NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A spokesperson for Apple confirmed to 10 On Your Side Friday morning that the store at MacArthur Center will permanently close.
The spokesperson did not provide a reason for the store closure or a closing date, but he said that everyone employed at that location will be offered other jobs within Apple.
There is one other Apple store in the Hampton Roads region, at Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach.
“We look forward to helping customers at Apple Lynnhaven Mall, as well as on Apple.com and our popular Apple Store and Support apps.”
According to the Apple retail website, the Norfolk location is currently only open for pickup of online orders and “Genius Support” by appointment. Walk-in customers are not allowed at this time.
Nordstrom, an anchor store at MacArthur Center, closed in 2019 after two decades at the Downtown Norfolk location. WAVY News 10 has reported that the city is exploring the idea of converting that space into city offices.
WAVY reached out to the city Friday for an update and spokesperson Lori Crouch responded via email, “We are still evaluating the Nordstrom space.”
Economist Dr. Robert McNab, Director of the Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy at Old Dominion University predicts it won’t be long before the final tenant leaves the mall. When that happens he predicts problems for the owner and the city.
The real estate valuation for MacArthur Center and other large retail malls, he explained, has dropped dramatically over the last five years. “And so the property owners are typically underwater. So, at the end of the day these are going to become foreclosed properties,” McNab said.
10 On Your Side reached out to mall management repeatedly to ask about future plans;
so far no one has responded.
“It’s going to have to be converted or demolished and converted into some type of residential establishment,” McNab said.
Crouch made it clear the city cannot just tear it down because they don’t own the mall, just that one storefront. She did say however, “We are eager to have discussions with the owners about the future.”
They should be eager, because, according to McNab, with the loss of the mall comes a big loss in retail sales tax for the city. They’re going to need to find a way to bring in more money.