Home > Design the Details > Traverse City’s poor sad malls

Traverse City’s poor sad malls

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The shopping mall turned 60 years old this year (ACities) and their numbers are declining as downtowns rebound (RE), online shopping becomes the norm (Time), and tastes turn away from visiting wastelands (ACities).

According to the Ticker, Grand Traverse’s malls and outlet malls have not escaped the trend.

Do you think something like the Horizon Outlet Center, up for auction, has a future? What could be done to retrofit the development into something of value? 


Looks like a lot of excessive parking to me…what do think, square footage devoted to parking about 150% of the square footage devoted to retail? Maybe 200% …how about we start with some infill (Switchboard).

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  1. Nancy Griesinger
    September 13, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I think it should be retrofitted into a nice range for the buffalo to roam … again… Great Wolf Lodge patrons would adore the “new” feature. It is rare these days to be able to share such a sight with ones family while vacationing. Yeah, that’s it….buffalo roaming once more.

  2. Greg
    September 13, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Great idea Nancy. Please let us know when you buy the property, tear down the buildings and start grazing buffalo. Glad someone finally has the money to go through with their own plan instead of telling others what should be done with their private property.

  3. Nancy G.
    September 13, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Thanks for your reply Greg. Another idea would be to put a retractable dome over the whole thing and make it into a cute little area for people to shop and dine year round. It could be like a huge greenhouse with all kinds of tropical plants and water fountains. A real authentic look to represent the Northern Michigan Experience. People will love it. Yeah…that’s it…roof it in and make it unique…you can always cage a live buffalo inside for the children to enjoy.

  4. September 13, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Since we are dreaming, it would be great to see a rethink for the entire area out in this stretch. There is already a concentration of people living in this area, as well as buffalo, and it would be nice to see the next 50 years of development and growth, bound to happen, take advantage of the economics behind a more mixed use system where costs to local governments are minimized and the need for long commutes is reduced, thus reducing the cost to individuals. As good as the sprawl has been perceived to be for Garfield township’s tax base, smaller, denser, and more units would have an even larger pay-off.

  5. Raymond Minervini
    September 13, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    I go to this property 5-10 times per week for my daughter’s dance classes. It is one of the most miserable suburban/traffic experiences in the region. I understand the model it was built to many years ago, but most of us know that there are better ways to use the land. It is a wonderful exercise to imagine it as something else– like mixing uses. The demand for good rental housing could make apartments a financial winner. It is close enough to the rest of town and on a major access route to have bus transit and bike connectivity and complementary commercial uses.

  6. Me
    September 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

    BATA just recently decided to eliminate the one and only route/stop that went near there, so good luck getting transit to and from there.

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