Let's talk about that for a minute. The City of Elk Grove needs to have money in order to run the City. Where does the City get money? It gets money from the taxes, the business owners when you keep your purchases in the City of Elk Grove, money from builders etc. Since building has reduced dramatically in Elk Grove, the revenue for the City of Elk Grove has taken a hit.
It's important to grow and grow in such a way as to bring jobs and revenue into the City of Elk Grove. Jobs and revenue will help Elk Grove flourish and keep the taxes down, the roads in good shape, the police and fire department ready for each citizen when the need arises. The Promenade Mall for Elk Grove is a good sensible start in bringing revenue to Elk Grove.
Now, you may not agree on an open air shopping mall but this is the way of the future. Closed in Shopping malls are no longer being built. There are several reasons...one it is cheaper to build an open air mall and two, it's cheaper to maintain an open air shopping mall.
After reading the article in the Elk Grove Citizen about the new Promenade Mall, I called several colleagues in the Cities where open air malls are located and asked each of them to tell me what the good things and the not so good were with the open air shopping malls. Here's what each had to say:
Christina Whippleof San Antonio Texas said, "The La Cantera an Open Air Shopping Mall has been open for 1 year on the north side which is a growing area. Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom are the key stores in the mall. There is a recreational area for the kids that has a teekee theme but it gets quite hot. The open air mall needs to have continuous hang-overs instead of the little hang over that was built due to the heat."
Allison Goodman from Arkansas said, "The Pinnacle Hills Promenadehas awnings over most of the walkways and where there isn't any awning, the stores have a hang over to keep the customers dry. In my opinion it is a glorified strip mall with Dillards on one side and J.C. Pennys on the other with a theater on the 3rd corner. Our open air shopping mall opened last Fall and is still developing. We have no kids area. The thing I would change is to make it more pedestrian friendly. I think this is an accident waiting to happen. There is parking in the center that is diagonal with a 2 way street going down the middle. I would make this all pedestrian and have parking on the exterior. If that wasn't possible I would definitely make the street one way and cut down on the parking in the middle, making it more pedestrian friendly. I would also have more covered walkways and install misters due to the heat."
Michelle Tsioles and Craig Schiller from Real Stager in Chicago talked about 2 Open-air Malls in the Chicago area. On the positive side, Michelle stated that Bolingbrook Promenade is beautiful, OakBrook is big and winds around a lot. She indicated that when the weather is nice, she goes shopping at the open air mall but when it is rainy and cold she goes to the closed-in mall.
- Bolingbrook Promenade, not by the same developer as Elk Grove's Promenade but Forest City Enterprises. This open-aire mall has a road through the middle as would the Elk Grove Promenade. But, there is metered parking for those parking in the middle of the mall. Michelle was very excited about this mall which has Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor Loft, Barnes and Noble, Bath and Body Works, Champs, Charlotte Russe, Claire's, Coldwater Creek, Delia's, Foot Locker, Forever 21, Francesca's Collection, GameStop, Gymboree, Hallmark, Johnny Rockets, Journeys, Kay Jewelers, Lady Foot Locker, Lane Bryant, Lenscrafters, New York & Company, PacSun, Portrait Innovations, Select Comfort, Stride Rite, Sunglass Hut, Ted's Montana Grill, The Walking Company, Ulta, Victoria's Secret, Yankee Candle, Zales and Zumiez.
- OakBrook Center, Michelle described as very big and winds around alot. This center was built by the same developer'sas the future Elk Grove Promenade. Some of the stores at OakBrook Center are: Sears, Macys Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel, Eddie Bauer, plus more that you can view at Oakbrook Center's website for the mall.
- Old Orchard, a Westfield Open-air mall is much like that of the Roseville Galleria mall by Westfield with higher end stores.
One of the key elements I took away from my interview with Craig Schiller of Real Stager in Chicago is that even in inclement weather such as snow, an open-air mall such as Old Orchard lends itself to the total ambiance of shopping. Weather would not stop Craig from shopping at the open air mall...such a shopper!
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