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Cortana manager confident mall can succeed after sale

Cortana manager confident mall can succeed after sale

By April Casto


The manager of Cortana Mall says he believes Baton Rouge is a "two-mall town" that has all the elements needed to revive the ailing shopping center at Airline Highway and Florida Boulevard. The 37-year old mall, which is just 54% occupied, is under new ownership after investors purchased the property last month for $6 million, promising to breathe new life into it. In its heyday, Cortana was the region's premier shopping destination. But since the Mall of Louisiana opened in 1997, Cortana has struggled with changing demographics and a loss of major retailers. Fred Meno, president and CEO of asset services for mall-manager The Woodmont Company, contends that Cortana is well-positioned for prosperity. With a good location and good traffic, he says, the fundamentals for retail success are already in place.

A recent market analysis showed an estimated traffic count near the mall of 100,000 vehicles a day. The new owners, Moonbeam Equities, have a strategy to lure value-oriented retailers that will appeal to shoppers who are motivated by a bargain. That could give Cortana a competitive edge among residents of north Baton Rouge, where shoppers are more value-minded and the nearest competitors are generally pricier and much further south. Meno says he'd like to attract a "state-of-the-art theater" to the area, which he believes could serve as a catalyst for Cortana's rebirth.


Castro, A (2013, April 9), Cortana manager confident mall can succeed after sale, Business, April 11, 2013,