On the same day that Sears announced that it would close their 330,000 square foot anchor store at Woodland Mall, the owners of one of the area’s largest and oldest remaining regional mall announced that they would “recapture” the Sears wing and convert it to new use.
According to a press release from PREIT, the owner of Woodland Mall: “The Company has an executed lease with a fashion department store to replace Sears at Woodland Mall, providing a remarkable opportunity to enhance this premier property.” – PREIT CEO, Joseph F Coradino.
According to our sources and from a site plan on PREIT’s website, the new department store would be a Von Maur, an upscale retailer which is often referred to as “Nordstrom Lite” based out of Davenport, Iowa.Von Maur has been looking to get into the Grand Rapids market for several years, and has been shown on several proposed retail developments in the Grand Rapids area recently, including the “now dead” Walker lifestyle center and the 3 Mile and East Beltline lifestyle center. Von Maur is also in expansion mode, now with 30 stores in 14 states with new stores in Georgia and Wisconsin planned for 2017.
Because the Sears store footprint was so large, one of the largest remaining department stores in the State of Michigan, PREIT proposes to turn the area into a new wing of stores. The site plan also shows a proposed new Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy, and several new outlet stores including The Container Store and sporting retailer REI.
Jeff Hill is a contributor to GRNow and a development and economics junkie who likes to keep his finger on the pulse of what’s next for Grand Rapids. He also dabbles in residential construction, real estate and development himself to help pay the bills. You can email him feedback or insider story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.