Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Southside

News: Northgate Mall plans six-tenant food court, welcomes new retailers


By Katie Ward
Community News Writer

Northgate Mall General Manager Joe Janosko entertained over 30 retailers this summer at the mall showing them future plans for renovations.

"Every year CBL has a retail connection and they invite 200 retailers for dinner, a golf outing, and leasing meetings," Mr. Janosko said. "We contacted retailers coming into Chattanooga and hosted them at our Retail Reception Center. Denny Moore is the Northgate leasing representative who works with the retailers."

Northgate is owned by General Growth Properties, which has taken a keen interest in renovating the mall.

Northgate Mall administrative assistant Amy Phillips put together hardback folders with photos of the mall, demographics, and marketing information with a CD, which has photos of the renovated stores and future renovation plans on it. The packets were presented to retailers at the reception.

Renovated stores on the CD were LensCrafters, Kay's Jewelers, Shane's Rib Shack, Golf Headquarters and Hibbett's.

Operations manager Danny Hurn and group marketing manager Cathy Jennings helped host the reception retail event.

Retailers were given food, beverages, and looked at a site plan and a lease plan for the mall.

"We have proposed a food court to go in where Book Gallery is located," Mr. Janosko said. "It will be a six-tenant food court at the main entrance. The response has been tremendous. We have an ample number of prospects. We hope to open it in late 2008 or early 2009. I don't want to be the typical mall food court. I like the look of the Bilagio Hotel concept of the terrace in Las Vegas. I want it to be a fun outdoor dining experience."

The food court will have outdoor seating with umbrellas, and be architecturally appealing, he said.

"It will be a visual point of excitement from Highway 153," he said. "At night it will have a light element."

Mr. Janosko explained that Payless ShoeSource is moving to the old Waldenbooks location.

Ross Dress for Less will be the new tenant going into the former Carmike Cinemas location.

Stores planning renovations on Northgate Mall's property include T.J. Maxx, Panera Bread and Chili's. Inside the mall, Victoria's Secret will open in late October or early November in the old Fluff N Stuff and Payless ShoeSource plans to open a 6,000-square-foot store. Bath & Body Works will open in the spring in the former Victoria's Secret location. Fluff N Stuff moved to the old Rush recruiter store.

The Children's Place is scheduled to open Aug. 15 at Northgate Mall. It will be a prototype of Children's Place with only 22 like it in the United States. It will carry children's shoes and be located across from the new LensCrafters.

J.C. Penney manager Randall Honeycutt opened the newly renovated $1.5 million store on Aug. 1. Customers will not recognize the store, he said.

Northgate Mall turned 35 years old last March, while the mall underwent renovations in 1991. Currently, the mall has been going through renovations over the past few years.

"Each storefront will be distinctive," Mr. Janosko said. "Picadilly will construct a streetscape storefront, which will be dramatic combined with Shane's Rib Shack and Golf Headquarters. In the face of the ones who say Northgate Mall has no future, our retail guests were extremely impressed with the progress we have made and the bright future we have."

For the holidays, mall officials are planning a Christmas store in the former Home Collections store, beside Colony 13. The mall will also have a new Santa Set.

"Folk Heart is a cute new store of crafts that does art classes as well," Mr. Janosko said. "Gary Mayo, who owns Tennessee Spirit, relocated to the former Casual Corner. He is gearing up for football. We have a national deal proposed for Sports Stop and Tennessee Spirit. They are temporary tenants. We would look to relocate both tenants."

In the past year, Northgate Mall has expanded by adding Pepsi Chill Stations throughout the mall. T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital opened The Toddler's Soft Play Area in the mall as well.

"In 2009, I envision to change the name of Northgate Mall." Mr. Janosko said. "Once the streetscape is done."

E-mail Katie Ward at kward@tfpcommunitynews.com

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