Is the Genesee Valley Mall becoming a hub for black business?

Updated: Aug 5




FLINT- In 2012 the Genesee Valley Mall was bought by a Maryland-based firm, fostering in new property management. A purchase that featured no change to the then current employment levels in the local management offices. Seven years later of gradual decline, due to various factors, The Genesee Valley Mall found itself under new contracts once again. Namdar Realty Group, a company headquartered in New York, purchased the establishment on Dec 20th of 2019, becoming the latest realtors of the property. Now while malls are generally viewed as the premier location for family shopping and entertainment, the allure of shopping centers were plateauing. No changing scenery or options, slim to none renovations, and online shopping were all brewing factors in favor of an evolving industry. Two months after Nadamrs purchase, COVID-19 shockingly struck society. A change that no one seen coming.

    

Under a global pandemic, new regulations and contracts, many businesses fell to the new ‘enclosed’ ways of society. Entering the mall wasn’t even a option at a point, and when things did open back up, it was on a partial basis with limited options. Consumers dove deeper into online shopping, as that became essentially the only option for shoppers. The days of going in the mall to grab the latest pair of Jordans, while snacking on a few ‘Mrs. Feilds’ cookies were no longer.

    

As society continues to adjust to normalcy, not every business was able to return to its home at ‘The Valley.’ With more vacant suites then any time in recent memory, opportunists jumped at the chance of hosting there brand or service in the mall. Black own business owners were at the helm of this movement. Establishments like ‘Little Man Tattoos’ and ‘TCB Sweets & Treats,’ who respectively approach 5 and 4 years of business in the mall, set the standard and ushered in a way for black representation.  ‘Aristotle Barber & Beauty,’ famous for its distinct orange and blue layout, and ‘Drip Dollz Boutique,’ the trendy womans fashion outlet, were two of the first businesses to bravely move operations into the mall. Following the pandemic, the ‘FLINT’ store expanded its services to the mall, becoming the first locally owned fashion brand in the mall. KALM, backed by Draymond Green, Victor Cruz, Michael Strahan, and more, is another Flint originated brand gearing up for an August 6th launch. Taylor Rae’s Spoiled Princess Spa, could be the most anticipated launch. Starting August 13th, the princess spa will be offering various services, amounting to an evening of unique spoiled amenities.

    

With a new wave of products and services in the Genesee Valley Mall, It’s looks safe to say that black business owners are starting to reap the benefits of their creativity.

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