this used to be the best mall in pensacola with the best stores and prices and food,until simon said they were going to rebuild it and stores start moving out now i hear they are not going to rebuild it.they said they were going to rebuild and now they back away and a wonderful mall is dying because of them thats sad!!not to say all the jobs they cost people!!they should build a new mall!!!!!i think they are heartless money grabber!!!
There have been a lot of rumors & questions buzzing around. I gave it up for lost, too, until I worked there this past Christmas season in three different stores & talked w/a long-time vendor about it's future. So let me give you an updated, inside view...
It's due to shut down soon, in part, or as a whole, during construction, but has the potential of becoming the premiere mall in Pensacola. It's definitely on an upward spiral. People are coming, & vendors are staying, growing, & returning while the price is right...which probably won't be for long!
Now that the hurricane issues (law-suits over who's responsible for fixing what, which held up progress) are settled, steps are being taken to repair/replace the ceiling & bulldoze the lot to make it an "indoor/outdoor mall", like Cordova. br
Here's what I didn't like...dim lighting, water-stained carpeting, bingo, alcohol, gothics, trashy window displays, & early-closers/late openers.
Most of these allowances are from desperate measures to hang onto vendors & balance the poor economics during the deterioration period. They w/likely improve w/the mall's self-esteem as it's future shows brighter & the office gets confident enough to reclaim the reins.
Still, the atmosphere is comfortable, the vendors are supportive, the food's great...especially Sabarro's Pizza!...& The Cookie Co.'s Icees & chocolate-covered key lime pie...MMM-MMM! The variety's wonderful, & several people told me that they very much preferred University to Cordova's crowds at Christmas time, coming there as proof.
University has new stores like, BELK'S (was McRae's), the beautifully displayed ESPECIALLY YOURS (look for the zebra-striped awning...also a second shop by the food court!) for weddings, round baby beds, iron cribs, ladies Italian clothing, luggage, jewelry, even statuary, & a new shop where you can make your own stuffed animals, & more than I got to see while working 60+ hrs. per week there! It has more "Mom & Pop shops", unique merchandise, & lower prices than Cordova. It's more like what a mall was meant to be...a marketplace.
As a vendor, you'll likely fair well even now. We had three locations for Christmas. Our tiny (higher-end gift/potpourri) shop in University topped the other two put together...one was a Cordova kiosk (but not in a good location or manned/marketed well), & the other was in downtown Foley, both w/established followings! We had plenty of customers from the anchor stores & also walk-bys. We'd never been there before, so had no following other than our product's reputation. Prayer, marketing & motivation to sell were instrumental, still all of us were surprised w/the results, & the owner said she'll definitely be back this Christmas!
Unless you only have/like a "snob shop" (over-rated, &/or out-dated by tomorrow, merchandise for way too-high prices), University's definitely the mall for you this Christmas. It just makes a lot better sense/cents to look again!
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