LANSING, Michigan – The company that owns the Meridian Mall in Okemos is now out of bankruptcy and is looking to reallocate parts of the property as shoppers’ habits change.
“We’re looking to add restaurants, entertainment, other uses like hospitality, which means hotels and multi-family homes in some markets, but it’s really too early to say exactly what awaits Meridian,” said Stacey Keating of CBL Properties, owner of over 60 shopping centers across the country.
“We need more, maybe a better department store. Shoe stores with more reasonably priced shoes, ”said Bonnie and John Vsoske, who shopped at the mall on Black Friday.
Another client, Dallis Squires, said he would like to see something more whimsical.
“A candy store. Like a huge Willy Wonka candy store, ”he said.
Keating says the mall opened a go-cart track, something that wouldn’t have been there 10 years ago.
“When we look at redeveloping or adding new uses to a shopping center, it really depends on what the market can support and what is lacking in the market and where the opportunity exists,” Keating said.
Mall retailer Alex Jones and his partner run an event organization business here. He says it’s flourishing because he thinks outside the box.
“We could do something with this space. And the mall was able to work with us and they are very impressed. In fact, the owner, CBL and his associates were here two weeks ago and were very impressed. It was like 20 homeowners had come and they were visiting their properties and trying to see what they need to do to get out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, ”said Jones, of We Come to You Event Planning.
Jones says being creative is key because he’s seen so many people fall back on him.
At present, the Meridian Mall has approximately 125 stores.
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