It's been talked about for a long time, but plans to revitalize South Ridge Mall on Des Moines east side are finally making headway. Monday, owners unveiled the progress on "phase one" of the $27 million project.
The project started last spring with demolition, but now the progress on the building is really starting to show. Scott McMurray, the Local Developer for the Macerich Company which owns Southridge Mall, said they have had a very compressed time frame, so the fact that they are on schedule is a big accomplishment. McMurray said they couldn’t start much earlier, because the company just took sole ownership in January of 2012.
“Selfishly we hope that it revitalizes the property which encompasses 140 acres. Outside of that we`re hoping to provide a hub for the south side of Des Moines and the future growth of Des Moines,” said McMurray.
On November 1st, McMurray said T-Mobile, Route 21 and Footlocker will be moving in. A shoe carnival will follow shortly after, along with another major tenant still to be announced. There are also several other businesses planning to settle in, McMurray said, but those announcement are still to come. They are also always looking for new additions.
People living nearby explained that while they are excited to see what the “new mall” will have to offer, they are most anticipating what this project could do for the south side of Des Moines.
“I think it`s a great idea. It’s going to bring business to the Southside and make things better for all the residents,” said Chris Bolten from Des Moines.
“It’s about time something starts going on the south side. It seems like all the building is out west and we have a community here and we need some updating and revamping in this area over here,” said Tanya Behrens, who lives in Des Moines.
November 10th is the soft grand opening.
The renovation also includes space for a Des Moines Area Community College, which is set to go in the former JC Penny's area.
There are also plans to build indoor sports facility.