Forest City Re-Vamping/Un-Vamping Northfield Mall

northfield mall revampResponding to concerns and suggestions by Stapleton residents, Forest City has recently proposed a plan to completely realign the focus of the troubled Northfield shopping center.

“Stapleton neighbors have long made it clear that they want to see different retail and dining options at The Shops at Northfield,” says Janelle Ayers, Forest City spokeswoman. “Even though Stapletonions represent only 20% of our consumer base at Northfield, they are very vocal and energized, and they also represent a key demographic, so we are looking into providing more upscale options. As we started to analyze their suggestions, we realized that we might be able to make some changes that would benefit all our customers.”

The first order of business, Ayers said, will be to eliminate some of the corporate chain restaurants, such as Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Toby Keith’s. Ayers noted, “Even though customers come from as far away as Green Valley Ranch, Montbello, and Aurora to enjoy meals at these establishments, and there are often long lines to prove it, we realized that working-class folks have just as much right to and interest in more sophisticated dining choices. In fact, as many Stapleton neighbors have pointed out, we feel it is our duty to help diners of all classes improve their health and our environment by providing them dining choices that are organic, locally sourced, and made from scratch.” With that goal in mind, Forest City is looking to add several new restaurants, such as “Barge & Swain,” “Steel & Slough,” and “Sow & Kale.” Pascal said that restaurateurs interested in opening at Northfield are welcome to use any of those names, or to make up one of their own, so long as the names include ampersands and allude to artisanal, agrarian, or industrial themes of yore.

Envisioning Northfield as “Cherry Creek East,” Pascal also confirmed that more high-end retail and independent boutiques would soon be replacing other businesses in the open-air mall. “Affluent Stapletonions, as well as their aspirational counterparts from surrounding communities, should stop buying such trashy clothing from places like Charlotte Russe and Charming Charlie,” says Ayers. With new choices like Ann Taylor, Talbots, and Banana Republic, Pascal noted that shoppers from all walks of life can try to improve themselves by wearing more posh clothing, or, says Ayers, “If they simply must buy tawdry clothing, they can at least do so from more upscale retailers like Bebe, Abercrombie & Fitch, or True Religion, where a pair of skin-tight, metallic jeans can be had for $228.”

Finally, Forest City is hoping to improve the bar and nightlife scene at the mall. “As many Stapleton residents have complained, there is a preponderance of cheesy sports bars and places where Jägermeister body shots are available,” Ayers remarked. “These establishments encourage people to drink cheap, mass-produced beer and engage in the type of drinking that will lead to painfully debilitating hangovers, as well as making them look like asses when they order drinks like ‘Smurf Farts,’ or ‘Hot Buttered Balls.’” Pascal says that Forest City, inspired by the success of the Stapleton Tap House, aims to bring the craft beer and liquor movement home to Northfield so everyone has the opportunity to appreciate small-batch whiskeys, double-IPAs, and $20 martinis made from at least five ingredients, preferably including St. Germain elderflower liqueur, crème de pamplemousse rose, botanical rye, absinthe and any kind of bitters.

Forest City, a company that tends to take an altruistic view of things, says that the changes coming to Northfield will help ensure that east-side residents no longer have to travel downtown or to Cherry Creek to reap the health, well-being, and social approval benefits that come from participating in the modern, boutique economy. As Pascal noted, “If we see a decrease in revenue for a while, well, that’s OK, because it really isn’t about profit. It’s about doing right in the world. And upscale consumption really improves the lives of communities as a whole.”

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