that part of the reason for the outdoor layout of East Chase was deliberate. Deadbeats, drug heads and thugs won't loiter around in the blazing summers of Alabama.

    It's sad when a bowling alley has to charge for the shoe rental AT THE DOOR because so many deadbeats don't want to spend money or they just want to loiter around and get in loyal patrons way.

    It's a shame because Montgomery used to be a nice place.

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  15. Very well said! It definitely looks like Eastdale Mall will be facing the same fate as Montgomery Mall did in the near future. When you see the cash advance loan shark joints popping up close by that is always a sure sign that there is trouble on the horizon.

    I have some awesome memories of Eastdale and always enjoyed Aladdin's Castle when I was growing up. The mall was a fun place to hang out years ago. Does anybody remember looking at the posters in the back of Spencers???

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    1. I remember looking at the posters in the back of Spencers...PG-13 porn LOL.

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    2. I noticed that Spencers and the arcade (or what's left of it) were remarkably bright on a recent visit. I have to wonder if this was requested by mall for security reasons.

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  16. "It's a shame because Montgomery used to be a nice place."

    That is so true. I went back there in the early 2000's after being gone for over a decade and was shocked to see how much it had changed.

    I have to wonder how much the rampant development in the area b/t the old Cobb Kirkland Pontiac dealership at Vaughan Rd. & the ES Bypass has to do with Eastdale Mall's decline.

    There are a lot of wealthy residents in the Vaughan & Bell Road areas, which makes me wonder why the mall cannot survive.

    From what I am reading here, security has become a major factor. That could have been addressed before it got out of hand.

    It's really sad to see the MM and Eastdale fade away.

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  17. McRae's left Eastdale Mall years ago. I cannot pinpoint exactly when they left, but I am thinking sometime between 1998 and 2001? Anyway, after McRae's left, Parisian took over that space in addition to their original space. Both of those spaces are now Belk. Belk is doing what Parisian did -- one store for men, one for women.

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  18. I was born and raised in Montgomery and still live here. I grew up sitting on Santa's lap at Loveman's and riding my bike to Toyland at Normandale; going to the Hub at Montgomery Mall and buying many jeans at Gayfers at Eastdale. I agree with others that say Eastdale is the next Montgomery Mall. People don't want to go to a mall where thugs hang out and girls have cat fights. It's the reason the lifestyle center will takeover in Montgomery. Additionally, the intersection where Eastdale is located is in severe decline. Quality stores, resturants, and banks have been replaced with empty buildings, gold and silver outlet, or low-end stores like Fred's.

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  19. The malls are dying because Montgomery is dying. White Flight = Retail Death. You can only move so far east before, as former Mayor Emory Folmar put it, "You're picking up Tuskeegee's trash".

    Two other things are killing malls (and not just in Montgomery); America's newfound appreciation for thrift after the 2008 crash, and cheap Internet shopping. when I was a teenager in the 80's, the mall was the only affordable game in town. But along came Amazon.com and the like, and now malls just can't compete on that price point.

    Too bad, because I have fond memories of both malls. My wife worked at McRae's in the early to mid 90's. I used to pick her up after work. And it's sad because, yes, you all are right. Sooner or later. Eastdale will join Montgomery Mall in the Dead Mall parade.

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  20. Your right about the online shopping. I must confess that I always looks online before going out to the retailers to purchase many of my items. I can't believe I'm saying this but something is going to have to be done to replace the tax revenue that is being lost by online shoppers. It would level the playing field and allow the stores to compete. UGGHH I still can't believe I said that:)

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  21. The movie theater has not been updated in years its old and showing its age and smelly in severel theaters and not to mention non stadium seaing and sticky floors. the only thing that has been updated is the computers. Totaly not worth going there.....shame carmike wont update it

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  22. The movie theater closed last week on March 14, 2013. I'll be surprised if they can put anything in its place unless it's a $1 moview type of place which will only lead to a quicker decline of the entire mall. Too many thugs at this mall.

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  23. The movie theater closed.....Just another nail in the coffin.

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  24. More and more stores close. Some like Express have flocked to Eastchase while others like Aeropostale and FYE have left Montgomery entirely.

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  25. They replaced the movie theater with a Chuck E. Cheese....kind of a strange place for one, but if it works.... I go to school directly across from the mall. Dillard's turned into a clearance-type store. the mall is just not the same anymore. It has lost a lot of the personality it used to have. The only time I even go in the mall anymore is to get something to eat in the food court. If something is not done soon, like everyone else has stated, it WILL become Montgomery Mall, and we will see the same decline. I have already noticed that there is not near as much customers shopping there as there used to be.

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  26. Went back to do a little shopping for the wife, and grab a little dinner, and one thing struck me about the place: while it seems to be hanging on fairly well (though with another couple of stores closed now), the "mall stores" are going away. You know, the kinds of places that you had to go to a mall to shop at. Sbarro's is still in the food court, and Gorrins, but the rest are either independent places with little business, or national chains that you can find on any corner (Chik Fil A and Subway, etc). The Great American Cookie Company, Cinnabon, and Spencers are still there, as well as Hot Topic (though Hot Topic has become something of a joke even among younger shoppers). But the rest of the store is filling up with middle eastern guys peddling jewelry and trinkets at the booths, and chain stores in the bigger retail spaces. And you can find them anywhere... places like Rue 21 and MasterCuts. Why come to a mall if it doesn't have stores you can't find elsewhere?

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  27. Went to the mall today for Easter pictures and seemed quiet for a Saturday. Plenty of security so at least they are trying to make it safe. Maybe I'm just getting old but the mall just doesn't seem to have the same life that it once did. I think it's days are numbered and it's sad to see it fading away.

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  28. Well, with Dillard's in obvious "Clearance Center" mode, I have to wonder what can be done to salvage this mall. At the moment, the mall has some vacancies, but the stores that occupy this mall are increasingly local. Subway has left the food court, but the old Applebees seems to be in the midst of reopening as a "Wild Wings"-type of restaurant.

    Several things that would be nice to see: If Dillards closes, it would be nice to have Belk consolidate into that space. (The Gayfers store has always been hideous, so seeing it renovated out of existence would not be a loss. I would wonder how they would handle that second level that extends over the back parking lot, though.) The original Parisian space could easily fit a large junior anchor, and Barnes and Noble or a large Forever 21 could find a way to use that space. Neither store is in the market anymore, either. I could see the Pizitz space becoming either a lifestyle addition or another enclosed retail corridor. It surprises me that neither Eastchase or Eastdale have successfully courted H&M or Forever 21, as both attract a younger crowd and are quite affordable for the residents in the region. When a smaller city like Jackson, MS has an H&M in Northpark, and not even the Galleria or the Summit in Birmingham have landed that store, you'd think Eastdale could take advantage of this omission! Eastchase does not appear to have anymore room to expand without tearing up its parking lots, so there could be an opportunity to have a complementary shopping experience as in years past. Prattville's High Point Town Center is still largely vacant, so that hopefully can spook developers from trying to build another lifestyle center to kill Eastdale off for good.

    This means that Aronov has an opportunity to reinvent its flagship mall, as it reminds me of the positions that Parkway City in Huntsville and Brookwood Village in Birmingham were in prior to their drastic makeovers (or complete rebuild in Parkway's case) about 14 years ago. At least the mall has a reassuring security presence, and even if the clientele has become more diverse, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves rather than looking for trouble.

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  29. http://youtu.be/8aMhRPr6_-0
    Here you go Montgomery. Eastdale Mall at its best! Glad I moved from this dump.

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