Northridge Mall in Milwaukee, WI

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The Northridge Mall was once a thriving suburban retail center, which housed all of the most popular chain stores of the seventies and eighties as well as a six screen movie theater. These days, it is largely a dead mall space which is currently being looked at for a number of potential development projects.

Northridge Mall was originally developed by a partnership that included the retail giants the Kohl family, who also started up the Kohl’s department store chain as well as a Kohl’s supermarket chain which is no longer trading. The mall was buit in the North of Milwaukee to operate as a sister mall to the Southridge Mall, and was designed to operate in much the same way as Southridge with a similar floor plan and similar stores.

It was first opened in 1973, and the original anchor stores for the Northridge Malls were JC Penney, Gimbels and Sears. It thrived through the seventies and much of the 1980′s, however the big turning point for the mall came in 1988 when the Kohl family sold off both Northridge and Southridge. These two partner malls were not bought by the same ownership groups, and therefore ceased to be sister malls at either end of 76th Street, instead becoming rivals. Southridge went on to survive, but Northridge began on a slow downward road which saw it deplete in popularity and tenancy through the nineties.

Its renovation in 1988 under its new owners saw it get a new, aesthetically appealing food court which featured sky lights and neon signage, known as Skyridge Cafes. This was not enough to stop the mall from falling out of favor with both retailers and visitors, and through the early nineties many of the big chains deserted the Northridge Mall to be replaced by independent retailers that proved to be less of a draw for shoppers. In 2000, Saks pulled out, and this proved to be the last straw for the failing mall.

Our address

Milwaukee, WI
43.0389025, -87.90647360000003

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Comments (4)

  1. It is Gimbels, not gimbles

    The Boston Store was also among the four department stores that opened the mall

  2. Saks was never at Northridge Mall, nor any other Milwaukee area mall..ever.

    The last bid department store was Boston Store, the last to leave.

    The originals were Sears, JC Penny’s, Gimbel’s, and Boston Store. Bibles closed for several years before being re-occupied by Yonkers.

    The Sears building was demolished 3 or 4years ago and was replaced by a new Menards home improvement store. The rest of the mall is still vacant. A Pick N’ Save grocery store was also built in formerly what was the parking lot, neighboring the new Menards.

    Meanwhile, a shoe store and a Taco Bell opened as stand-alone stores in the parking lot area of the new Menards. The McDonalds which has been at the Northridge entrance since day one, was torn down last year(2013) and was re-opened/rebuilt on the same site. The surrounding stores which circle the mall have seemed to either been remodeled and flourished or have bern vacated and look terrible.

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