GALESBURG, Illinois - - After sitting vacant for more than a decade, sparks are flying at a former Walmart store on Tuesday, May 8.
"It's really, really transforming the look of North Henderson Street," said Ken Springer, president of Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development.
Galesburg Crossings is a retail rethinking that will offer shoppers more choices during challenging times.
The shopping center will open by early fall 2018 while bringing renewed retail strength to Henderson Street.
"It's a quality of life thing," Springer continued. "Having different shopping opportunities is great for residents. It contributes to the feeling of place."
Galesburg Crossings will feature Marshalls, PetSmart, Harbor Freight Tools and Five Below. Each of the stores is new to Galesburg, and there's also room to grow.
While much of the recent retail growth moved to North Seminary Street, this creates attention for an important corridor.
"I think that points the way for future retail redevelopment," Springer said.
The project comes during challenging times for retailers. Galesburg is bracing to lose JCPenney and Bergner's in coming weeks. Sandburg Mall could also face the wrecking ball.
Just across the street, Galesburg Crossings will maintain a gateway into town.
"I think that's a good indicator for anybody that's looking at the mall redevelopment that North Henderson is a very viable retail corridor," Springer said.
There will be changes and choices to, hopefully, keep shoppers spending locally.