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Forest Fair Mall / Cincinnati Mills / Cincinnati Mall

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Cincinnati Mills will be a 1.5 M sf GLA market-dominant retail and

entertainment destination featuring up to 15 anchors, more than 200

specialty retailers as well as a variety of theme restaurants, casual

dining and family attractions.

 

600 Cincinnati Mills Drive

Cincinnati, OH 45240

 

NEW STORES ANNOUNCED FOR CINCINNATI MILLS

Family entertainment destinations PBS KIDS Backyard and

A Place to Grow to Join Center

 

The Mills Corporation, a leading developer of innovative retail and entertainment destinations, announced new tenants today for Cincinnati Mills, the highly anticipated 1.5-million-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment center set to open on August 19, 2004 in Cincinnati.

 

Cincinnati Mills will ultimately feature 200 retailers including 15 anchor stores, a wide variety of in-line retailers, theme restaurants, and family attractions. Retailers coming to the center include Aeropostale®, GUESS? Factory Store®, Nine West® Outlet, Welcome Home®, Bath & Body Works®, Charlotte Russe®, Forever 21®, Rave, Finish Line®, and Zales®, the Diamond Store Outlet.

 

Read full release here:

http://www.cincinnatimills.com

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Yeah, Cincinnati Mills opens tomorrow. I'm not a big fan of malls, but I'd like to see what they did in there. Especially since my brother used to work at the Bigg's in there.

 

Let me know your availability. PM me if you'd like.

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All I have to say is WOW! I mean I was expecting an improvement but wow. I went to the original Forest Fair Mall before Mills Corp bought it and gutted it so I know what it used to look like. It was am amazing transformation and I can say that Cincinnati finally has a destination shopping center. What puts the icing on the cake is that it is a "reuse" project that saved a rotting facility in a high traffic part of the region. I think the mall is unique enough that it won't compete with Tri-County. The stores are quite different and the mall doesn't offer a conventional Department Store even though Kohl's is as close to a department store as one can get.

 

The one think you will notice when you go there is foot traffic, I guess time will tell if it lasts but the place was bustling during the grand opening weekend. We spent too much money in the Wilson Leather Outlet. They had suede jackets for freaking $29.99.

 

Did anyone else go?

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i checked it out last weekend. Im new to cinci, so I was expecting a NEW mall but it looked like any old mall to me. It was obvious it was once another mall. dirty carpets and old fixtured in most stores. what happened? how long was it closed.

 

the mills corp has an outlet mall where I moved from (philly). this one didnt seem to be an outlet except for the of 5th store.

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I went and checked out the new Cincinnati Mills this past weekend. The Mills Corporations did a pretty good job of getting some stores in there, getting shoppers in there to check it out, and remodeling the place (but lets be honest, its still a pretty typical mall—just brighter colors). Other than maybe the Guess outlet store, there really isn’t any new stores in there that I would want to go back to. I’ll be surprised if a lot of the stores stay in business. I wonder if the Mills just wanted to get a tenant in a space and hope that something better comes along later. It was funny how many of the stores’ names end with “More.” As in more crap. Art and More. Hats and More. Tools and More. Your Dollar Store with More. If you want a print of cats playing poker like you would win at the county fair, Art and More is definitely your place. If the Mills was targeting the value shopper, I think may have done a good job. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen so many people wearing Confederate flag T-shirts, and being from Dayton that is saying a lot. I assume most of them were going to Bass Pro and then running over to check out Tools and More…probably skipping over the Saks Off 5th store on they way.

 

It does seem like they did a good job adding attractions for kids. There are a few new play areas. Also, there was a bug store that seemed pretty popular with kids (but I’m not sure if anyone was actually buying anything.) Maybe that mall will become a hit with parents, but it didn’t really do too much for me.

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^ Huh, did we go to the same mall? I thought they did an excellent job. I have been to Gurnee, Sawgrass, Opry, and St. Louis Mills so I have seen the Mills product which is better than the typical mall but I thought Cincinnati Mills was a "destination mall". It is not Kenwood if that is what some of you were looking for. Mills malls tend to be more on the "outlet side".

 

Things that normal Mills Malls have that I wish Cincinnati Mills had:

 

Rainforest Cafe

Nautica Outlet/Company Store

Osh Kosh Outlet/Company Store

Bass Outlet/Company Store

Timberland Outlet/Company Store

 

Being that Jeffersonville Outlets is down the road and most of those stores are located there, I am sure effects Mills corps lure for this place.

 

It looked like a "new mall". Old carpet? The entire place was refloored in wood and "new" carpet. The biggest disappointed was the Johnny's Toys where they didn't redo the old Elder Beerman and you can tell it was an old department store with yes old carpet, other than that everything was new.

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They have a Johnny's Toys? That's it, I'm going the next time I come to town! I used to frequent the one in Greenhills, because it was the best place to buy model rocket stuff.

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Yeah, I'd have to say they did a nice job redoing the common areas. The carpet and flooring all seemed nice and I didn't notice it being dirty. I didn't really pay as much attention in the actual stores, so maybe that's where it was.

 

Also, I almost forgot there is a Neighborhoodies store in the mall, which in and of itself is really cool, but considering their only other stores are in Hollywood and Manhattan it is even cooler. I assume that the Mills must have given them a pretty sweet lease. I'm sure these stores will start popping up in more (if not most) Mills properties.

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They have a Johnny's Toys? That's it' date=' I'm going the next time I come to town! I used to frequent the one in Greenhills, because it was the best place to buy model rocket stuff.[/quote']

That place ruled. I used to go there every birthday and go into the castle to get my free shitty toy!

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Yeah' date=' I'd have to say they did a nice job redoing the common areas. The carpet and flooring all seemed nice and I didn't notice it being dirty. I didn't really pay as much attention in the actual stores, so maybe that's where it was.

[/quote']

 

yeah, the dirty carpet/floor places I noticed were at an arcade with a rollercoaster (cant remember the name), and Mediaplay, which is one of the worst cd stores i've been to. Those were the first places I went, expecting a new mall. Other than that wing of the mall though, it did look new. again, I didnt realize it was a re-done mall since I just moved here.

 

I did go the kenwood mall yesterday for hte first time. big shoe sale at dillards!

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^ You are talking about Wonderpark or something like that. They did not redo that store. That was one of the few tenants that was there before Mills bought them.

 

It is a cool place though, we are looking into having our daughters birthday party there.

 

WhoDey, The Johnny's Toys is in the old Elder Beerman. It is a full department store of stoys although it is very poorly laid out. It was really a weak attempt to rehab the interior. The original floor, carpet and ceiling tiles are still there. It is no Jonny Toys like the cool one with the outdoor train in Covington.

 

All in all I give it a B+

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There are like 5 sports stores in this mall. If you are looking for sports stores then Cincy Mills is the place to go but there is no way a mall can sustain 5 sports stores.

 

Dayton's Cardboard Collectables opened a huge store in the mall and the great Steve and Barry's is still across from the food court.

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I haven't been to this one but I have been to Potomac Mills in Northern Virginia and Anne Arundel Mills in Maryland and both are very nice. I like the neighborhood approach. It is going to take a while for it to catch on in Cincy. People need to go to it to understand how it is different from Tri-County or Florence. It should do really well here. Mills usually does its homework.

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Indeed. In fact when I was driving through B-more, I was on 100 and passed Arundel Mills so I decided to stop for 20 minutes and walk through it to compare it to the new Cincy Mills. I thought Cincy Mills actually looked better. Cincy Mills is 2 stories so it isn't the typical racetrack look of a mills, although Gurnee Mills is shaped like a $ sign.

 

Never saw the Potomac Mills but I did pass an Ikea on I-95/495 and someone told me it was near that nasty big box store that urban people seem to love.

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i went to da grand opening..i alwayz like goin to steve & barrys to get some cheap clothes where everything $8..da mall was tight plus it got a music equip store in it w/ equip in it..which more malls need them..da name tight too i think..the only thing is when their starbucks dont have it together yet..they screwed up my frapicino..it tasted like sewage water..lol..other than that big ups to cincinnati millz

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i don't think mills will do that well. i give it until after xmas, then we'll see stores closing. too many goofy little boutique type stores, not enough major anchors. plus they have waaay too much competition from other malls. tri-county, colrain, kenwood, even rookwood and the new development stuff at union center. mills is playing catch up and i think they have their work cut out for them. that mall has a history of bad karma, hard thing to shake.

 

plus they lack a lot of stores that people are looking for. places like the gap, abercrombie, etc. all the other malls have those, plus a lot of the same stores mills already has. so why goes to mills? sure it's nice, but seems destine to fail.. again. i was there friday, and yeah, it was crowded, but i didn't see many people actually buying stuff.

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That is why the Mills will survive, because people that are looking for the gap will go elsewhere but MOST people are not looking for the gap and this mall offers something different from the traditional Cincy mall. Plus if you are looking for the Gap, the Mills has a Guess outlet, which is better IMO.

 

Plus lets not forget one the best stores in Steve & Barry's. We are talking college and pro jackets for $7.99. If you haven't been there check it out. They have a large selection of UC, XU, MU, OSU merchandise for $7.99.

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What is the word on Cincinnati Mills?  I drove by the other day for the first time and it doesn't look like they have done much from the highway but put a bunch of signs up.  The really did very little to the facade - very disappointing.  Any word on its success?  Has anyone been.  If so, would you go back?  I think that mall is just doomed.  It is too close to Northgate and Tri-County.  I haven't seen any advertising for Holiday shopping.  You would think there would be tons since this is its first Holiday.  What do you think?

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I've been there three times.  There's like a million variations on the dollar store and bass pro shop.  I dont really like the stores but the inside of the mall does look really cool and keeps people entertained.  They got rid of the indoor amusement park though:(...but i hear it's been very sucessful.

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I have been around 8 times, more than all the other malls in Cincy combined since it opened.  I had my daughters birthday party at Wonderpark and everyone loved it and the parents went shopping and came back raving about the mall that had been in years.  Although it is "JUST" a mall, it is decent and more than I could have expected for a refurb.

 

The Wilson's Oulet in their alone is worth a trip to the mall.  $29-$39 leahter jackets.

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Jeez.....I have been a couple times. The first time I went, I said I would never go back, it was chintzy and lame. Some of the outlet stores are still retaredly expensive.  I gave it another shot and I was just very un-impressed with the whole thing. ut really thats just me because I had little interest in it to begin with. I did like Bass Pro though, it was neat to see the fish and whatnot.

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I like the old forest fair mall better with the ferris wheel $1. movies, food court, minature golf, arcade. Cincinnati mills is lame cheap overpriced dollar store junk, I bet they go out of business. Guitar center is the only reason for me to come close to this place.

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I see the cynics of Cincinnati are slowly making their way to Urban Ohio.

 

It is run by Mills Corp, not some half ass company like before.  The stores and mall are packed.  What the hell did you expect?  Disneyland?  Maybe you guys would have appreciated it more if they would have abandoned the mall all together and built an even bigger more sprawly mall in Monroe like they were once talking.  If anything you should be thankful Mills Corp chose to take a risk on this place instead of building a bigger one in Monroe that would have been even further away. 

 

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It fills a niche and I too highly doubt the failure of it, they have them all over and they are always well run strong malls. Millls has connections for when a store goes abandoned. I am not big on going to the mall so thats where most of my prejudice comes from.

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There is certainly a group of people that the mall appeals to, and for this reason it will be successful.  As for appealing to me...not so much.  Just my opinion

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L.J. Hooker was no fly-by-night concern.  They are a major Australian real estate developer.

 

The mall then changed hands a couple of times, and the major anchors closed down or moved elsewhere.  For example, Parisian moved to Kenwood Towne Center.  Bonwit-Teller and B. Altman's closed altogether.  Tri-County staged a massive renovation that lured away shoppers.

 

Gator (the "half-ass" company) bought it in the 90s and brought in Bass Pro into the defunct Parisian location and also brought in the successful Kohl's store as an anchor.  They built the Wonderpark amusements.  The mall didn't have maximum occupancy, but it wasn't doing horribly.

 

What people conveniently forget is that the mall reached its lowest point AFTER THE MILLS CORP. bought it and decided to renovate it.  Most of the remaining tenants were given the boot.  Monte, this is the mall that you saw.

 

Monte, I also think you are trying to defend Cincinnati Mills to people who just don't like malls in general.  Call it "cynical" if you want, but that's not what it is.

 

 

 

 

 

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No I went to the mall a year before Mills Corp bought it, I saw it when I was visiting looking for a place to live.  I was in Cincy 7 times before I moved here the previous year to make sure this was the place we wanted to live.  Forest Fair was one of the malls we checked out because it was on the way back to St. Louis for us.

 

And the guy who built the mall was a fly by night.  He was a cocky idiot that failed horribly.  The mall has never looked this good, EVER!  The best occupansy they ever got before mills was 90%.

 

Cynical is what it is, it people don't like the mall because it is a "mall" than that is one thing but bashing it because it didn't meet their expectations of a disneyland wonder world is unnecessary.  That stuff is saved for "Cincinnati Tomorrow" and "Cincy Nation"

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Well, if the guy who built the mall was a fly by night then perhaps you should go to the company website and look at the many many many many many projects on there.  Fly by night people generally aren't in business nearly 20 years later.

 

C'mon...show me an instance where someone on here wanted a "disneyland wonder world".  Please.  If someone did and the mall failed to meet their expectations, then by all means call them cynical.  But I haven't seen one person who had strong feelings either way.

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The year is around 1985, and there are plans circulating on constructing a 'value mall' - with anchors like T.J. Maxx, Marshall's, etc. between the already-too-close Northgate and Tri-County Malls.

 

(In case if you're wondering why Bigg's... a value grocery chain / store was even in what would become an ultra-upscale mall.)

 

Somewhere along the lines, a man by the name of George Herscu, head of the Australian firm L.J. Hooker Inc. decided he wanted to build an ultra-luxury shopping center, as opposed to the value-oriented center originally planned.

 

Now, Forest Park & Fairfield, the two townships this mall sits on, are blue-collar townships. Not poor, but at the level where shopping at Cincinnati's regular chains (at the time, Lazarus and McAlpin's) was considered upscale. So the idea of building an ultra luxury shopping center at this location is absurd.

 

When George Herscu was questioned what-the-hell-are-you-thinking, by just about everyone, he gave what is perhaps the quote that sums up the whole story: "If I'm successful, they'll think, Oh, What a great man! If I fail, they'll say, Oh what a damn fool!"

 

And somehow, Forest Fair Mall was given the green light. Construction started around 1987 or 1986. It was given its name because..... Forest Park + Fairfield - ParkField = Forest Fair !

 

All while this was happening, Kenwood Towne Center was enclosed / constructed in 1988 (it was originally a strip mall), and it quickly established itself as Cincinnati's upscale mall. (Despite temporarily being anchored by JCPenney.) Also, TriCounty Mall soon realized that it had to take action, or it would be crushed to death by the megalith Forest Fair. TriCounty Mall soon planned to add a second story onto the mall, bringing its size onto par with Forest Fair. It also lured McAlpin's with the expansion, which gave it incredibly stable anchorship.

 

This obviously didn't worry Herscu, who decided to go even more upscale than the standard Cincinnati retailers, bringing in B. Altman, Bonwit Teller, and Sakowitz.... 3 extremely upscale retailers whom Cincinnatians had never heard of. Even though none of the 3 were willing to be anchors in Forest Fair, Herscu ended up BUYING controlling interest in them.

 

The end lease contract was a bizarre mix of cheap retailers (Bigg's) , Mid-priced (Elder Beerman) , and Ultra-Upscale (Bonwit Teller, etc.)

 

The Mall was Y shaped, with the base of the Y being one story, featuring the Bigg's , and the other two being two story, with an amusement park and food court where all 3 meet.

 

The Mall opened in 1989, although it didn't open in unison, due to leasing complications. The base of the Y (the east wing) featuring Bigg's opened first. This would be the only part of the mall to ever remain healthy. A month or two later, the rest of the mall opened, and as Mark mentioned, it was a major event.

 

The Mall was absolutely ornate... far more so than anything else in Cincinnati. It featured arched copper roofs (still on the mall!) , enormous skylights with brass bars running across them featuring a dizzying amount of tiny light bulbs. Also at the time I believe there were many large fountains, and an enormous center court featuring an ornately detailed ceiling. At the center, there was also a large indoor amusement park complex called "Time Out on the court" , which apparently even caused seizures (although it's now closed, I'm almost positive the warning signs are still there!) There was a large Zamperla ferris wheel, an indoor carousel, and much, much more.

 

It took a matter of 3 months for the mall to become officially doomed. George Herscu filed for bankrupcy protection, and the mall was put up for sale. Within 2 years, the Mall's occupancy would sink down to 50% , with no hope in sight. Despite being the largest mall in Ohio (it still is, I believe) , and the only mall in Cincinnati able to handle large amounts of traffic, there were several things that nailed the coffin:

 

  1. TriCounty expanded, snagging McAlpin's, as I mentioned Earlier. TriCounty was not only now a very large & modern mall, but there was no reason for its tenants to leave for Forest Fair Mall.

  2. Northgate Mall already had McAlpin's & Lazarus as well, as well as Sears and JCPenney (which TriCounty also had!) This basically.

  3. Forest Fair Mall is less than four miles from TriCounty mall, and less than 8 miles from Northgate. Both malls have over 120 stores. That means Forest Fair Mall must find 200 unique tenants.

  4. TriCounty is not only right next to Interstate 75, but it is at the center of a major economic base. Northgate Mall also is on US Route 27, and is also at the center of its own commercial base.

 

Forest Fair Mall continuously tried to reinvent itself, as it progressed, it was divided up into 3 parts: Fashions, Lifestyle, and Value. A new complex called "Festival" was added, and Parisian... another upscale retailer.. moved in to one of the anchor locations.

 

Although the Mall itself was considerably dead, there were patches of hope. The east wing remained occupied rather well, and the food court was terrific.

 

The Mall seemed finally ready to die in 1997/1998, when Parisian (who has seemingly picked the WORST malls to anchor)decided to close their wildly unsuccessful Forest Fair Mall store, so they could focus their energy on the Kenwood store. They surprise nooone. (They would close their Beechmont store a year later.)

 

 

From deadmalls.com

 

 

In 3 months George Herscu filed for bankrupcy protection - I rest my case!

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Yeah, I read that too.  So what? 

 

Did it mention the company's financial situation before the failure of the mall?  No.

 

Can it be shown that the early failure of Forest Fair is the sole contributor to said bankruptcy filing?  No.

 

Is said company still in business?  Yes.

 

You have proven nothing.

 

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Because you are stubborn, so be it.

 

Since Forest Fair was at 50% in two years we will see how Cincinnati Mills is doing in two years to see if business is just a fad or here to stay.  I have been there when I was stuck on the interstate for 10 minutes just to exit to the mall.  The busines has been amazing.  I would be interested in attendance numbers but malls don't keep that so sales numbers would be the next best thing.

 

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In the dead of Christmas season the mall has been relatively empty compared to my beloved tri-county and kenwood. I really have been there too, even before it started snowing...puuuurty slow. Cincinnatians are going to stick to what they have had, especially since most have been here for 23895792 years, I know I have been waiting to get off for a long time on montgomery and Kenwood forever too doesnt mean they are going to the mall. Anywho Forest Fair was suppost to be a bad ass upscale mall in an area that has pretty much always been and to this day is just average joe. I dont get what the point is. Anyways Mills malls arent the shit either, its what malls are when they are put in low spend areas...wee as seen on tv? Dollar store...c'mon.  But its average, look its what forest park and need I say FAIRFIELD (has been the area that we all made fun of since I was 9 and old enough to be dumb and a prick) What do you think a HUGE malll there is going to become, some derilict reincarnation dollar store mall YAY there we go it is what it is.

 

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Because you are stubborn, so be it.

 

Since Forest Fair was at 50% in two years we will see how Cincinnati Mills is doing in two years to see if business is just a fad or here to stay. I have been there when I was stuck on the interstate for 10 minutes just to exit to the mall. The busines has been amazing. I would be interested in attendance numbers but malls don't keep that so sales numbers would be the next best thing.

 

I'm interested to see as well.  You're right about how busy it is.  The last two times I passed it on the interstate the exit ramp was backed up all the way.  Of course, that area is notorious for having lights that are too short and people on Winton/Gilmore so oblivious that they block the intersections.

 

Anyway, even though I'm not a fan of malls in general, I really do wish Cincinnati Mills well.  I have no perverse desire to see them fail.

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We should all wish Mills to do well, why?  Because if this mall falls than the region looks like a joke.  The largest indoor mall in the state blighted and abandoned.  The new growth around the mall will suffer and the new growth around Pictoria will suffer and become blighted while places like West Chester, Liberty and Monroe continue to suck growth and retail north.

 

SChristopher, speak for yourself.  You don't give Cincinnatians enough credit, I have seen many new things open that have been successful.  Your point doesn't add up with sprawly outlets like the "Streets of West Chester" and "Deerfield Towne Center".  As noted you have some vendetta against the Forest Park, Fairfield area so you are certainly not going to praise it.  Living in Mason, it is definately not the closest retail outlet for me but I go.  I have crappy Deerfield Towne Center 1 mile down the road from me, yet I hike to Cincy Mills.  I am not alone.  The place has been drawing well in the region plus with it cold out and with a place like Wonderpark, the place offers some entertainment for little kids like mine.

 

I would be bold enough to bet that Tri-County will suffer before Cincy Mills, because Cincy Mills like mentioned has its market in discount.  The Tri-County region will slowly be sucked dry from West Chester and all the new West Chester development.  So sad but true.  First Barnes and Nobles closes and moves to the Streets of West Chester and what next?

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I still liked the old forest fair mall better, even though it was Big, empty, outdated it had  everything a teenager needed...$1. movies, arcade, girls, food court.. that placed rocked now you get kicked out for wearing a hat the wrong way  :mrgreen: nobody buys the crap they sell there, and if they do they will be selling it at traders world in a year or two.

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Well well, sadly talking with the people at "Cincinnati Gallery" this weekend, looks like they will be closing January 31st.  I hope this fate doesn't continue with other tenants, as it would be a huge disaster for Cincinnati future retail if this mall doesn't stay afloat.  The people at "Cincinnati Gallery" said that their sales during Christmas were what they do on an average month at Kenwood.  J Miles Wolf was forced out of Kenwood because they wouldn't sign a 10 year lease.  10 Years?  Shesh, is that what Kenwood is pulling now? 

 

Any how, J Miles Wolf is going to focus on his 4th street location and will be changing the name from Wolf Photo to "Cincinnati Gallery" so at least the positive is for downtown, instead of the burbs.  It is usually the other way around.

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I'm just mad they used Cincinnati in the malls name!! they should have named it something else, not cincinnati mills! another thing to make our great city look bad!

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