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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Somerset Collection- (Troy, Michigan)


          I cannot express the feeling I overcame as I walked through the halls the the Somerset Collection in Troy, Michigan. If there is a retail heaven, it's a half hour from Detroit. The Somerset collection is the most luxurious mall in the state of Michigan in my opinion, as its a set of buildings, known as Somerset North and Somerset South, connected by a sky bridge crossing Big Beaver road.

The malls current anchor stores are the finest as they come, Nordstrom, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue, among several high end restaurants.


          Somerset Collection opened in 1969, as Somerset Mall, anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue, and a series of store, later being anchored by Bonwit Teller. Several more stores were added with the addition of another wing. Bonwit Teller significantly renovated there store in 1988, and wounded up closing in 1990 when the chain went bankrupt.

          In 1991-1992, the mall was renamed Somerset Collection, a second level was added along with Neiman Marcus, built on the former land of Bonwit Teller, and Saks was renovated by late 1992.


          Following success from the renovations and name change, a new three-level, 940,000 square foot, expansion was built across Somerset collection, forming Somerset North and South. Somerset North was complete in 1996 with Nordstrom and Hudson's, converting to Marshall Field's in 2001, and Macy's in 2006.

          The two structures are connected by a "skywalk", a 700 foot long enclosed walking bridge with several moving sidewalks, spanning across from Somerset North and South over Big Beaver Road.

          A notable building adjacent to the mall, the former Kmart Corporation home office, was bought in 2009 by The Forbes Company (owners of Somerset Collection) with plans of creating an open-air mixed use center, although any proposal has yet to be finalized.

          I want to say the pictures that I took of Somerset Collection have to be of one of the finest malls I have featured on Trip to the Mall before, as you can understand as you scroll down.

I think "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone merits the atmosphere the mall:




































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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Great Lakes Crossings Outlets- (Auburn Hills, Michigan)


          Let me present to you the state of Michigan's largest outlet mall, Great Lakes Crossing, in Auburn Hills, Michigan. This is a one floor mall, with over 1.4 million square feet of retail space, comprised of over 180 inline tenants and around 9 anchor store. Let me tell you folks, Gurnee Mills is nothing after you've walked through this place, St. Louis Mills is 100% vacant, and Great Lakes Crossing at least 90% occupant. I visited Detroit last week, a week before black Friday, based on the amount of people, some might guess its a week before Christmas. 

          A few of the anchor stores are Burlington Coat Factory, Lord & Taylor outlet, Last Call Neiman Marcus, Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue, The Bass Pro Shop, Marshall's, Legoland, and an AMC theater.


          This massive outlet mall was designed by Taubman Properties in the 1990's, originally considered to be called "Auburn Mills", like many other Mills properties Taubman owned. The mall opened in November 1998 will nearly 200 stores and anchor store included Bass Pro Shop, Gameworks, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Rainforest Cafe, Sportmart, Steve & Barry's (there first mall store), and a JCPenney outlet.

          Sportmart was acquired by The Sports Authority shortly after opening, and the JCPenney outlet closed around 2006. H&M and Toby Keith's Bar & Grill split the anchor in June 2007. Steve & Barry's closed in 2007, replaced by a Toronto, Canada based Urban Behavior, later replaced by a Forever 21.

          Gameworks closed in 2010 for company reasons, and in 2014, the spaced was acquired to open a SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium.

The mall changed its name in September 2010, and held a grand re-opening in October celebrating several new stores opening, including an Art Van Furniture, Michigan's largest furniture chain's first mall store.

The aquarium opened in January 2015, and Legoland opened in March 2016.

The Sports Authority closed with the rest of the chain in August 2016 resulting in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

Here are my pictures of the mall from November 2016, I consider this an early start to my Holiday tour, there are many malls to come.




















































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