The former Macy’s building is sitting untouched and unused. JCPenney is liquidating its merchandise and preparing to close. It’s the latest trend in the retail industry and Malls across the United States, including Eastland Mall in Bloomington, are looking to reinvent themselves.
Bloomington City Manager David Hales is highly involved with the repositioning process, Hales says that there will be retail, but they are looking to bring more entertainment and eating venues.
“We have seen some of these malls reposition themselves to be a major employment center for people we desperately need to bring to the Twin Cities area, that will bring the dollars to shop,” says Hales.
The owner’s of the Eastland Mall, CBL and Associates Properties, counts on its long track record of repositioning anchor stores.
“Over the last three years, we have taken anchor locations and turned them into retail, dining, and entertainment destinations that have completely changed the dynamic of the property,” says Stacey Keating, the public relations director for CBL. “We’re incredibly excited and optimistic about the future of Eastland Mall. The closures of both Macy’s and JCPenney present us with an unparalleled opportunity to take underperforming space and convert it into fresh new retail, driving traffic, sales and growth to the entire property. In anticipation of these closures we’ve proactively engaged in conversations with a number of retailers and other users.”
CBL also says it’s too early to inform the public about some of the entertainment prospects and stores it’s recruiting, but Bloomington City Manager David Hales mentioned that negotiations have been aggressive.
Hales tells us that the city and elected officials are looking to create a possible TIF District for the mall and surrounding area as incentive to retailers. There is no word on the next time CBL and Bloomington officials will meet, but we are told it will be in the coming months.