The continued redevelopment of the Hilldale Shopping Center is taking another step.

WS Development, the Massachusetts company that owns and operates the 55-store, 475,000-square-foot mall, officially announced its $15 million proposal Tuesday. The project would create an open-air, “streetscape” corridor from Metcalfe’s to Macy’s on the east side of the mall and another from the east side of the mall to the west parking lot where a Quiznos restaurant had been located.

Officials hope to break ground early next year and complete the project by the fall of 2014. The project would need the approval of the city’s Urban Design Commission, which next meets Aug. 28. An agenda for the meeting had not been posted as of late Tuesday. The plan was presented to neighbors at a meeting in July and has the support of District 11 Ald. Chris Schmidt.

“Our goal is to create an exceptional and diverse shopping, dining and entertainment experience thoughtfully planned to serve the growing Madison market for decades to come,” said Michael McNaughton, senior vice president of WS Development, which purchased the shopping center in 2012 for $52 million.

The plan will continue a trend that has brought new energy to the shopping center’s east side. That area includes parking garages and shops and restaurants with entrances from the outside. The newest project will create a pedestrian walkway to the west parking lot and include additional storefronts.

One of the anchors of the new design will be one of the shopping center’s oldest tenants.

Ken Morgan has been a tenant at Hilldale since 1961 and operates Morgan Shoes, Stride Rite and New Balance stores. The businesses will move to a prominent corner on the backside of the shopping center.

“It is sure to offer a dynamic new shopping experience for the Madison market and will be an amenity to the area,” Morgan said in a statement.

Other additions to the shopping center include Sur La Table, which offers cookware, cutlery, kitchen electronics and bakeware. The store will also feature cooking classes and demonstrations. Pure Barre, an exercise studio that uses small isometric movements at the ballet barre, opened Aug. 9.

Barry Adams covers regional and business news for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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(22) comments

Lexus Peterson
Lexus Peterson

Wow, if winter is so bad why would you even leave your house to get to an indoor mall? It's winter. Most people are not as bothered by cold as you think they are. Camp R would have a roof on it if they were. People who don't wear coats and whine about anything cold related can still go indoors. It's not going away.

midwestguy
midwestguy

Madison hasn't had a BITTER winter in over two decades. I'm talking about temps well below zero for a month or more. Anyway, stop whining-you knew the deal when you moved here if you did your research. Some of you ought to consider buying a one way ticket on your next "snowbird" junket.

Annd
Annd

While State Street may work for a younger demographic student population, few older adults shop regularly there--especially during inclement weather. Colder climates like Minneapolis use enclosed walkways to connect buildings and encourage walking. In my mind, the developers would want the customers to park once and walk from store to store. This would be a much healthier alternative and would improve customer traffic between stores. I foresee this plan as the kiss of death for less popular retailers who depend on new "walk ins" for much of their business.

Mave
Mave

This does not eliminate all indoor corridors of the mall, the section between Sundance & Macy's would remain.

As far as the viability of the converted outdoor portion goes, it's not as if this a brand new concept for the development, as the last renovation added outdoor accessible stores (North Face, Sushi Muromoto, etc.), so presumably the owners saw that was successfully enough to expand the concept.

WI_Expat
WI_Expat

Based on the pissing and moaning over how bad the weather is and how nobody would shop at an open air set of stores, I'm surprised there isn't a move to put a roof and climate control over State Street!!!!

Oh wait, who would approve a change to downtown!!!

GaryRobbins
GaryRobbins

Gee, thanks for being so patronizing to us Madisonians, Lexus.
I've seen Bay Shore, and many other open air malls around the country. I've even been to Canada and Europe and seen them there, too (really!)! Gosh, are you surprised that many Madisonians actually are cultured, well-travelled and can have an opinion different from yours?
Well, the success of those malls seems to have so much more to do with the quality of the stores and restaurants in those developments, and less to do with it being an open air mall.
I'm all for redevelopment, but closed malls can have an open feel to them if designed creatively, and offer the convenience of buffering the consumer from temps that range from -20F to 100F.

Peon
Peon

They are going to open up the area from Macy's to Metcalfes and the center corridor, leading to the back parking lot! I don't even walk up to Target unless I need something badly.

Citizen 569
Citizen 569

We seem to have a reading comprehension problem here fellow posters. No where in this article does it say it is 'taking the roof off'. It does say that it creating more open air space. I don't think that means that the current indoor mall is going away

RichardSRussell
RichardSRussell

Before these guys from Massachusetts start taking the roof off, they should spend a winter in Wisconsin.

Also, I hope they've budgeted adequate funds for snow removal in all those nice new "open air" corridors.

Or maybe they're just banking on global warming turning us into Arkansas. (Could it be that they're secretly hoping to lure Bret Bielema back?)

Annd
Annd

As a long time resident and avid shopper I am totally disappointed with the decision to make this an open style mall. Wisconsin weather is brutal for a full 6 months of the year. I would not spend time outdoors window shopping and visiting several stores if I have to walk in 20 below weather, wind and rain. Greenway Station is a good example of why that concept does not work well in Madison. There has been a steady turn over of stores there with retailors abandoning that location for a climate controlled West Towne. If developers really want Hilldale to succeed, they should leave it an enclosed mall and deal with the real underlying issue -- the lack of strong anchor stores. Bring in Crate and Barrel, Nordstrom or Von Maar and you will see a huge increase in shoppers. Most of my friends travel to Milwaukee or Chicago to shop because the selection and quality of shops in Madison is so limited. Also, don't forget Hilldate has a very large senior population in the immediate neighborhood that certainly will not appreciate dealing with icy conditions and freezing cold weather. This is a huge mistake on several levels....think, again!!!

Peon
Peon

I'm disappointed that they are going to remove climate control from Hilldale. I rarely go to the open areas there. I'll continue to shop there. I guess I just won't linger or walk around as much.

GIGirl
GIGirl

Have to giggle at how things go full circle. Oscar J Rennebohm designed Hilldale Mall as an open mall at first - but Wisconsin winters and shopping fads closed it up. I'd love to see Hilldale go back to its roots and have more locally owned shops again - previous owners (Freed) pushed out a lot of the privately owned businesses/unique stores that made Hilldale special. Hope the new ownership will bring Hilldale back from the brink.

prhjd
prhjd

Its the dialectical imperative at work again. Think women's skirts, and men's ties. They go as far as they can go one way, then they go as far as they can back the other way. Floor length skirts, to mini skirts, to the "maxi"/. Skinny ties, to wide as a lobster bib and back.

We had open air shopping, then enclosed malls. Now nothing will do but to have open shopping centers again, with" drive to the door convenience." Given them ten years or so, and they will all be talking about the latest new thing "the indoor Mall"!!!

Lexus Peterson
Lexus Peterson

More proof that people in Madison rarely leave Madison. The open air model made bay shore mall a gold mine when as a regular mall it was going bankrupt. Brilliant move by hill dale and one the neighborhood has been asking for - more smart development rather than strip mall after strip mall.

midwestguy
midwestguy

Hilldale is a dysfunctional mall in it's current incarnation (read: not financially sustainable). Take away the three anchors: Metcalfe's, Macy's and Sundance, and you have a very dim prospect for the future. The new landlords are smart to re-invigorate the area and make it a more diverse, fun and safer destination than West Towne or some of the other options on that side of town. My only caveat to offer is whether the neighborhood residents will be happy if traffic volume picks up, making travel on foot around University Avenue even more treacherous.

happydays
happydays

I have to agree with Gary - I shop Greenway Station during the summer - and the indoor malls during the winter.

GaryRobbins
GaryRobbins

And it is debatable that tearing down a perfectly functional structure, only to inevitably use more materials in various aspects of an open air rebuild, is actually being more 'green.'
I could see that argument if they were building it from scratch to be open air, but that is not the case here. So a case could be made that the 'green' solution is to leave an existing building alone until it is no longer good (even though more indoor temperature control would be used in the future).
And just because it started as an open air mall, doesn't mean it was a good idea or a success. After all, if it was such a good idea to make it open air, and if it was so successful, then why did they decide to close it over later on?
In any case, it isn't even Madisonians who are making this decision (it's people from Mass.), whether you think Madison is supposed to be green or not.
Good evening.

GaryRobbins
GaryRobbins

Thanks River. Can always expect you to take the high road with putdowns.
As to the rest, let's just say while they may work in some areas, even colder climates, I have my serious doubts.

River
River

Gary, you could use some more open air. The hot air is escaping.

FrankDrebinPS
FrankDrebinPS

Gary: these open concepts do work in colder climates. Just ask the folks in Minneapolis, Chicago, Des Moines, Toronto, Boston, Calgary and Quebec. The only expensive stupid idea is paying for the current layout space that could be generating great income.

WI_Expat
WI_Expat

Gary, you do realize that Hilldale was built originally as an open air mall....funny thought Madison was all about being green.

Must be green for "you"but not for "us" there now.

GaryRobbins
GaryRobbins

Does WS realize this is Madison, WI, and not San Diego?
I don't ever remember hearing anyone comment about Hilldale, saying "It's nice, but wouldn't an open air mall in Wisconsin's very mild year round weather be better?"
#very expensive stupid idea

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