From 1962 through the early 1990s, Northgate had three major anchors, 30+ specialty stores, a movie theater, a two-story bank, several bars & restaurants, a huge private hardware store with multiple floors, and a free-standing ice cream barn open during summer. Judging from the parking lots - two in front and five in back - the mall was the epitome of modern suburban shopping.
"50" is the new "30" my ASS.
It always pisses me off when malls like Northgate fall into disrepair. To me, these places are history, and I envision their modern potential. If I had the bucks, I'd revamp the entire complex - using the present strip malls of Sun City, AZ (built in 1960) as inspiration.
Sun City's original strip malls are also obsolete, but they've all been reimagined as clean, kitschy, well-merchandised thrift stores that attract shoppers from throughout the Phoenix area. Northgate has a nice thrift store now (in one of the old anchors), but its specialty is furniture - which means there are opportunities for other/different "specialized" thrift stores (including high-end). Ultimately, all businesses are welcome - provided they maintain a cleanliness curb-appeal. No dirty windows. No cluttered sidewalks.
On the backside of Northgate, I'd encourage businesses that directly benefit the community - like a BIG Laundromat (with Cable TV, steam-iron tables, and a kids playground), a Hispanic Bookstore/Newsstand, a place for teens to go at night (like a hip community center with realistic activities), and of course, a great local hair/nail salon. An Internet cafe is a must. I'd also like to see a comic shop with game nights.
If you build it, the gays will come with their credit cards.