Friendly Center is a large, open-air shopping center located in northwestern Greensboro, North Carolina, at the intersection of Wendover Avenue and Friendly Avenue. The shopping center opened in August 1957. With its unusual sector design, Friendly Center is essentially an outdoor lifestyle center. Its anchor tenants include Belk, Macy's, and Sears. Other tenants include Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, The Grande Theatre a 16-screen multiplex cinema operated by Consolidated Theatres of Charlotte, and a number of national retailers such as Banana Republic and Victoria's Secret.
Since the renaming of Hecht's to Macy's and the addition of The Shops at Friendly Center, a new outdoor center with over 25 exclusive stores and restaurants, Friendly Center is set to remain a major center in Greensboro and the Triad area. The combined retail footprint of both Friendly Center and The Shops at Friendly Center is larger than the enlosed mall across town, Four Seasons Town Centre. With the changing demographic and the popularity shift toward lifestyle centers, Friendly Center's popularity is bound to grow. It already has stores like The Limited, Bath & Body Works, Express, The GAP, Eddie Bauer, Talbots, Birkenstock Feet First, Pier 1, and New York & Company.
In early 2006, construction of The Shops at Friendly Center began after the Burlington Industries building was demolished. With its official grand opening on October 19, 2006, The Shops at Friendly Center includes many retail shops that are exclusive to the Triad area such as Brooks Brothers, REI, Coldwater Creek, White House/Black Market, Pendleton, J. Jill, and Johnston & Murphy. Additionally, several fine dining restaurants have located at the center, including P.F. Chang's, Fleming's Prime Steak House and Wine Bar, Bravo Cucina Italiana, and Mimi's Cafe. On November 8, 2006, a 72,000-square-foot (6,700 m2) Harris Teeter supermarket opened, making it the chain's largest in North Carolina. The former Harris Teeter, located at Friendly Center, was demolished and a BB&T office structure was erected in its place.
On April 3, 2007, Starmount Company announced they've put Friendly Center up for sale along with most of their other commercial real estate. On October 5, 2007 it was reported that CBL & Associates put a contract in to buy Friendly Center and all of Starmount Company's retail and office holdings. On January 4, 2008, The Triad Business Journal reported that CBL & Associates paid more than $200 million for Friendly Center and the Shops at Friendly Center.
The Shops at Friendly Center
Harris Teeter (72,000 sq ft., largest store in the chain)
Barnes & Noble (25,158 sq ft.)
Belk (139,880 sq ft.)
Macy's (149,152 sq ft., formerly Hecht's, originally Thalhimer's)
Sears (164,892 sq ft., 17,194 sq ft (1,597.4 m2). TBA, 182,086 sq ft (16,916.3 m2). total)
The Regal Grande Theatre (60,806 sq ft., 16 screens)