Tuesday, December 21, 2004

on target, at north hills

UPDATED with new mall website info. Please scroll down.

Artist's rendering of new North Hills Mall. Target is near the center of the picture, at the tower with a red sign near the surface parking lot. JCPenney is is the large beige building towards the upper left. The Lassiter at North Hills is at the top.

While in Raleigh yesterday, I got a chance to visit the new Target store at North Hills. Not only is the store of their latest prototype, showcasing some of their latest merchandising techniques, it is also located in the ‘basement’ of the shopping center, under a multiplex theater and accessible from the main shopping level via elevator.

The unique arrangement was necessary because of an extremely tight building site. North Hills is hemmed into a small but lucrative triangular site between the 8-lane I-440 Beltline, the six-lane Six Forks Road and the busy Lassiter Mill Road in north Raleigh, one exit north of the massive Crabtree Valley Mall.

North Hills is built on the former site of North Hills Mall & Plaza, a small enclosed shopping center originally opened in 1966. North Hills was the first mall in the Raleigh-Durham area and was generally the most upscale until the mid-‘80s, when nearby rival Crabtree Valley (opened in 1972) began to court higher-end national tenants. North Hills began to lose stores and much of its luster in the mid-‘90s when a increasingly competitive local market needed larger and more flexible store spaces than the half-million square foot mall could provide. The final blow to the old North Hills Mall was when Dillard’s pulled out in 2002 for a store nearly twice as large at Triangle Town Center, ten miles away.

The owners of North Hills created a new Main Street-style development on the site of the old mall. The still-successful JCPenney store is all that remains from the original center and it now connects to stylish streetscapes and pedestrian walkways with the theater and Target serving as anchors along with Penney’s. A number of locally-owned and national tenants round out the new shopping center. North Hills Plaza, across Lassiter Mill Road from the mall, underwent a simlar recnfiguration, becoming the upscale Lassiter at North Hills.

The preponderance of synthetic stucco and anodized aluminum storefront and the square-ish Penney’s building lend a certain inauthenticity to the ‘new’ North Hills but it is an improvement compared to the dated, slightly gloomy mall it replaced.


New North Hills Website Online

A lot of people have visted this page looking for information on the new North Hills. As a public service to anyone and everyone looking for more information on North Carolina's first 'midtown' district, I invite you to check out the freshly redesigned North Hills website at http://www.northhillsraleigh.com/

1 comment:

  1. However, the absurd narrow in and out lanes and round abouts make this mall a very unfreindly experience.