New retailers announced for Macomb Mall

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 5, 2014

 The Kohl’s court in the Macomb Mall has new light fixtures and floor tiles as part of the interior remodeling. The rest of the mall is to receive the same treatment within the next few weeks.

The Kohl’s court in the Macomb Mall has new light fixtures and floor tiles as part of the interior remodeling. The rest of the mall is to receive the same treatment within the next few weeks.

Photo by Kevin Bunch

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ROSEVILLE — New retailers H&M, Ulta and Shoe Carnival have all announced plans to join Dick’s Sporting Goods in opening new shops at the Macomb Mall by the fall of 2015.

The new retailers are joining older tenants who are remodeling or relocating their stores, such as Lane Bryant. Champ’s and Bath & Body Works, according to Chris Brochert, partner with Lormax Stern Development Company, which owns the mall.

“We’ve got a lot of activity going on there, and with other new tenants coming in, too,” Brochert said. “I’m really, quite frankly, down to the point where I’ve only got less than 5 percent vacancy in the whole mall.”

Another five or so tenants have yet to be announced, he said, pending the signing of the leases. Poorly performing tenants also would likely be leaving the mall to make room for new ones, though Brochert did not specify which tenants.

The currently absent Macomb Mall sign also will be returning soon, he said, and it will look largely the same, though it will have some changes under the hood. It will have new panels and LED lighting, and it will be hung from the back rather than on pylons.

He added that work on the new Dick’s Sporting Goods was progressing well and that the mall is on track to see it open by Nov. 1. Additionally, work on the interior of the mall is underway, with fresh lighting, ceilings and floor coverings installed or coming in. That work should be finished by Nov. 1.

“We have a brand-new furniture package coming in for the common area,” Brochert said. “We will have seating areas, music playing in the background and Internet Wi-Fi available throughout the whole mall in common areas for the public to use for free.”

Brochert said Lormax Stern is planning an expansion between the two Gratiot-side entrances for a restaurant, and the company has had interest from about 10 more eateries for a potential food court.

Brochert said when the mall opened nearly 50 years ago, it had Sears, Crowley’s and Kresge stores as its anchors, adding a Kohl’s and Silver Cinema after an expansion and losing Kresge after that store closed. When the original property owners sold the mall to equity firms in New York in the 2000s, however, the new owners did little to keep the mall’s momentum going and did little more than maintain the leases.

Eventually, the mall went into receivership and found its way back to the original lender, Brochert said, who also did little with it.

“At that time, in a four-year period, there was a lot of negativity, and no one was focused on doing what had to be done right,” he said. “Just have the air hose in the system to keep it going, but don’t do anything.”

Since Lormax Stern purchased the mall last year, Brochert said they have been working on revitalizing it, noting that the location and the lack of competing nearby malls makes it an ideal place for the sort of stores they are working to attract — ones he said should appeal to the Roseville area.

“It’s in an area that has a very good demographic base surrounding it, and the people just don’t have anyplace to go nearby. What we’ve done to attract consumers and make it a destination area is bring in Dick’s Sporting Goods, bring in Ulta, bring in H&M, bring in Shoe Carnival,” he said. These are all stores consumers in this area would have to go 10-15 miles to go to if it wasn’t here.”

City Manager Scott Adkins said work is continuing faster than anyone in the city expected in the beginning, and that the success at the mall is having an impact in the surrounding area.

“It’s great to see successes, and it spreads outside the mall, too,” Adkins said. “Look at the new National Coney Island location (across Gratiot). Look what’s happening either way down Gratiot — they are direct impacts of what’s happening at the mall. We’re seeing more businesses opening up, even away from the mall along the Gratiot corridor.”

The mall is planning to have its 50th anniversary “re-grand opening” on Oct. 29.

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