Friday, December 22, 2006

Town Mall

It is an unusual response to the community need for town like shopping experiences but does seem to be taking off, and the success of several around the area, the Pavilions, Lohmanns Square, etc, indicate it works.

In suburbia's malls, it takes a village
'Lifestyle centers' mimic urban shopping districts.
By Mary Lynne Vellinga - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PST Friday, December 22, 2006

Ron Rojo racked his brain, trying to recall the place that reminded him of the new North Natomas shopping "village" he was visiting this week with his two teenage daughters.

"Universal Studios," he finally said.

"This is really nice," added the firefighter from West Sacramento. "I like the little town environment. The girls can shop over here and I can go over there. I can just let them go."

Surrounded by a ring of big-box stores such as Old Navy, Target, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble, the newly opened Village at Sacramento Gateway off Truxel Road and Interstate 80 represents the latest trend in the retail industry: re-creating downtown shopping districts in the midst of suburbia.

Developers all over the country have been ditching plans for enclosed shopping malls in favor of such outdoor shopping districts, which the industry has labeled "lifestyle centers."

There are now 144 of them around the country, said Patrice Duker, spokeswoman for the International Council of Shopping Centers.

"It's not a stagnant industry," Duker said. "You're constantly seeing new formats come to life based on what consumers are looking for."