Northridge Mall's doors opened, organizers hope to generate interest in redevelopment

The doors of Northridge Mall closed several years ago, but Monday, they were opened, so that people could get an inside look at what the mall looks like today. Organizers say there has been a lot of curiosity about what the mall looks like today, and they hope opening the doors will generate interest in a facility that has been called an eyesore.

Northridge Mall was built in the 70s, on the corner of North 76th Street and Brown Deer Road in Milwaukee. The mall opened three years after Southridge, but newer and more upscale malls did better, and the mall eventually closed. The Granville-Brown Deer Chamber of Commerce says the benefits outweigh the costs when it comes to spearheading a project that would jump-start Northridge Mall re-development.

"The property has been devalued significantly, and the opportunity of what you're losing in taxes by not having something operating here is huge," Gary Mohn with the Granville-Brown Deer Chamber said.

Madeline Sheets has lived in northwest Milwaukee for 24 years, and says she has seen significant changes over the years. She says it's time to put a plan for developing the Northridge Mall space into action.

"We're watching the demographics change with younger families moving in, and also the commercial establishments in the community have started to go out of business, and we have a great concern about that. We just want renewal in our community, and we want to see an influx of business," Sheets said.

When the doors were opened Monday, there were sheets of paper posted on a wall inside the mall where people could write down ideas for developing the site. Some of the ideas included a movie theater, corporate headquarters, restaurant complex and a conference center.