MILWAUKEE (WRN) - The New Year could bring a very large Chinese retail complex to Wisconsin. According to the Journal Sentinel, a new joint venture is being formed to raise money to convert Milwaukee’s old Northridge Mall into a center with up to 200 Chinese shops and restaurants. The Toward Group, an investment firm in Beijing, is working with a group of U.S. investors led by Milwaukee’s Robert Kraft. He says the Chinese group is recruiting shops that would sell electronics, clothes, furniture, toys, and other Chinese goods. And the mall itself would undergo improvements as well. An affiliate of the Toward Group bought Northridge in 2008 for around $6 million. Its plans for the mall were first reported on the China Daily’s Web site. Northridge has been closed since 2003, and a Los Angeles group tried but failed to open the site a couple years later to offices, health care, and distribution facilities. The mall has over 800,000 square feet. Kraft says the current plan is to open at least part of the mall by next August.
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