Filling in the Borders

The cavernous space that once housed Borders on Fordham is about to be filled… by a recent retail visitor to Chapel Hill.  And, like the last time, this visit will be temporary.

A month-long J.Crew pop-up warehouse sale is opening there for the month of October. 
Property Manager Joe Mendola says he’s been working hard to fill the 25,000+ square foot space since Borders closed last spring.  
J.Crew has had success here before, when it occupied an empty space in University Mall.  The photo below shows the crowds it attracted last winter when it brought in merchandise  from dozens of stores and made it a special event.  
Last April, University Mall General Manager Peter de Leon told me the J.Crew event brought it lots of traffic, particularly younger customers who are not frequent mall visitors.  He told me then J. Crew’s success opened the door to a repeat event. 
I asked de Leon today about J. Crew’s plans to return to Chapel Hill but not to the mall.  While he wishes the company was returning, he says University Mall couldn’t offer J.Crew a space big enough, “They wanted something bigger.”      

A source at J.Crew concurred that the larger location is what decided where it will open.  I learned also that Chapel Hill is one of about 4 places the company holds these sales and it’s the college town aspect of Chapel Hill that makes it a good place to set  pop up.  

Chapel Hill Economic Development Officer Dwight Bassett is glad to welcome J.Crew, “ This will be a positive short-term addition for Chapel Hill and hopefully can lead to a future tenant that will be a positive addition to our business community long-term.” 
As for that long-term tenant?  Mendola tells me to stay tuned; he’s working on a long-term deal with new tenant.  He would give me (us) the following clue:  “it’s community-minded”.
Are you ready to get in line for J.Crew’s pop-up?  It will be open Oct. 7-23rd.  On the 7th and 8th it will be open 8am-8pm.  From the 9th-23rd the store will be open 10am-8pm.  Customers will find samples and some returned merchandise.  What would you like to see next in that spot?  Leave a comment below or write to me at