Macy’s could be part of Southridge Mall redevelopment

Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc. is in negotiations with Cincinnati-based Macy’s Inc. to bring a Macy’s department store to Southridge Mall in Greendale, according to a Milwaukee commercial real estate source.
Simon is working on a multi-million dollar plan for a dramatic renovation of Southridge, which is expected to include several new tenants. The company is still working on details of its plans for the Southridge project, and a spokesman declined to name any potential new tenants.
“As far as new tenants, our policy is not to announce them until we have leases fully executed, which is not the case yet,” Simon spokesman Les Morris said.
The mall is currently anchored by Kohl’s, Sears, JCPenney and Boston Store. However another anchor tenant, Younker’s, left the mall several years ago. Part of the Younker’s space was occupied by Linen’s and Things and Steve & Barry’s stores, but then they also closed.
Macy’s, Inc., operates about 850 stores under the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s banners. There is only one Macy’s store in southeastern Wisconsin, located at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa. There are also Macy’s stores in Madison, Appleton, Eau Claire and La Crosse.
Macy’s would be an upscale addition for Southridge Mall. In recent years village officials have been concerned that the quality of stores has declined at Southridge, said Village President John Hermes.
Village officials are proposing $15.85 million in tax incremental financing to assist and incentive the redevelopment of the mall. Simon Group is expected to spend far more than that on the project and is working to bring a more upscale tenant mix to the mall, Hermes said.
“They are working with many national, upscale retail stores to repopulate Southridge,” Hermes said. He also declined to name specific tenants that Simon is talking to for Southridge.
Simon is still working on details about what improvements it plans to make to the mall, and how much the project will cost.
“We haven’t defined the scope of the project yet,” said Simon spokesman Les Morris. “It’s still very early.”
However, an analysis of the proposed TIF district for the project, done by Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird, indicates that the improvements are expected to increase the property value of the mall by $52.5 million.
The improvements will be for the 1.2-square-foot mall’s existing footprint and will not involve expansion or a dramatic shift in the mall’s layout.
“According to what they have told us the mall will look absolutely brand new,” Hermes said. “Nothing will be left untouched inside the mall, is what they have told us. And much of the exterior will also be improved.”
Simon plans to spend $1.6 billion to redevelop 16 malls, including Southridge.
Simon hopes to break ground for the project next year, Morris. A public hearing for the proposed TIF district will be held on Dec. 1.
“We’re very excited about the potential opportunities that this redevelopment will bring,” Hermes said.

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