Long-Term Tenant Reacts to SouthPark Mall’s Future Plan

Officials from the City of Moline and the Owners of SouthPark Mall met on Thursday, November 7th, 2013.

The meeting was scheduled to discuss a redevelopment plan for SouthPark Mall, which celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2014.

Preliminary renderings obtained by News 8 earlier this week show Macerich, NorthPark and SouthPark Mall’s Owner, plans to tear down the old Sears building and turn some storefronts out to offer shoppers direct access to individual stores from the parking lot.

David Cahoon, Owner of Exotic Imports in SouthPark Mall, says he’s excited about the new layout.

“I think the strip mall combination with an indoor mall is the next phase of what retail shopping should look like,” Dave said.

Exotic Imports celebrated its 20th Anniversary inside SouthPark Mall on Thursday. The store offers a unique assortment of gifts and ethnic wear. Dave says that’s one reason why his business has lasted for so long.

“I don’t know an independent that’s been here longer,” Dave said.

Between November 7, 1993 and November 7, 2013, Dave says everything in terms of retailing has changed… from online shopping to the popularity of indoor malls.

“Over the years, I’ve witnessed greater leasing than what we have now,” Dave said, whose store sits next to one of several empty storefronts in the mall.

However, he says he’s seeing positive changes from Macerich.

“Simple things like paving the parking lot to replacing air conditioning units and cleaning windows that I hadn’t witnessed in previous ownership.”

Moline’s Director of Economic Development told News 8’s Chris Minor earlier in the week that redevelopment “plans hinge on a request to the Illinois Department of Transportation for a new mall entrance off John Deere Road.” The city expects an answer in the coming weeks.

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