View Full Version : Penn Square continues upscale move

07-06-2004, 05:53 PM
Here is some encouraging information. Penn Square Mall is (and has been for over 10 years now) the state's highest profit-making mall. Right now it's raking in around $480 per square foot in sales. National mall average is $350 per square foot. This dwarfs 2nd place Woodland Hills mall at $410 per square foot.

Also, Penn Square continues to maintain its upscale image, while continuing to move more upscale.

With upscale stores like Bacharach, Georgiou, J. Crew, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, BC Clark, Coldwater Creek, Banana Republic, Mont Blonc, Godiva, Brookstone, Sharper Image, Ann Taylor, Chicos, Mimi Maternity, Williams Sonoma, LoveSac, etc. Penn is booming.

Additions coming up include Jos A. Bank in Sept. 2004, J. Jill in winter 2004, Rockport in July 2004, and White House/Black Market in Spring 2005 (in center court at House Divided location).

Penn Square mall is fully leased and has a waiting list. Several vacancies are present, but these are just in negotiation and thus will be filled once negotiations are complete.

Penn is also currently talking with several upscale restaurant groups for three outparcels on the property. Several of the corporations are not currently in the OKC market.

07-07-2004, 09:03 PM
That is good to hear, but when is it going to get Armani, Gucci, Versace, Fendi, Zegna, Prada, Louis Vuitton and others?

I am just kidding. I am sick of all of those designers. I see people decked out in that stuff everyday. These Italians really care about fashion.

07-07-2004, 11:23 PM
LOL. Actually, the management at Penn Square has thought big and tried to attract big names lik Gucci and Armani. If any mall were to get them, it would be Penn, but the problem is that the OKC market just isn't large enough and wealthy enough to support those stores. That's too bad!

That's why when Moshe Tal planned his development for Bricktown and said he was going to bring in those top of the line designers, I knew he was smoking something, because the market just wouldn't support that. Hate to be negative, but just being realistic.

07-08-2004, 08:26 AM
There are not enough Italians living in OKC. Wealth is not a determining factor for them when buying designer clothing. As long as they have nice clothes, good food, good wine and friends, they are very happy.

07-09-2004, 01:17 AM
You're right about that TS!!!! :D

07-21-2004, 11:24 PM
I just thought I'd move this post up to the top with a new reply. I heard today that Penn Square spends more on capital improvements than any other mall in the state....about $1 mill a year!

Also, AMC 24 theater at Quail Springs ranked #1 again as the state's highest profit-making theater!

07-21-2004, 11:41 PM
Thanks, Patrick. I'll add that fact to my Oklahoma City tour book I am about to finish.

07-21-2004, 11:43 PM
The great thing that Penn has that Woodland doesn't is Quail. They both are very competitive with each other and will continue to move on up. Tulsa is just now beginning to see another mall emerge as a competitor(the one on 41st...i forget the name!) So hopefully that will create some competition there. As for big names...Woodland Hills has most of the stores you named off for Penn and had a Arden B. for years...the Arden B. has now moved out and is searching for an alternative location in Tulsa...more than likely Utica. Utica continues to improve and has for many years kept and attracted several very high-end stores. OKC needs to take note of Utica AND the current trend in America which is not Penn. People are beginning to forget about malls in search of "Utica" type OKC needs to get a "Utica" and OKC too will attract major stores. Malls are a dying breed, mainly because they are all the same. Unique, walkable development in cool areas is the new trend...which is what Bricktown is starting to see. Don't be surprised to see high-end stores in the retail sections at the bottom of all the new residential development going on in bricktown. Wealthy young people will be the main renters in these type of apartments, and that is exactly what those high-end stores are looking for.

07-22-2004, 12:04 AM
Actually, also in addition, I think the one thing that Woodland Hills has that's hurting it is Utica Square.

Penn Square is kind of like a combination between Woodland Hills and Utica Square. Penn Square has higher end stores like Bacharach, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Georgiou, Godiva, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Brookstone, Sharper Image, Banana Republic, Williams Sonoma, etc. while having traditional mall stores as well! But then again, Penn Square is also located right there close to Nichols Hills, and also draws from inner city affluent areas like Crown Heights, Heritage Hills, etc.

I agree that Quail helps Penn by offering competition. Seems like when Quail renovated back in 2001, Penn followed suit by renovating and moving more upscale in 2002. But Quail and Penn are very different at the same time! Quail just doesn't have any upscale specialty stores like Penn. It has more traditional mall stores. I think they attract different crowds. Quail attracts more families with kids and young people wanting to watch movies. Penn focuses more on upscale retail and attracts more young professionals and established professionals. Having 50 Penn Place across the street and Nichols Hills Plaza nearby only helps complement Penn Square.

It's quite funny that people are going back to Utica type centers. Not sure if you knew this, but when Penn Square was first opened it was an open air center very similar to Utica Square. When malls became the dominant thing in the 1970's and 1980's, Urban Retail bought the center, enclosed it, added on a second floor, and made it what it is today.

I personally hope to see high end stores in Bricktown. That would be great! Could you imagine a Gucci, Fossil, or Banana Republic store in Bricktown? That would be cool! Strangely enough though, isn't that the way downtown was back in the 50's and early 60's? Strange how we're going back the the exact same thing we tried to get rid of back in the 70's and 80's. But I like it!

I won't be surprised if OKC creates its Utica Square in downtown! That would probably be the best fit! The old Galleria site is always open!!!! And of course once I-40 is moved south, that will open up more room for development downtown and in Lower Bricktown.

07-22-2004, 12:10 AM
The renovation were exactly what I was talking about. I just hope that since Penn and Woodland are owned by Simon that Woodland will go through some extensive renovations now with the other one doing the same...still can't think of the name! Anyway, several of those higher end stores in Penn are also in or coming to Woodland!

If I remember correctly, Jenks has a proposal from an investor right now about a "Utica" somewhere inside the city. Not good for Tulsa...good for Jenks!

07-22-2004, 12:24 AM
Actually, wasn't Woodland Hills renovated recently? I thought it was renovated about the same time Penn Square was! I'm thinking they were, because the same developer designed the concepts for both malls! Although Simon didn't finance the renovations, Urban Retail, the former owner of both malls, financed the projects.

Regardless, I don't think the recent renovations at the Tulsa Promenade (the mall at 41st and Yale) will even begin to compete with Woodland Hills! Tulsa Promenade is about half the size in regards to leasable space, and the mall just isn't as upscale. I think Simon has done a pretty good job fitting Woodland Hills in a market right above the Tulsa Promenade, but just below Utica Square! It seems to be filling it's niche pretty well. If the parking lot and mall traffic at Woodland Hills a few Saturday's ago was any indication of the mall's strength, things were going great! BTW, Tulsa Promenade is owned by General Growth Properties, the same company that owns Quail Springs. They seem to be doing the same thing with the Tulsa Promenade that they did with Quail......they're keeping both malls equipped with traditional stores, and aren't really adding upscale stores to the mix!

I think the area around the malls plays a major factor as well! The demographics around Woodland Hills are just more impressive than those around Tulsa Promenade. Sure, 41st and Yale is a great busy intersection, but the clientale down there just isn't as great as at Woodland Hills! But look at theneighborhoods surrounding the malls! Woodland Hills draws from the very affluent far south Tulsa neigborhoods!

I'd have to say Eastland Mall is Tulsa's Crossroads! That place is a dump!

07-22-2004, 10:27 AM
Yes Woodland was renovated recently, and a lot of good it did! It is still as boring as it was before!

07-22-2004, 05:34 PM
I wonder if Penn Square could be expanded again. This time, another floor.

Plus, the parking is bad. It was not designed as a mall. It was an open air shopping arcade build in 1960. The lot was not designed for today's market.

Plus the name. Since the street is Pennsylvania, it should be Pennsylvania Square. Plus it sounds better.

At least it is not gang central... Crossroads. Which needs to be torn down and replaced with a prison. A lot of people would be at home. (lol) :rolleyes:

07-22-2004, 08:58 PM
I've talked to Simon Propety Group about expanding Penn Square and they've looked into it.....only problem is there just isn't enough space on that lot to support parking and all! I think Urban Retail, former owners of Penn Square, squeezed about all they could on that small piece of property. They should've thought ahead and bought the old Belle Isle Power plant land before it was converted into a strip mall by Sapphire Properties! I could've done without the Wal-Mart Super Center next to the mall, but I guess that concept is becoming common....look at Quail Springs!

Nuclear, well at least Woodland Hills was renovated. Personally, I think it's a lot nicer place to shop now than it used to be. Yeah, there's not much in the way of entertainment there, but I guess, what are you supposed to expect from a mall other than shopping?

Tulsa Promenade was renovated recently as well, but I'm not so sure I like the renovation. I've never seen a mall with complete carpet throughout before. I thought that was a little strange when I visited Promenade last. But I will admit, the mall is a lot nicer than it used to be, and they do have a lot nicer stores. But it just doesn't compare to Woodland Hills in size, type of stores, etc.

Regardless, Utica Square is probably the most unique place to shop in Tulsa. It's always my first stop! Sometimes I wish Penn Square would've been left an outdoor center like Utica!

07-22-2004, 10:48 PM
Yeah, think of me as strange, Patrick, but when I visited Tulsa Promenade Mall back in March over Easter weekend, I was shocked to see a carpeted mall. What made it strange was that in a traditional shopping mall, there is always an echo throughout the building from voices and music over the speaker... you know... that open-air feel.

At Promenade, there was no echo. Carpet absorbs the sound. But yes, a nice mall for the most part.

07-22-2004, 10:57 PM
Not sure if you saw Promenade before the renovation, but it's made a complete turn around since General Growth Properties renovated.

Strangely enough, Tulsa Promenade is my fiancee's favorite mall in Tulsa......I think because it's smaller, less crowded, and she actually loves the carpet!!!! Go figure! :) Guess it's a girl thing!

Anyways, I'll pick the marble tile floors over carpet any day of the week! The renovations at both Woodland Hills and Penn Square have made them look both upscale and contemporary!

I think what Nuclear might be referring to about Woodland Hills is that, other than for shops, there's nothing reallt there to do. No movie theater! No arcade! Nothing unique! I did speak with themall manager at Woodland Hills and he told me that a new children's play are will be installed before year's end, so maybe that will help things out some, at least for families.

Overall, Woodland Hills is probably the best one-stop shopping destination in ulsa though.

07-22-2004, 11:02 PM
No...what I am referring to is a boringly tiled mall with no attractiveness at all. Its always fun to go and hit the stores...but all the white columns with pathetic amts of tile around the base and no exciting lighting or glass panels on the upstairs rails like in Penn. Penn is a very interesting mall because it has color and design. Woodland is just plain and boring.

07-22-2004, 11:32 PM
Oh......I see what you mean. I never quite thought about it that way, but I guess you're right. When I put a picture of Woodland Hills in my head, it's pretty much white and black marble tile with smooth solid glass rails.

Penn Square has white marble til, in the concourses intermixed with black and gold smaller tile; brown, black and white marble tile in the center in a cool arrangement around the black and gay marble fountain......the fountain is extremely unique! Haven't seen one like it anywhere! The lighting is very unique, especially the chandeliers on the upper level and the main center chandelier in center court.

The food's definitely unique...not sure how to describe it. It's very modernistic and has a wide variety of different seating styles.

The support beams are a light brown/tan marble looking design.

The railings are glass, but intermixed with modernistic shattered glass to match the overall contemporary design.

The center elevator....well, again, it's different! I, at first wasn't very attracted to it, but I must say it's unique!

Oh, and the floors are dotted with a deep redish colored carpet covered with modern designs and containing soft plush seating areas, modernistic lamps, and end tables. Kind of gives you an "at-home" feel.

I think the landscaping at Penn Square gives the mall a unique, urban feel as well. The marble planters (gray and black) in the center of the west concourse, and other planters throughout the mall, give it a park feel.

The dark wood kiosks have a modern appearance and the color is set apart well from the rest of the mall.

Here are some pics of Penn Square:

There are some more pics at this site:

07-23-2004, 08:54 PM
Penn Square's interior detail puts Woodland Hills to shame!

07-23-2004, 08:57 PM
When you demand excellent tenants, you ought to provide an excellent common area. Penn Square does this.

07-24-2004, 08:19 PM
The one thing I like about Penn Square Mall's management is their fine attention to detail! You could probably diagnose them as obsessive compulsives, but I mean that in all the good ways!!!! They do a great job and it shows! Everything fron landscaping, to beautifying the overall structure, to maintaining the operational facilities of the mall! It takes a lot to manage a building that size, and I think they do a fine job! That's probably why new stores signing leases like Jos A Bank, White House/Black Market, and J. Jill are locating there.

By the way, I noticed that Jos A Bank is going to have their own outdoor facade. I've noticed several other stores doing this at Penn, most notably, Men's Warehouse, Garcia's Restaurant, Peperroni Grill, Express, Pottery Barn, BC Clark, Mr. Ooley's, and Pottery Barn Kids. Even though its still an enclosed mall, this gives it a more Utica feel, as several of those stores have outdoor entrances. It's kind of similar to the Talbots at Woodland Hills for those of you than live in Tulsa!

07-24-2004, 08:46 PM
I really don't see how Woodland keeps stores like J. Jill, J. Crew, and other nicer stores in it when they could locate in Utica. I guess this is why Arden B. moved out of Woodland and is looking into Utica. The bad part about Utica is that all the tenants love it there and there I can't remember the last time that I saw a tenant move out. I think Helmrich and Payne needs to add on to Utica when they blow down their headquarters to move in to their new one. With Utica Place and other developments going up all around, it is going to become more and more popular and if Utica doesn't start moving up and adding on, it will be like everything else, and it will start going down.

I really think that when the apartment complexes in dt OKC start going up and retail starts going in it is going to create an area like Utica, except there will be people living above the retail instead of in buildings around it!

07-24-2004, 09:07 PM
I think you're right about Utica! There just isn't any vacant space there!

One thing I've noticed though.......the Woodland Hills area just has a lot more traffic than Utica Square, so that could be the reason tenants stay there. It has all to do with profits, and Woodland Hills is the state's second highest profit making retail center, and Tulsa's first!

I bet when you look at square feet alone, Utica Square probably has higher sales per square foot though!

Is Helmrich and Payne a local company or nation-wide?

07-24-2004, 09:17 PM
I believe Helmerich and Payne is Tulsa-based and has operations around the world.

07-24-2004, 09:19 PM
H&P is a large oil company that does the same things as Kerr does. They are growing fast and have been around for a long time and they own Utica and most of the development around it. They announced about a month ago that in the next few years they would be building a new corporate building downtown somewhere!

07-24-2004, 09:36 PM
See, that explains part of the difference between Simon, owner of Woodland Hills, and H&P, owner of Utica. Simon has a lot more leverage when it comes to attracting retail to fill its property because they have so many national tenants in their portfolio. Afterall, Simon is the largest mall owner in the nation. H&P's specialty just isn't retail, although they seem to do a mighty fine job of it at Utica Square. Simon doesn't really have to work too hard when they want to locate a store in one of their malls. They work with the retailers day after day, and when they want a certain retailer in their mall, they just go to that retailer with a proposal to put stores in say 20 Simon malls, and it's a done deal, depnding on demographic studies and all of course! Of course, local mall managers make the final decision over the tenants that locate in their malls and it's far more complex than that, but with Simon as their backing it makes it easier. For example, I think the mall manager at Penn Square is a tad bit more picky than the mall manager at Woodland Hills. There are a few long-term stores I've seen at Woodland Hills that probably wouldn't make it to Penn Square. Penn Square is even far pickier than Quail. For example, a new local "A- Dollar" store recently moved in at Quail. Such a store would never open at Penn Square, not with the way that mallis managed. That doesn't mean Penn Square's manager doesn't allow short term leases though...I think all shopping centers allow short term now, because it provides rent while the manager is looking for a new long-term tenant for the space.
Anyways, Simon's specialty is retail.....that's why they're so good at it! Same with General Growth Properties, owner of Quail and Promenade.

Note though that mall location and mall demographics play a role too......just look at Heritage Park Mall and Eastland Mall...both are Simon malls, but demographics work against them there. Same with Shawnee Mall and their owner General Growth Properties.
Even though the malls are owned by national mall managing companies, they're hard to lease because of the surrounding communities.

07-24-2004, 09:43 PM
I agree. The only reason Utica does so well is because it has a name. Utica is on the same level with Knoxville St. in Dallas. When I go to Dallas to visit friends, they all know about Utica and it's one of their fav places to shop. It's not the shops that make it, because I'm sure Dallas has all of the same ones, but they like it so much because of how its laid out, the huge trees, the restaurants, the 5th night concert series especially, and the entire surrounding area has just become very upscale and affluent.

OKC is accomplishing national recognition with the growth rate and popularity of Bricktown. Now all OKC needs is a nationally known shopping district.

07-24-2004, 09:55 PM
Well, if town center-type district occurs downtown, I don't think it will include the standard Banana Republics and J.C. Penneys. Other less common retail names like Crate and Barrel, Anthropologie, and The Container Store will happen there.

07-24-2004, 09:59 PM
I agree with you about Utica Square. Although Utica does have some unique national retailers that aren't found anywhere else in the state or city (like Saks), many of the retailers there can be found elsewhere, even at Woodland Hills. But, what makes Utica so special is the way it's landscaped, the overall appearance of the property, the way it's arranged, etc. Even the old fashioned phone booths give Utica Square flavor! It's just a very upscale, cozy area!

I agree that OKC needs a nationally known shopping area! Edmond has developed one......Spring Creek....but that's Edmond! We need one similar in nature. Give it time.....I think eventually we'll have something like that downtown! Maybe even in Bricktown. That's one way we could distinguish ourselves from San Antonio....SA has a mall on their Riverwalk! We could have a nice shopping village. Several years ago on another forum I suggested a small shopping village as one of the nodes for the Bricktown canal. I still thinkit would be a great idea! An arts and crafts village would be nice too!

07-24-2004, 10:00 PM
I agree with floater......I don't think you're necessarily going to see large national retailers downtown. More, smaller, unique and upscale specialty shops.

07-25-2004, 08:30 PM
I can't see Bricktown ever being an upscale shopping area, but rather a place with a wide variety of retail. Some kind of department store would do great near the movie theater, and a mix of local and national chains would really benefit the area.

Stores like Coach, Armani Exchange, etc. would fit into Penn Square a lot better than they would somewhere in Bricktown. Doesn't Nichols Hills have an upscale shopping center?

07-26-2004, 07:57 PM
OKC is accomplishing national recognition with the growth rate and popularity of Bricktown. Now all OKC needs is a nationally known shopping district.

downtown Shopping District, plz.

07-26-2004, 09:37 PM
I agree to some extent with BG918. I think Bricktown will probably be best offering a mix of retail types, because unfortunately the market there just doesn't support a complete upscale center, at least for now. That was proven by PF Chang's turning down Bricktown for an area out on Memorial Road (although I didn't think that was a real good choice either....come a strip mall.....give me a break! I think PF Chang's would've fit better on one of th Penn Square outparcels.) Anyways, with Penn Square being so close to downtown, for the time being anyways, it will probably continue to dominate the upscale market. It has Nichols Hills drawing the tenants. In addition, Nichols Hills Plaza has attracted several upscale tenants, as has Spring Creek Plaza in Edmond.

Regardless though, I'd still like to see a mix of shops downtown. I have no problem with that. A Utica type development with a mix of upscale, traditional national retailers, and local stores would be great for the area........I think the local stores would probably be the best, since we are trying to market the area for tourists......the more unique the better. We have to remember....these tourists have JC Penny and Dillards back home!