More bad news for Indy malls

November 21, 2008
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Steve & Barry’sBankrupt retailer Steve & Barry's now plans to close all of its remaining stores, including anchor shops at Lafayette Square and Washington Square malls. Bay Harbour Management and York Capital Management, the investment firms that bought 173 of the stores out of bankruptcy in September, now plan to liquidate the stores by early 2009, Reuters reported. The weakening economy and retail market were blamed for the decision. The chain has about 170 stores. The bankruptcy filing says the company has less than $50,000 in assets and liabilities between $100 million and $500 million. The closure of the Lafayette Square store is another blow for that mall's new owner, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., which learned in October that Sears also plans to close by early next year.
  • Stick a fork in er, Lafayette is DONE.
  • Yeah, once the lease is up in 09 at the Macy's I'm sure it will leave as well. I wonder if they would open a new location in Plainfield?
  • Maybe they can ask for a bailout.
  • Curious...there seems to be certain joy in some of these posts in the decline of Lafayette Square. Me? I think it's unfortunate.

    I don't get it, why revel in the obvious, as if there's some kind of mall envy or competiton going on out there? Malls are, for the most part, boring, cookie-cutter, and somewhat outdated....hardly something over which to either boast about OR ridicule.

    For all its problems, the Lafayette Square area is well-worn (and once you hit bottom, you come back up), but still has an interesting ethnic and socio-economic mix. It's far from white bread and bland, but admittedly and obviously, it's a challenge for traditional retailing. Best of luck to whoever makes a go of it. Macy's in Plainfield? Oooh, so exciting -- an over-the-hill retailer in a sea of flat, treeless paved over cornfields. If you celebrate sameness and mediocrity, have at it.

    BTW, if you're looking for the city's most diverse dining locale, there are a ton of good, cheap, and diverse ethnic eats in this part of town.
  • I don't know why developers try to make Lafayette Square into something its not. Instead of focusing on bringing in big box retailers (been there done that, didn't work) make it into an international marketplace. There is nothing like that in the city currently and Lafayette Square is the perfect location for that. It can carve its own niche and fill a void we have in the city.
  • I agree wholeheartedly with everything parkershade said. Besides, I'm a little too tipsy at the moment to contribute much of substance on my own.
  • I read somewhere a few months ago that Macy's was coming to Plainfield, but who knows now, given the current economic state.
  • tipsy. hahahaha

    anywho, macy's rocks, best bang for the buck. promoted well, priced right, and great quality. they will be around.

    plainfield? like we need another greenwood whitey town. lol.
  • Mmmmmm....Macchu Piccu in Lafayette Square area is so good. I love Peruvian Food.

    I agree with the International Market Concept. Tear down part of the mall, open it up like some of the other malls but have an internation prescence in it, and create a grand scale international marketplace with vendors and different foods. Sort of a Fannueill Hall MArketplace or something.
  • Yeah, white people contribute nothing to society. They can't even produce a president anymore. We should try to get rid of them.
  • who really cares. Malls are so 1980's anyway. Besides the so called new LIFESTYLE CENTERS are just a slight deviation from a mall. No roof, gee, I like walking in the rain and snow to go from shop to shop. In San Diego or other real world class cities where weather is not an issue that has been done and, and way BETTER may I add, and it now is so 1990's. Things in this city close because hoosiers are a cheap, undereducated, overfed bunch of country bumkins who love thems wal-marts. The money may be moving to Plainfield, Fishers ect..... but those places will become nothing more than the Lafayette, Washington, Glendale, Eastgates of the north and west sides. Get over it hoosiers.
  • Oh, and to new world order, whitey is where the money is. You know that, so stop being a racist hoosier. Oh I am sorry, they are one and the same.
  • new order, a great band. :)

    that is a great post, and what this board needs more of: humor. can you lend some to berwickguy? PLEASE?! :lol:
  • Wow, San Diegan, did a hoosier beat you up, steal your lunch money and sleep with your sister? I know the California elite don't like to hear this, but you're pretty much irrelevent to most of the country. You have a beautiful city that you should be very proud of and so do we. By the way, I hope you're a huge Chargers fan, cause that means you're even more pissed today:) You stay classy San Diego.
  • To San Diegan:
    You're an idiot. Enough said.
  • Duh Hooey,

    zzzzzzzzz and then tomorrow morning you wake up and realize nothing's changed. So sad. Put on your clown face and take on the day!
  • Duh Hooey,

    zzzzzzzzz and then tomorrow morning you wake up and realize nothing's changed. So sad. Put on your clown face and take on the day!
  • What's with the personal attacks Berwick? Do you have to take everything so seriously?
  • I know the California elite don’t like to hear this, but you’re pretty much irrelevent to most of the country.

    Yes, most of the country doesn't use computers, watch movies, drink wine or buy goods exported from the Pacific Rim. One out of every ten Americans is from California, the state that accounts for 13 percent of the GDP, so I'm not sure what country you're talking about.
  • But Duh Hooey, you asked for humor. I was merely trying to fill the bill.
  • Yes, most of the country doesn’t use computers, watch movies, drink wine or buy goods exported from the Pacific Rim. One out of every ten Americans is from California, the state that accounts for 13 percent of the GDP, so I’m not sure what country you’re talking about.

    I'm talking about the West Coast ideology. I don't care what some guy from California thinks about the mall situation in Indianapolis, but for some reason he thinks his criticism is relevant to our discussion. California as a state and an economy is very relevant to every person who lives in the US. It's true that 1 out of every 13 Americans is from Cali, too bad 8 out of every 10 movies made suck. Do you have any pull with Hollywood to get some decent movies made:)
  • I went into Washington Square mall Friday afternoon to stop by and see if Steve & Barrys had any good deals. It was so sad to see how desolate that mall has become.
  • I'm not sure I understand why Simon is still holding onto Washington Square since they let Lafayette Square go... It appears to me that Washington is becoming another Lafayette, yet Simon is holding onto it for SOME reason.
  • Sweet simple Dan. It is relevant. Since what is done or created out here is usually ten to twelve years before you get it. You are probobly still using beta. I will give credit where credit is due. I do love downtown Indianapolis, but everything outside of that is SOOOOOOOOO ghetto. Sorry but true. Dan and the likes reside on the northern fringe of the metro area, insulated from the real indianapolis. If as much thought was given to the REST of the county/city, lafayette, washington glendale squares and COUNTLESS other areas would not look and be in the shape they are and have been. And about my lunch money and sister, that was good. Made me laugh, damn it.
  • Sad to hear about Steve and Barry's, but it is doomed retailer--as someone once said about Burlington Coat Factory, it is the grim reaper of malls. These sort of low-rent big boxes move into malls where rent is dirt cheap to market their goods before the places fold. They coast by on a marginal profit and fold during economic downturns. Burlington may exit soon as well; I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Not sure why trolls from California feel the need to vent their insecurities on an Indianapolis Business Journal website, but there's no need to tolerate repeated behavior. Keep an eye out for it and don't let him/her degrade the forum. For those of you in Indy, it is that condescension from San Diegan--and the relentless Keeping Up with the Joneses attitude of the coasts--that explains why I'm looking forward to leaving the East Coast and returning to the Midwest. And it only exposes the hypocrisy from someone calling Hoosiers racist by comparing them to world class cities like San Diego. No ghetto in San Diego? Los Angeles? Oakland? California as a STATE is beset by white flight! Who will be left to make your superfluous wines when all that remain are the fruit-pickers? But of course, none of those people are racist; that only occurs in flyover country...
  • Dear San Dieagan,

    Please educate yourself better about our city if you plan to comment on this blog. I live just north of downtown and I don't consider my neighborhood (SoBro) ghetto - diverse, yes, ghetto no. I'm sorry you feel that diversity must equal ghetto. There are many other great neighborhoods inside the 465 ring - Irvington, Meridian Kessler, Butler Tarkington, ect. that NO ONE would call ghetto.

    I guess Cali isn't so grand if you have to spend your time reading a blog about Indy and making blanket statements that have not a kernal of truth. It's attitudes like yours (Holier-Than-Thou) that really give many undeserving California residents a bad name. Also, it's tired. Find a new schtick - m'kay?

    We really could care less that you lowered yourself to comment favorably on our downtown. I like living here - and I'm not sorry I do. It's a nice city, a nice size, and people are not so pretentious as they seem to be in other places I've visited.

    Have a nice day!
  • Actually, San Diegan, I live in Woodruff Place just 2 miles from the center of downtown. You love your city and enjoy living there, as you should. I happen to enjoy living in the midwest, so that is where I live. I could do without the winter weather, but other than that I love it here. There may be a time when I decide to move east or west for a career opportunity or to elude law enforcement:) Until then, I am very happy and proud to live in Indianapolis. So, I'm not going to continue this war of words. Besides, you laughed at my previous joke, so you can't be all bad:)
  • I love San Diego, especially that underground parking garage at the Ralph's grocery in Pacific Beach. What a concept!
  • Isn't california leading in home foreclosures so what the hell is San Diegan bragging about. As far as us getting stuff 10 to 12 years behind you need to do a little more research since Indiana and its top 10 metro areas are a vital part of any national business strategy. In fact, Indiana is a leading test market for new products, concepts and retail establishments. The only thing you probably got first was the metal detectors in your high schools.
  • Chaco Tacos are the bomb!

  • Why is everyone getting so defensive about San Diegan's tirades?

    Aside from the openly hostile tone, most of what he/she says is true.

    A summary of his truthful statements:

    Lifestyle centers ARE 1 degree away from the classic indoor mall design. Both of them suck. (They're not a product of the 80s though, more like the 50s.)

    Most Hoosiers DO tend to shop at Wal-Marts, Meijers, and Targets. (Don't you?) A lot of us ARE country bumkins. I'm proud to be from Indy and am certainly not a bumkin, but I'm not going to pretend like most of my neighbors aren't. (I'm also not ashamed of them. They're the nicest people in the world!) We also have a large population of highly-educated, creative individuals, and are attracting more all the time. But they don't outweigh the bumkins just yet (and I don't want them to). :-)

    The money does continue to leak out to the Plainfields, Fishers, Castletons, etc. and those WILL become the new Lafayette Squares, Glendales, and Eastgates once newer Malls and town centers are built even farther out. (Remember, those used to be the nice new escapes from inner-city Indy in the 60s.) Our strip-mall development patterns guarantee it. As long as money-hungry developers keep building newer facilities so people can get away from all the congestion that the old developments bring, the money will follow it. It's already happening to the area around Castleton Square because people are moving farther north. That area doesn't really look that different that the area around Lafayette square except for the number of people and the color of their skin. Investing in maintenance and upkeep isn't in the American mindset. We just build new big boxes and leave the old ones for the poor people.

    Most of the areas outside of Downtown and the northside ARE in a state of disrepair and to most outsiders look ghetto. It's a fact. Our infrastructure IS crumbling. Weeds stick out of the sidewalks everywhere. The stripes in the roads are gone. Crosswalks don't exist. There is a bunch of dirt at every intersection. (Get out of your car and walk and you'll notice it, drive more slowly and pay attention to the neighborhoods you race through on your commute home.) Just because we're used to the state of disrepair that our city's in and no one's doing anything about it here, doesn't mean we have to get up in arms when some yahoo from San Diego points out our flaws. :-)

    I ain't hatin', I'm just statin'.
  • Ablerock, you make some fine points. I'll summarize them in one sentence: We have become (mostly) a citizenry of LOW EXPECTATIONS. Keep them taxes low, leave me alone, who cares what happens to my environment. This is the mantra of the Ballard administration, and it will most assuredly continue this way, because, if you remember, this is what he promised us, and what YOU voted for.

    Watch carefully what happens with Glendale, which is one of the FEW redevelopment projects that has legs. While they got 20/30 mill or whatever from the city, lets see if the promises made to the areas around here get followed thru. There was to be a series of bikepaths along 62nd street ( E and W) and bike racks, storage, fitness center(which seems to be thriving)low-mid priced (Flat Top Grill) restaurants that match up with the existing Panera/Target/OCharleys ten mix. This is considered kinda upscaley to the hill jacks in most of Marion County, but should be easy to grasp as nice n comfortable to the flabby Nascar crowd we surround ourselves with here in Indy. IF we decide to be a citizenry that understands and embraces fitness and health. IF.

    You are absolutely correct that we all shop at Kohls/Menards/Kroger and I have no problem with that. What I DO have a problem with is the complete apathetical fat laziness this city finds itsself in, allthewhile our leadership is doing nothing about it. I went to a Colts game recently (and for the first time sat in the end zone/corner area) and could not believe the sea of human blubber in attendance. I got no problem with slammin a couple beers and hot dog at a game, but Jesus H, these folks were inhaling the nacho cheese, fryburgers and deep fried glop at an alarming rate. It was everywhere, gramps, momma, papaw, junior, the whole lot of em. All white, all stupid, all Nascar, and all overweight und undereducated. Made me sad. We Hoosiers must just be content to sit on our fat butts all day and watch TV. :(

    Color me pessimistic and all, but man this is getting bad around here.

    {/sad blog}
  • Oh yeah. Disclaimer: I am white, and constantly fight to keep me svelt body at fightin weight. :lol:
  • I've spent some time in San Diego and believe me while the weather is nice they have their own issues and believe it or not Wal Marts. Just because the weather is nice and they have an ocean, does not mean they are perfect.
  • Ablerock, you made some great points, but I'm not sure Castleton is as similar to Lafayette Square area as you suggest.

    Da Hooey, why would you hold out hope for the bike paths and sidewalks around Glendale? If the City wasn't going to require Kite to do any of it, minimally sidewalks around the perimeter of the mall, when the City was writing a fat check, where would the money come from now.

    And the thing I don't get is why you see the need to even identify the skin color of the human blubber you saw at the Colts game. Do you have a lower or higher standard for whites, which made it relevant to make sure we knew what color these people are?
  • I never said San Diego or California were perfect. They are far from it, but judging by how defensive you all are, it would appear most of you agree with the comments made. It just piss's you off to hear them. I am very educated on INDY. I used to live there, and still would love to move back, when and if they can pull thier head out of the butt. Firewoman, I or anyone else could care less about your thoughs as well. How far north of downtown do you live? I can guess you must agree that deep down inside you think the east, west and maybe the south sides are ghetto. The only thing tired is people like you who can not and will not take criticism. Lets see, I have lived in Dallas 3 years, Plano TX for 1 year, San Diego for 7 years, San Francsisco 2 years, Pacific Grove for 2 years, Virginia Beach 3 years and some other smaller cities and towns for months each. I think I am way more qualified/ educated about indy and its flaws as well as its plus's than you could ever be. After all I did grow up there and 6 years of which were as an adult working living ect... Yes we have ghettos out here, they have them everywhere, but I kid you not, Indy by far has the biggest. When I come to visit, I drive around. I dont just go to the places the city wants you to see. There are huge swaths of streets were everyhouse is and has been vacant for years, areas were so much grass and other plant live have grown even sidewalks and portions of streets have disappeared. I wish I could say that this is not true but it is.
  • The way we live, shop and entertain ourselves nowdays is what is becomming the nail in the coffin for shopping malls. Remember when a mall would have a Camelot music, Sam Goody, Walden Books, B Dalton books arcades two or more, Merry go Round, Chess King, Jeans West, and the list goes on and on. Nintendo x-box, wii's and many other games can now be played at home. Music and books can be downloaded at home or by i-pods and whatever else. Most of the smaller stores like Merry go Round, Bananna Republic ect.. were all being bought by a larger chain, Federated dept. stores owns most of the dept. stores so the need for three or four dept stores anchoring a mall no longer exists. And to top it off, all the mom and pop shops that used to fill the malls back in the 70's and early 80,s can not compete with the Wall marts, Meijers and Targets. Its what we want out of life and the environment we want to be in that has been the swan song for malls everywhere.
  • iodyllic: the glendale thing? Let's just say it was part of the deal made with Kite, and people ALL throughout City Hall know about it. I am the first to admit that the Glendale project has some mistakes about it, like the F'd up parking lot design, but that could be mitigated by the appearance of these bioke/trail path thingys they were talking about. They are going to do it on Allisonville, and they better interconnect it to Glendale via 62nd street. The whole area was part of a master plan using these pieces....

    and on the white folks comment at Colts games, - again just some humor, mate. I try to treat everyone unfairly. :lol: Like my mom used to say: If you can;t say anything nice, well, at least make it funny.
  • What is the fascination with the bike trails. The city needs to fix the public transportation system who is going to ride a bike in a blizzard.
  • Crystal, we have way more bike-friendly (and walk-friendly) days than we do blizzards. Should we plan our city around the 4 months of cold weather, or the 8 months of middlin-to-warm?

    Should we make it easy for the people who live within a mile to walk or ride a bike to Glendale Life Style Big-Box Centre (and the six pizza joints near 62nd & Keystone) or should we make 'em drive?
  • ablerock: the money-hungry developers out there raping the cornfields are taking a beating right now, no? I heard today the speculative real estate market has evaporated; i think on NPR this morning they even said Simon is in bad shape.

    So does anyone see a new form of development happening in the upcoming years, like redevelopment of smaller partially built/underutilized parcels closer to the core? Or will the next couple decades see no construction whatsoever?

    It's just so depressing to me to see no activity on this blog, seems like the bad news just gets worse. But then, some say the smart and adventurous can make great investments right now.

    Also, Da Hooey, as a recent Hoosier (3.5 years now), I think you hit the nail when you said the problem is LOW EXPECTATIONS. But is that what insulates us from falling farther than those who reach higher?
  • Donna, there's a reason the Japanese manufacturers have located so many factories in Indiana. We're incrementalists here, culturally and fundamentally in harmony with the continuous improvement notion of Japanese manufacturing.

    It's not low expectations so much as limited vision: we see what's in front of us and look for small improvements. Evolution, not revolution.
  • That's a nice way to describe it, thundermutt, and not one I've heard before - and I've been asking people What's the ethos here? ever since I arrived 3-1/2 years ago! Thank you.
  • Anyone ever been to Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati? It's a huge international grocery store, and I would love for it to come to Indy. Yes, I know that Saraga is just down the street, but I think that Jungle Jim's could be a great addition to the city, and the dying area of Lafayette Square Mall strikes me as a great opportunity for a stable business.
  • Washington Square - which is 30% empty already - is losing Steve & Barry's, and B Dalton books, and Spencer's. This doesn't leave enough of a critical mass of stores to get people to go to WS instead of Castleton.

    That Sears is just awful, depressingly lit, not much traffic...why would I go to Sears for hardware or appliances when I can go to HD or Lowes ? That leaves...clothes ?

    Jose Frog came and went, very fast.

    Wash Sq is, thanks to the Simons' freind Bart Peterson, fully within a new tax abatement district. Maybe the Glendale concept (with less screwed up parking) will be the new thing at WS.

    Eastside has too much low-end retail to begin with, there's no stores left that will fill in for S&B's giant space. so why not tear some of it down ?
  • The low end retail is all the east side seems to want. Having grown up on the east side, it is sad to see how this area of the city has rotted away. I have done my share of shopping up north, even south, but I try my darndest to keep my money on the east side. It saddens me to see or hear people who live here wanting to go to Castleton or Greenwood to do their shopping, even though now we have really no choice if you want something other than wal-mart, meier, K-mart ect.. I used to do my Christmas shopping at Lazarus, LS Ayres and other nicer stores, but when they closed that was it. I could not justify driving up north or south to spend my money with retailors who pulled out of my area. I know they probobly were not making enough money to justify keeping the stores open here, but I can not justify the drive and hassle with traffic to spend my hard earned cash like that.

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