|Looking back at a farther distance to JCPenney. This section is probably the weakest in the mall, but it's not really struggling.|
Looking downward from JCP and towards center court.
|It's hard to get a simpler design that what NGM has to offer. The only thing to note would be that Younkers has no real wing, but as I said, there's no room to do so.|
While North Grand looked great on the day I visited (and it's overall doing well), with constant crowds and only two vacancies, the mall seems to be weakly fitted for the future. Not only is an anchor closing, but there was really no major draw that I could sense in the area. While the stores themselves would help bring in the masses from the smaller towns around Ames such as Boone and Nevada, there's not much of a draw for Ames or Des Moines residents. The only entertainment comes in the form of a small theatre that has been operating on and off through the years. A thirty-minute drive on I-35 brings you to more diverse shopping and entertainment in the capital, and numerous other draws. While a major university nearby gives the added benefit of thousands of students to draw off of, a bored college student may choose to rather spend a day in Des Moines instead of at the mall in Ames. In this case, perhaps North Grand is simply too small.
|The main entrance is architecturally unremarkable from the rest of the mall. While some malls without food courts turn their main entrance into a de facto food hall, only a bakery exists in the entrance here.|
|Younkers entrance, closing signs included. The gray tint on this photo comes from the sun pouring in through the skylight on the court's roof.|
|Looking down to TJMaxx. Were there once more foliage and fountains pre-2006? For a mall that still retains some older aesthetic, the hallways (and especially center court) are very bare.|
|Looking back to center court and Younkers. Sure it's outdated, but the tile works pretty well the whole feel of the mall.|
|Heading down to TJMaxx. This corridor feels a lot darker than the JCPenney wing. It also holds many of the more popular chains offered at the mall.|
|The TJMaxx entrance is nothing to write home about. On the topic of entrances, the Sears that once stood here had a relic of one until shortly before its demise.|
|Here's the aforementioned Sears. Note the beautiful interior and the entrances. How much I would have done to see this store. I'm not sure if there are any other remaining Sears that look like this.|
|Squeezed into the side of the mall is this tiny cinema. What occupied this space previous to it being a cinema?|
|JCPenney and Younkers both are as plain as you can get on the outside.|
|Not a great photo of Younkers, but the architects definitely slacked on this store.|
|Classic 70's Penney's on the front.|
|Wide view stretching the front of the mall.|