MILWAUKEE — Within the past couple of weeks, Blaze Pizza and Devon Seafood and Steakhouse have become just the latest business tenants to leave Bayshore. The property owners said more change is to come before the mall takes on a new look.
Drive through Bayshore and it won't take long to realize more than 20 storefronts are now empty. John Karczewski says that wasn't the case when he opened Carpetland just to the south of Bayshore five years ago.
"We came out this way because it was a very thriving area and we wanted to make sure we had the market share out here and now with the more stores leaving, we're getting better recognition here, but I think it's hurting us a little too," he said.
Bayshore's entire indoor mall and Boston Store have been gutted for demolition. The company that owns Bayshore said none of the closures have caught them by surprise.
"The closings that you see for the most part, for the vast majority, are national decisions that they've made on the entire brand as they continue to consolidate," said Cypress Equities Managing Director Kirk Williams.
Bayshore is Glendale's largest employer and property taxpayer. Mayor Bryan Kennedy helped put together a deal with the owners to save them from filing bankruptcy and plans emerged to redevelop and revitalize the property.
"The new development is less about retail and more about making it a center where people will gather," Kennedy said.
Among the likes of new restaurants, senior housing, apartments and green space, Milwaukee Business Journal editor Mark Kass believes Bayshore still needs to land another major anchor store to thrive in the next decade.
"There aren't any anchors anymore with Sears gone, with Boston Store gone, they don't have the anchors which really is important in a mall because it draws in shoppers," he said.
Bayshore redevelopment is set to be completed in 2021. The property owners say to expect more stores to relocate in the meantime.