Local News

Durham Shopping Centers Deal With Impending Southpoint Mall

Posted January 3, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— Durham is shopping for change! With the opening of the high-scale Southpoint Mall looming, Northgate Mall has decided to renovate, while South Square Mall's future is still uncertain.

As construction crews continue to make progress on the new Southpoint Mall, many questions linger for South Square Mall. The mall's two anchor stores, Hudson Belk and J.C. Penney, are moving out next spring. What that will mean for South Square's future is uncertain.

If the mall closes, Durham city leaders have some ideas they would like to see on the table.

"We think the entire South Square area is a very important employment and activity center for the community," says Richard Hails, Durham Planning Manager. "[It's] definitely promoting higher density-mixed uses, pedestrian-friendly development, transit use that can build up the community and not be so dependent on auto commuting everywhere."

South Square's uncertain future leaves business owners near the mall with some concerns of their own. There are already several empty store fronts and empty parking lots.

At Northgate Mall, the changing face of retail in Durham is prompting a $6 million facelift -- the fourth major renovation for Northgate since it opened in 1960. New flooring, lighting and even a new carousel will be in place by this summer. It is all designed to make the mall more competitive.

"Certainly, I think we would be naive to think the new mall is not going to impact us, but we've had the dominant position in northern Durham County for a long time, and we want to continue that market dominance," says Ginny Bowman, Managing Partner for Northgate Mall.