Another store is closing the books on Brookdale

  • Article by: JACKIE CROSBY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 28, 2009 - 9:40 PM

Troubled Brookdale Shopping Center took another blow Tuesday when Barnes & Noble Inc. said it would close its bookstore on June 13.

Sears is the only remaining anchor at the mall in Brooklyn Center. Macy's pulled up stakes in March and Steve & Barry's closed in September 2008.

"The recent closings of several tenants in the mall has had a negative impact on our store's performance," David Deason, Barnes & Noble vice president of development, said in a statement. "We have made a decision to close the store."

Without the upscale bookseller, the mall's vacancy rate now is more than 50 percent, the highest of any regional mall in the area. The average is 6.3 percent.

"This doesn't have anything to do with the current economy," said Minneapolis retail consultant Jim McComb. "The events that precipitated the decline of Brookdale began in the mid-1980s. It hasn't had attentive ownership for decades."

The mall, which opened in 1962, has changed ownership several times in recent years. Brooks Mall Properties of Coral Gables, Fla., took over more than three years ago after Brookdale's previous owners, Talisman Companies, fell behind on taxes. Last year, Brooklyn Center city officials learned that Brooks Mall's lenders had assumed ownership of Brookdale.

New York-based Barnes & Noble opened its 28,000-square-foot store during a hopeful era of the early 2000s, when Talisman promised a dramatic overhaul. During that time, Old Navy, the Gap, American Eagle, Hot Topic, Journeys and GameStop joined the retail mix. Only Journeys remains today, according to the mall's website directory.

Brookdale also has faced increased competition from booming retail development in nearby Maple Grove. Per-capita income in Brookdale's trade area has been declining for years.

"I think the death blow was delivered when Macy's announced it would close its store," McComb said. "This is one of the logical fallouts of that event."

Staff writer Susan Feyder contributed to this report. Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335

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