- Shops of Grand Avenue
The Shops of Grand Avenue (colloquially referred to as "Grand Avenue" or simply "The Grand") is an urban shopping plaza which spans three city blocks in the heart of downtown Milwaukee,
Wisconsin. It opened in 1982and hosts over 80 specialty stores, along with the largest food court in Wisconsin. [http://www.milwaukee.org/listings/index.cfm?action=displayListing&listingID=6259&catID=5&subcatID=108¬ify=1 The Shops of Grand Avenue] , "Greater Milwaukee Convention & Visitors Bureau," Retrieved May 27, 2008.]
It was named after Grand Avenue (now Wisconsin Avenue), a bustling merchant street during the 1800s. A main portion of The Grand uses the former
Plankinton Arcade(built in 1916) with many of its original features still intact. It is also named as such to help avoid being categorized as a mall (although it was formerly called Grand Avenue Mall), preferring to see itself more as a downtown shopping district with the practical convenience of being located indoors to avoid the harsh Wisconsin winters.Fact|date=September 2007 It connects to a number of nearby hotels via skywalks to help retain this feel.
The Grand was opened during a time when many downtown retail centers in major cities were shutting down. It has avoided these problems by relying on locally-owned shops that cater to the "urban" tastes of the nearby populace, in addition to the national chain-stores it houses such as
T.J. Maxx, Old Navyand its anchor Boston Store. At one time, the mall also featured Marshall Field's( Gimbelsuntil 1986) on the east edge of the mall, but the location closed in 1997. The building that housed it, now ASQ Center, is still connected to Grand Avenue by a skywalk, and features a Borders and Residence Inn, although neither are technically part of The Shops of Grand Avenue.
The Shops of Grand Avenue is the only major indoor shopping facility in the city of Milwaukee proper with the closing of Capitol Court, Southgate Mall and Northridge Mall in recent years due to competition from newly renovated malls in nearby suburbs and to
* [http://www.grandavenueshops.com/ Official site]
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