Clay Terrace bakery closes, 3 youth retailers to follow

Paradise Bakery & Café closed its location at Carmel’s Clay Terrace on Tuesday, leading off a mini exodus of retailers from the upscale outdoor mall.

A note posted on the door directed Paradise customers to parent company Panera Bread Co.’s nearby location at 2001 East Greyhound Pass, in Westfield’s Village Park Plaza shopping center on the opposite side of 146th Street and U.S. 31.

Panera has owned one-time competitor Paradise since 2009.

Company spokeswoman Amanda Cardosi told Current in Carmel that the closure comes as the bakery’s Clay Terrace lease expires.

Mall owner Washington Prime Group appears to have a new tenant lined up: Dallas-based Corner Bakery Café plans to open in Clay Terrace in the third quarter of 2015, a company spokeswoman told IBJ. Other Indianapolis-area locations also are planned, but details remain under wraps.

Clay Terrace managers were not immediately available Wednesday morning to discuss the upcoming mall departures.

Across Clay Terrace Boulevard from the shuttered bakery, beleaguered teen retailers Aeropostale and Delia’s are clearing out their inventory in preparation for early 2015 closures.

Delia’s announced this month that it had filed bankruptcy and would close all 92 of its stores nationwide, including central Indiana locations at Clay Terrace and Circle Centre mall in downtown Indianapolis, although the closing dates were not specified.

The Aeropostale store is expected to remain open until Jan. 27.

Elsewhere in Clay Terrace, The Children’s Place plans to close by Jan. 24. An employee blamed a lack of business, suggesting ongoing construction on U.S. 31 kept customers away.

In July, the high-end David & Mary Salon Spa closed its Clay Terrace location after months of grappling with road construction, frigid weather and the loss of several key employees.

Simon Property Group spinoff Washington Prime Group this year agreed to pay $22.9 million and assume $57.5 million in debt to buy out Clay Terrace partner Bob Lauth’s 50-percent stake in the shopping center. Lauth is CEO of Lauth Property Group, which co-developed Clay Terrace with Simon.

The 577,000-square-foot lifestyle center opened in 2004 and is anchored by Dick’s Sporting Goods, DSW and Whole Foods. When the deal was announced in June, the mall was nearly 98-percent occupied.
In other Carmel and Westfield retail news:

— Huntington Bank plans to demolish a former T.G.I. Fridays restaurant (which closed about a year ago) and build a 2,500-square-foot branch on the site in Village Park Plaza. Members of the Westfield-Washington Advisory Planning Commission are expected to review a development plan Jan. 6.

— The Carmel Arts & Design District’s Simply Sweet Shoppe is closing its doors after six-plus years, owner Jill Zaniker said in a note posted this week on Facebook. She cited a number of complications since the economic downtown in 2008, including consumable prices that increased by 35 percent or more. Simply Sweet downsized earlier this year, sharing its space at 30 S. Range Line Road with startup Tina’s Traditional Old English Kitchen. Tina’s will expand into candy shop space in March, Zaniker wrote.

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