Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., the owner of Southridge Mall in Greendale, announced this week that a Macy’s store will move into the former Younkers store space at the south end of the mall.
Macy’s vice president of media relations Andrea Schwartz said the company will hire 160 people to work at the Southridge store.
The addition of Macy’s will be part of a multi-million dollar renovation of the 41-year-old, 1.2 million-square-foot mall.
“The mall is going to be completely transformed,” said Scott Richardson, regional vice president of development for Simon. “Every part of the mall is going to be renovated. Every surface that you see there will be touched.”
Richardson declined to disclose the cost of the project.
“It is substantial,” he said.
Macy’s Inc. will renovate the former Younkers space and open a 150,000-square-foot, two-floor Macy’s department store next spring. The Younkers closed in 2000. Parts of the former Younker’s store were later occupied by Steve & Barry’s and Linens ‘n Things stores, which have also closed.
The addition of Macy’s will help Simon attract new tenants to the mall, especially the south end of the mall, where Macy’s will be located.
Simon’s leasing team is in Las Vegas this week at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) RECon annual retail real estate convention and is trying to attract additional tenants to Southridge, Richardson said. The addition of Macy’s and H&M, which is under construction at Southridge, will help attract more quality tenants, he said.
“The leasing effort is going to be big,” Richardson said.
The leasing representative for Southridge Mall is Robert Alexander.
“We’re already working on lease commitments with new tenants in conjunction with the renovation plans,” he said. “With new tenants and a renovated mall, we feel we can truly launch Southridge Mall to the next level.”
Most of the renovation work on the mall will be completed by next spring. The rest will be completed by early summer, Richardson said. Simon wants to get as much of the renovation work as possible done in time for the opening of the Macy’s store, he said.
The renovation of the mall will include: redesigned entrances, updated outdoor signage and landscaping, full transformation of the food court, relocation of the play area adjacent to the food court, addition of soft seating areas, redesigned customer service area, redesign of railings to include contemporary glasswork, new carpet and tile flooring, redesigned common areas and cosmetic upgrades of the texture and color palette of the entire property.
“(The renovation project) is going to transform this mall from what you see today,” said Southridge general manager Patrick Basche.
When the renovation is completed, Southridge Mall will, “look brand new,” Richardson said.
Much of the renovation work will be done at night when the mall is closed to reduce disruption of the mall’s tenants and customers, Richardson said.
The tenant lineup at the mall will evolve, Richardson said, but Simon does not want it to become an exclusively upscale mall.
“It’s going to be a mix of everything,” Richardson said. “We like to be all things to all people.”
Village of Greendale officials are hoping the addition of Macy’s and renovation of Southridge Mall will help revitalize the South 76th Street commercial corridor. The village is providing $10 million in tax incremental financing (TIF) to assist with the Southridge redevelopment project.
“We are encouraged that a retail leader like Macy’s has recognized the great opportunities in Greendale,” said village president John Hermes.
Macy’s also announced this week that it plans to open a store at Gurnee Mills in Gurnee, Ill. Macy’s currently has five stores in Wisconsin, but only one in the Milwaukee area at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa. Schwartz declined to say if the company was considering more stores in the Milwaukee area.