Jeramey Jannene

Grand Avenue Mall Follow-Up – Free Rent

By - Jun 24th, 2009 03:03 pm
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In March, I explored the idea of rebuilding Grand Avenue Mall into a self-sustaining retail center.  One of the things that I didn’t expect to be on the table was simply giving away a retail stall for free.  Grand Avenue Mall appears set to do just that now with a business plan competition.

The winner will receive free rent for a year, an interior design concept from Kahler Slater, advertising at, and logo design from Spark Milwaukee.

While this won’t completely reinvent how the mall operates, this is a good idea.  My only question is why stop at one store?  Why not give away two or three?  It doesn’t appear anyone will be renting the spaces anytime soon, and turning them into active businesses can only help other tenants.

The Shops of Grand Avenue website claims it will have more information soon.


2 thoughts on “Grand Avenue Mall Follow-Up – Free Rent”

  1. Randy says:

    Creative thinking like this will help save Downtown Milwaukee during these tough economic times!!

  2. Cory Triolo says:

    If you read the fine print, you must sign a two year lease to get the free one year’s rent, and there are still ancillary charges of $1,800 plus. In addition, you don’t get to pick the location. Ashkenazy could relegate your new concept to the least attractive, low profile spot in the mall. And finally, you are expected to do a “build out” to improve the space. Not such a great offer afterall for a dead mall property with absolutely no sustainable traffic. While the idea sounds “grand” on the surface, sometimes you get what you pay for.

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