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As Southridge Improves, So Do Retailers and Restaurants

Over the past year, our regional mall is being transformed from the inside out. What's in store for shoppers as we say goodbye to one of the mall's mid-size tenants?

Over the past year, those of us in the southern suburbs have watched as our regional mall is being transformed from the inside out. Simon, the world's largest mall operator that tookover ownership of Southridge a few years ago, decided to put on the map again in terms of making it attractive for retailers and restaurants. So far, , Simon's plan is moving along smoothly.

and bringing new life to the mall's south wing, where the once-vacant Younkers space was dubbed a cancer that could eventually kill the mall if not eliminated. With Macy's, several other retailers have either opened or remodeled their existing stores in the mall, including , Rue 21 and Maurices. But even with this new life, there's the big news that The mall didn't make any significant comment on the closing either, mostly leaving it up to our imaginations as to what's the real reason behind it.

The way I see it, mall management has been working diligently to transform the southern wing of Southridge into more of a high-end destination for shoppers. This wing would likely cater more-so to wealthier suburbanites from Franklin to New Berlin rather than folks coming in from the south side of Milwaukee. Management hasn't kept this secret; since the announcement of Macy's they've provided quotes to various Milwaukee-area media outlets noting their desire to make the southern wing more upscale and, in particular, geared for women shoppers. Having an Old Navy, which promotes and is proud of its low priced clothing offerings, in the middle of this vision surely wasn't too appealing behind the scenes. In addition to this, Old Navy's space within the mall was likely too large for it to simply be moved to another location. Southridge has the distinction of having 5 department stores - the most for this metropolitan area. The issue though is that the 5th anchor () takes up space which normally has retailers such as Old Navy. Kohl's is great as an anchor, but it does limit opportunities for smaller tenants wishing to locate at Southridge.

The only options with Old Navy would have been locating it to the former Borders along 76th Street or building a store somewhere in the mall's outer parking lots. The Borders site would have been great visibility and is directly across from the new Walmart being built. However, Borders is now taken. . 

As for the outer parking lots, I'm sure management would like to see something similar to what Mayfair and Brookfield Square did - build lots of restaurants.

While we're likely saying goodbye to Old Navy, it'll be interesting to see what new shopping and dining opportunities are in store for southern suburban shoppers. Personally, I'm still holding out hope for a Cheesecake Factory.

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Nicki July 11, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Hallmark is not leaving as reported earlier. They are relocating to a different location in the mall.
karen July 12, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Trader Joes would be a great idea!
karen July 12, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Greendale needs a Trader Joes!
Bren July 14, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Checking the Greendale police blotter I note that the new Macy's has had its first experience with the type of menswear clothing theft (Polo) that plagues Mayfair. In this instance, the perpetrator was caught. Well done! The message needs to be sent that the days of theft and loitering at Southridge are over. The Walmart across the street is going to make security more difficult because police reports in other communities indicate that pickpockets/thieves in malls take stolen credit cards to the nearest Walmart. Greendale has put one right across the street, a quick trot across the parking lots and 76th Street. Hopefully the GPD will step up patrols of the parking lots. We were at Southridge a few weeks ago and four 20-somethings were being arrested, for what we later learned was gang-related fighting. The number of mistakes the Greendale Village board is making is becoming legion. Pressure needs to be placed on them (with the exception of Village President Hermes, who gets it) to get professional advice on business development and historic landmark preservation before they do permanent damage. I would really rather have a Trader Joes instead of a DSW in the old Borders space. A young relative recently walked out of the Mayfair DSW after watching people try on shoes with bare feet. That's just unsanitary.
Nicki July 14, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I worked at the Southridge Gimbels back in the 70's and 80's and I wish I could remember all the incidences of theft and watching our security people chase down the concourse after shoplifters. Talk about clothing items! One distinct memory for me is an entire rack of top name expensive women's sportswear which was standing near the Grange Ave entrance disappeared. It was probably a week later when some employees of the department went down to the 7 Mile Fair and saw the same items for sale. It was a standing joke around Gimbels and Boston store at that time that when clothing disappeared, it could be found the next weekend at 7 Mile Fair. My point is this has been going on since the mall opened, it's nothing new.

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