To be snarky about it, one could suggest that visiting Lloyd Center is a good way to get out of the cold, rainy weather and to avoid the crush of holiday shopping crowds.
One year ago, a major real estate property development and management firm, Urban Renaissance Group, took control of the 18-square block mall and announced that it planned to keep it as a retail and community center with its skating rink in the middle.
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There are a few new shops this season, including a magic store and a purveyor of comic books. Other low-voltage uses have included a film festival that ran for a few days in vacant shops and a roller-skating event in one of the former big stores.
Ironically, the shopping complex that once floated Portland’s retail boat may become the low-rent venue for “creative” new stores, much like run-down neighborhood commercial streets once did. A key question facing Lloyd Center is whether the new small shops can attract a sustainable customer base without the attraction of large stores.
Security also will be a challenge. Some retailers at Lloyd Center have expressed concern about security from shoplifters. A few private security officers stroll around periodically, and the large stores appear to provide their own.
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