Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Oh my god, they killed Park Lane. You bastards!

Before the ink dried on the deal, the owners of Park Lane Mall, M&H Realty Partners, announced the closure of the Reno landmark. The final day of the mall will be January 31, 2007. M&H says the it'll probably be demolished. What's next, no one knows. Since Gottschalk's and the Century Theatres will remain, it's likely a power center, with other big box retailers, may be built. Another theory is an office park, since the central Reno location near the airport is highly desireable.

Read the full story.

The loss of another mall is a sad day in retail history. The opening of The Summit Sierra surely was the nail in the coffin of this mall. Speaking of coffin, since this mall is listed as haunted, what happens to the ghost? Will it inhabit the new structure? Maybe move in to Gottschalks? =

Please share your memories of Park Lane here.


Steven Swain said...

I don't know much about Park Lane, but I hate to see another mall die.

Georob said...

Mallrat put it best in his review when he said that Park Lane probably wouldn't survive in a larger area.

I know little of the Reno market, but it would appear that Park Lane probably should have disappeared a long time ago and probably would have had Gottschalks not stepped in. (I'm assuming they took over the Sears spot)

Yes, it would have been great to see them pick up stores like Old Navy, Ross, and the like. But those retailers and any smaller tenants attracted to them are likely going to want visibility from the parking lot, making the existing design impratical.

Had the mall remained an outdoor faclity, it would have been much easier to renovate via a partial teardown.

BIGMallrat said...

I think Gottschalk's took over the old Weinstocks and they just knocked the Sears down. I can't be sure, but that's how I remember it.
I wonder what will happen with Shopper's Square across the street and the dead mall, Reno Town Mall, just down the street.

Georob said...

I looked at an aerial of Park Lane on Google Earth, and it would appear that there is an open area with a path running through it leading to what I assume is the theatre complex. I'm guessing that is where Sears was.

I'd love to know why Sears left. Sears stores quite often stay put no matter what happens to the rest of the mall. (Florin Mall is an example) In fact, I know of a mall in Houston, TX(Westwood) that was converted entirely to an office complex EXCEPT FOR SEARS which is still there to this day.

With TWO anchors,(Sears and Gottschalks) Park Lane could have stood a better chance, though it wouldn't have gotten the theatre.

Which brings me to this question. We see a lot of older malls acquiring multiplexes as anchors, yet they very often wind up separate and across the parking lot from the main mall. You'd think that these theatres could attract restaurants and other tenants to the adjacent mall spaces if they were actually PART of the mall itself.

Is it a security issue, or the theatres wanting parking lot frontage? Either way, those don't sound like insurmountable design challenges to me.

BIGMallrat said...

That is a good question. When they put a cinema in Bayfair Mall, it's so far away, you might as well drive from the mall. You'd think the mall would want the people to walk over and eat/shop before or after a movie. That may explain why the food court in Bayfair is dead.
Park Lane did the same thing... and yes, taking the old Sears land. I once found a picture showing a plan for an expanded Park Lane, with the mall being pushed out, and curved, to the cinema. Although, the expansion may not have been enclosed. It probably would have had the usual power center restaurants (Texas Roadhouse, etc). In fact, we may still see something similar in a new shopping center that may replace Park Lane.
One place where the cinema was done properly: Eastridge Mall. The lines for movies stretches into the mall, which gives lots of exposure to nearby shops and the food court.
Sometimes they do it right, sometimes not.

Georob said...

I tried to dig up some history on Park Lane and...

Did you know back in 1999, that Max Baer Jr.(that's right, Jethro!) looked into buying Park Lane to develop a Casino/Hotel on the property? I can just see it now....

JETHRO: Hey Uncle Jed, I just done bought me a SHOPPIN' MALL

JED: Welllll Doggies! Now don't you go tearin anything down until we talk to Mr. Drysdale.

Unfortunately, Uncle Jed is no longer around to talk the new owners out of tearing down Park Lane.

Barbara said...

As a resident of Reno for 25 yrs, I remember its having been an outdoor mall to begin with, really our only mall in those days. There was a charming little Matterhorn bakery and we did all our Christmas shopping there. I think it could have survived where it is, if all the big name stores had not decided to chase the new housing which by its nature is moving further out from the center of town.