Former Nordstrom space could find Super Bowl use

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Nordstrom’s exit from Circle Centre mall leaves the downtown Indianapolis shopping center without its signature tenant.

But the 210,000-square-foot vacancy created when Nordstrom closed Sunday could provide a temporary fix for Super Bowl organizers seeking space to accommodate numerous corporate events surrounding the Feb. 5 football game.

Mark Miles, chairman of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee, said more than 100 companies are searching for venues to host Super Bowl parties, and the former Nordstrom store could be an ideal location.

Members of the host committee have been involved in discussions with downtown property owners and managers saddled with "significant" vacancies, including Simon Property Group Inc., which operates Circle Centre, Miles said.

"I'm not in a place where I can discuss specifics," he said. "I hope we'll know something within two to three weeks."

Indianapolis-based Simon, which has yet to sign a lease with another tenant or tenants to replace Nordstrom, declined to comment on whether it will market the space for Super Bowl use.

Miles said the host committee won't get involved in financial arrangements between property managers and companies seeking event space. Its role is to simply help match companies with property owners from a list of of available spaces.

Such temporary lease arrangements can be lucrative for property owners.

Jillian's, on the east side of South Meridian Street and across from the former Nordstrom store, expects to collect about $500,000 from two entities who plan to use the entertainment complex for Super Bowl parties, Jillian's owners said in July court documents as they reorganize under bankruptcy protection.

What makes Jillian's and the Nordstrom spaces particularly attractive for corporate gatherings is their proximity to Georgia Street, which will be transformed into Super Bowl Village.

The street is in the midst of a $12 million overhaul that will feature a covered pedestrian mall in the median, sandwiched on both sides by a lane of traffic and a wide sidewalk. The improvements will run from Conseco Fieldhouse to the Indiana Convention Center.

The project, funded primarily with federal stimulus dollars, is scheduled for completion in October.

“This is prime real estate,” said Chris Gahl, spokesman for the Indianapolis Convention  & Visitors Association.

Miles concurred, noting that the former Nordstrom space could serve as an indoor extension for visitors braving the cold of the outdoor Super Bowl Village.

An estimated 150,000 people are expected to visit Indianapolis for the event.

"I don't think there's a chance that everything can be accommodated downtown; it will take the resources of the region and the county," Miles said. "But the spaces that will be available downtown are most in demand. The closer to the Village, the more sought after they are."

Seattle-based Nordstrom Inc. announced in late May that it would close the downtown store, which opened in 1995.

Sales had fallen by roughly half since Nordstrom opened its Keystone Crossing store at The Fashion Mall in 2008. In addition, the upscale retailer will open its off-price Nordstrom Rack store in September at the nearby Rivers Edge shopping center at 82nd Street and Dean Road.



  • Validation for parking
    I think we should put a Saks or something similar in and validate parking for anyone who shops there. Perhaps the city could offset the rent for brands that are unwilling to to invest. Also, I think Simon should remodel a bit to make it cleaner. The city should also ban panhandling on the blocks around the mall. I know these people need help, but it hurts business.
  • business owner
    I have been a business owner in the southwest quadrant of the mile square for 25 years. In those 25 years, the city's sycophantic butt-kissing of the hospitality industry and of professional sports in this quadrant sickens. I am tired of sidewalks 2/3 blocked by sidewalk cafes, "hotel" loading zones and valet parking spots and horsecarriage spots gobbling up what I paid for with my gas taxes, the downtown mall parking scheme that encourages shoppers but essentially excludes office workers and owners, Dennison parking goons who monopolize whole lanes of what should be traffic lanes for their &%^& valet parking operations, downtown cops that randomly hood whole blocks of parking meters to accomodate the Colts games, TIF districts that take MY taxes for questionable city improvements, the food and beverage tax that ups the cost of lunch and gives me NOTHING in return and- the final insult- this new 200 year parking meter contract that increases the price, extends to 9:00 PM on every day except Sunday, and adds Saturday. The city has done NOTHING in the southwest quadant in twenty years that benefits the NON-hospitality/sports industry. The Superbowl will bring in tons of money, not one dime of which will benefit those like me. The State gets the sales tax, the Capital Improvements Board gets the food and beverage tax... and the IMPD payroll fund- from which the massive police overtime will be spent- gets NADA. IPS gets NADA. Billions for Simon and Irsay, not one cent for vital services, education, or the ordinary property taxpayer. Hudnut, Goldsmith, Peterson, Ballard, Kennedy if she wins.. a pox on each of your houses. Now go take a bath in lyewater.
  • Street level vs mall
    Doesn't Circle Center discourage street-level retail, considering there's only a certain number of shoppers and most of them are going to walk through the mall as opposed to walking to scatterred retail shops sprinkled throughout downtown? I think we're stuck with hoping that Circle Center is successful and knowing that street level retail will not likely thrive anytime soon. On the other hand, if Circle Center were to close, we might see the vibrant street-level retail that Mark states that we desperately need.

    A similar trend occurred in Minneapolis where the second floors of many of the downtown buildings, all interconnected by the Skyway system, drew all the retail up from ground level.

    I think we'd be lucky if we got a Target or a higher-end retailer to fill the Nordstrom's space. I think the MSA siteswould be ideal for a Target, with apartments above, but maybe that thought is based mostly on hoping that MSA will be something other than surface parking.
  • High End
    High end has been attempted at Circle Centre, and nearly every "high end" retailer has given way to Hot Topic, Forever 21, and every other typical mall brand. So, call me an idiot for calling for a Target, but at least, I can say I, as a downtown resident, would actually go to the mall, which I don't do now. Circle Centre will NEVER be an upscale mall, and you're an idiot if you think it can. A Target would be used by downtown residents AND people who need the basics from all of these surrounding hotels.

    Second, I wasn't COMPARING Indy to Chicago. I was merely stating that if something as simple as a Target can be put there, then it can be put in downtown Indy. There are basic retail needs severely lacking in downtown Indy, and you're blind if you don't see that.
  • Empty Space
    I also don't understand where people get the idea that no one supports Circle Centre. I live in Carmel and shop downtown more than the Fashion Mall or Castleton. Plenty of people like going downtown for the urban feel and personally, I like the mall more than the Northside ones. Sure, the Fashion Mall has better stores, but they aren't good enough to keep me going there. I also cringe at the thought of a Target at the mall. It is just a stupid thought. Maybe downtown should have a target, but put it at North of South or near Mass Ave. It just doesn't belong in a mall. Overall, I think Simon will find a tenant soon, but what Indianapolis desperately needs is more street level retail. Stores like Urban Outfitters, Apple, or American Apparel need to start popping up on places like Pennsylvania, Meridian, and Washington Streets.
  • Unfortunately Not True
    "If one can go in downtown Chicago on State St., then one can go in downtown Indy"

    Downtown Chicago had a 2009 population of over 160,000. This is on top of around 40 million visitors yearly to the downtown area.

    Indianapolis 19,000 downtown pop with over 20 million visitors (this is the whole region not just downtown).

    Indianapolis is not anywhere near like Chicago, do not compare

  • Circle Center
    If Target comes downtown Indy, it should not be in Circle Center. That would be a joke. This space needs to be higher end period. And I have no clue why one would think no one supports this mall. I go to CC all the time and see plenty of people purchasing items. If no one supported the mall, shops would exit so fast your head would spin. However, if the new main anchor was a Target, then your clueless comments could become a reality.
    • It Works
      As a downtown resident, I would certainly prefer that they take this time to find a new tenant, the reality is that even if they were to sign someone in the next month or so, the renovations would probably mean it would be closed for the Super Bowl. So, I would rather the space get used creatively like this for the temporary need. It could be a pretty awesome venue if done right.

      As far as outside the box, as "trashy" as some might think it would be, a Target makes perfect sense. If one can go in downtown Chicago on State St., then one can go in downtown Indy, and I, for one, would use it all the time, especially if it had a grocery store.
      • Be Realistic
        Everyone always talks about thinking outside the retail box when it comes to downtown Indy, but the fact of the matter is, very few people truly support Circle Center like they do Greenwood, Castleton, or the Fashion Mall. Sure, you may go there on a lunch break from time to time and buy a pair of shoes, a greeting card, etc...but the main purpose people use Circle Center for is fast food and other dining. This mall is a nice destination for convention center traffic, but the fact is, it's not a destination mall and Nordstom knew that, which is why they built a 2nd store at the Fashion Mall. Simon has their hands full when it comes to filling an anchor like this.
      • Retail Space
        pretty pathetic...........if and when they start shopping for new tenants, i wish they would be creative, think outside the box and not just keep putting the same 'ol stores in these vacant spots

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