By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Apr 10, 2013 at 1:56 PM

I’ve said this before, but I like the Grand Avenue Mall. It’s an easy lunch destination for Downtown workers, and it still has a lot of unrealized potential. It saddens me that most have written it off for dead, and I wish the City or the owners would provide a serious incentive for a few major anchor stores to come and stay for a while.

Until that happens – or if that happens – I’m visiting small sandwich places like La Delicatesse or browsing TJ Maxx on my lunch hour. Today, I took a look at the new OfficeMax on the first floor.

Kudos to this place for expanding and remodeling. It actually looks a lot like an Apple Store, except that it doesn’t sell any Apple products.

Still, many might consider this expansion a risky proposition, but I believe in the "build it and they will come" model. That’s how I launched 15 years ago. That’s how the Brewers completed Miller Park in the face of all the skeptics. That’s how it will have to be at Grand Avenue, and it can work: just look at the YMCA upstairs.

If the Grand Avenue Mall does shutter, at least I won’t be one of those people complaining how sad it is, but never visited, myself. For me, I’ll continue to visit and shop and show my support.

This mall can work Downtown, it just needs people to visit, and visit often. I’m adding OfficeMax to the top of my list for office supplies.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.