Saturday, January 11, 2020

Westgate UPDATE: Last nail to be hammered in April

Photos by Retiring Guy

Wisconsin Craft Market to close at Westgate.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 1/7/2020)
Paul Zarnikow, who has owned Wisconsin Craft Market for nearly 31 years, said he chose not to find a new location for his business because of his age and the challenges from the internet to brick and mortar stores. A going-out-of-business sale will start in March with the store closing in April, Zarnikow said in a Facebook post on Monday.

Hy-Vee officials could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday but the departure of Wisconsin Craft Market would seem to clear the way for redevelopment of the property that opened in 1960 as the city's first shopping mall center (not enclosed), two years before Hilldale opened at Midvale Boulevard and University Avenue and more than a decade before the rise of East and West Towne malls.

11/8/2019 update, "GET ME REWRITE:  Westgate Mall awaits the final nail in the coffin", starts here.

Photos and video by Retiring Guy

Whitney Square shines while Hy-Vee narrows in on a developer for Westgate.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 10/27/2019)
On the east side of Whitney Way, the Hy-Vee that opened in 2013 is a major draw, but the remainder of Westgate Mall, once a hub of retail, is largely deserted, save for the last holdout, Wisconsin Craft Market. 
Even the mall walkers are no longer welcome after Hy-Vee, the Iowa-based grocer that bought the property more than 10 years ago, recently shuttered the interior mall space. 
“Westgate Mall is closed for redevelopment,” signs posted on the mall’s glass doors read. “Wisconsin Craft market will remain open and accessible via their main store entrance.”

5/20/2019 update starts here

Photos by Retiring Guy

T.J. Maxx moving out of Westgate; redevelopment of mall still uncertain.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 5/16/2019)

T. J. Maxx joins Dollar General, Office Depot, and some other retailers across the street at Whitney Square, another shopping center that is past is prime, though not as nearly forlorn as Westgate. 

All that's left is Wisconsin Craft Market and a book-sale space occupied by the Friends of the Sequoya Library.

Doomed from the start?  
When the mall opened in 1960 [correction:  it opened as a shopping center; there is a difference, you know], it had stores such as JC Penney, Piggly Wiggly, Montgomery Ward and Harry S. Manchester. In later years, the Piggly Wiggly was replaced with an Eagle grocery store, while other stores fled farther west to West Towne Mall and the surrounding area.

Original 6/25/2016 post, "Westgate Mall a possible redevelopment site", starts here.

The north corridor is filled with sunlight, but there's not a customer, or business, in sight.

Redevelopment pitched for Westgate Mall; current tenants say they're left behind.  (, 6/25/2016)

First of all, this statement -- Westgate Mall was built in the 1950s and later remodeled -- is misleading, at best.

Westgate Mall Shopping Center, originally an 'open-air' as opposed to enclosed facility, opened in 1960 on what was then the far-west side of Madison.

And here's an example of understatment from Terry Gulesserian, owner of Terry’s Westgate Barbers:  “It was pretty booked before, and now we don’t have much here at all.”

Yup, it's been approaching zero for the last decade, at least.

Related post:
The present state of Westgate.  (3/12/2016)

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