I’ve been going to the Northgate Mall since I was a kid, but I kinda lost interest after their construction got so prevalent that the whole parking lot was covered in debris and chain-link fences. But it seems that some of that construction has finally been finished, yielding lots of swanky new retail space.
The problem? The goddamned stores aren’t attached to the mall. The entire mall is now flanked by these hip new stores, but they’re not connected at all, even though they’re RIGHT UP against the mall. So they LOOK connected. And half of them (but not all!) are LISTED on the mall’s directory, and pictured on the map as if they were connected to the mall. (And the other half aren’t mentioned or pictured on the mall maps, but the stores call these outlets their “Northgate Mall” locations.)
And some of the new retail isn’t even within reasonable pedestrian distance from the mall. And by reasonable, I guess I’m not really bitching about the distance. I’m bitching about having to walk through a shitty, car-oriented lot full of idiot drivers and no crosswalks. I saw a mom pushing a stroller and dragging a toddler get almost hit as she was trying to walk over to one of the new cafÃ©s.
If you’re going to be an outdoor mall, swell! Do it like U-Village (or better), with crosswalks everywhere and lots of open spaces with separate entrances for each store. But if you build a typical, closed-in, claustrophobic mall with a car-friendly lot that hates people on foot, then at least build all the retail in one centralized, CONNECTED spot. Sweet Jesus! It’s enough to drive this potential shopper away, so I never have to deal with muddling over how the hell to get into a certain store again.