So long, Brookdale Center, and the future of the ‘Dales?

In 1956, the first indoor mall in the country opened up in Edina, Minn., called Southdale.

In ’62, Brookdale opened.  Success was seen in these gigantic, indoor malls.  Rosedale opened in 1969 and Ridgedale, in ’79.

Today, a rebirth is taking place at Brookdale Center’s location, the first of the ‘Dales to close its doors (in 2010) after 49 years of serving as the northwest metro’s premiere regional shopping destination.  The site, after suffering setbacks in recent years, has now found a new life as a future lifestyle center, called “Shingle Creek Crossing”.

City Staff from the City of Brooklyn Center hosted a presentation about Brookdale’s history this past July for planners across the state.  They also discussed Shingle Creek Crossing’s future.

Perhaps the rapid growth of Maple Grove’s Arbor Lakes development was one of the hits taken by Brookdale.  The perception of the mall as an unsafe place was perhaps another.  Barnes and Noble’s closure in 2009 was not only a sign of the economic times and retail bookstore realities, but it proved beneficial for Pine City’s library project, where all of the book display shelves were dontated.

The future development will be anchored by a Walmart and play to Shingle Creek more.  Other specific tennants are yet to be determined.  With newer, further-flung retail developments springing up around the metro, such as Arbor Lakes, are the fate of first-ring suburban malls in jeopardy?  Will we ever see a Pinedale?  Sound off.  It’s your blog too.

Five Tips for Surviving Black Friday

Whether your destination is MOA, Rosedale, Maplewood, Arbor Lakes, Uptown, or stickin’ close to home buying local, these five tips may help you survive the stressors of Black Friday:

1. Make a list. Make a list of who you need to buy for. To save money, stick to the list as best as possible as it’s easy to get caught up in buying things you don’t need when they are SUCH a good deal.

2. Check times twice. Keep a close eye on store opening times while thumbing through ads. Some places open as early as Midnight, while others open at 5:00 A.M.

3. Lean on shopper resources. Make small talk with the people around you and/or use your mobile device. See if it’s such a good deal afterall. Mobile phone applications (such as ShopSavvi) and internet on the go allow you to find out the inside scoop on that hot item, and get the best possible prices.

4. There’s no time like the present. Start looking for deals NOW. Many major stores, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Toys R Us, offer great deals right now. There are deals of the day, weekend sales and a lot more. Why wait? You could pick up all your presents before Black Friday arrives and actually sleep in the day after Thanksgiving!

5. Layer up. Wear layers of clothing. While it can get nippy outside, the stores are quite full of people and warm.