SIOUX CITY, Iowa (4/1/04)—The Sioux City market's first Barnes & Noble store opened last week at Southern Hills Mall, the latest in a series of improvements to the regional center's merchandise mix that will be followed by the opening of a new JC Penney department store this summer.
Offering entry from both the parking lot and mall interior, the 25,000-square-foot Barnes & Noble bookstore and café joins a mix of anchors and sub-anchors at the 795,000-square-foot mall that now includes a recently renovated Sears, Younkers, Scheels All Sports and a Carmike 12-screen theater that was converted to stadium seating in a project that concluded in April 2003. Located on Sergeant Road, a major Sioux City thoroughfare, Southern Hills Mall is co-owned by The Macerich Company and Simon Property Group, with Macerich handling the property's management and leasing.
The new JC Penney store will open in the mall's 100,000-square-foot former Target space, which it purchased in late 2003. An extensive refurbishment is currently underway, including the construction of a new brick façade, major upgrades to the interior and the relocation of several entrances.
. Excluding Penney, which owns its building, a total of 37 leases for 188,000 square feet of space were executed during 2002 and 2003, including 17 new deals, relocations and expansions spanning 108,000 square feet. That activity was highlighted by the openings Barnes & Noble and the 59,000-square-foot Scheels superstore in April 2003. To accommodate Scheels, Macerich and Simon built 50,000 square feet of new retail space and converted an additional 9,000 square feet of existing space.
In addition to Scheels and Barnes & Noble, the wing of the mall anchored by Sears will offer a 7,500-square-foot Chuck E. Cheese restaurant and entertainment center that is expected to open this month. Among specialty retailers, activity over the past two years included additions of such merchants as Aeropostale and AT&T, while The Buckle, American Eagle Outfitters, Family Christian Stores and GNC relocated within the mall to field their newest prototypes. Out on the pad, a Hy-Vee convenience store and gas station opened in fall 2003 adjacent to the property's freestanding Hy-Vee supermarket.
“We are very pleased to have executed so many new leases over the past 24 months at Southern Hills Mall,” commented Mark Klein, Macerich v.p, leasing, Central/Eastern. “The exceptional level of interest we have seen is validation of the strength of this property and its local dominance in this market.”
With the nearest regional mall 90 miles away, Southern Hills draws from an overall market of over 276,000 people in nearly 104,000 households within a 50-mile radius. Even with the temporary loss of an anchor following Target's closure in July 2003, mall store sales averaged $300 per square foot in 2003, with mall occupancy at 91.7%.
Beyond the improvements to the merchant mix, Southern Hills moved to enhance its appeal to area residents and tourists during 2003 through the addition of “Lewis & Clark: An American Adventure,” a 296-foot stretch of murals above storefronts that commemorates the bicentennial of the explorers' expedition. The one-of-a-kind exhibit tells the story of the journey from start to finish on 38 paintings. In connection with this, the mall also added a children's soft play area designed with a Lewis & Clark theme.
“With its diverse mix of retail and entertainment, and programs like Lewis & Clark, Southern Hills is a true town center for the Siouxland region,” said Wendell Nault, Macerich assistant v.p., leasing. Looking ahead, he noted that plans call for adding casual dining restaurants on pad sites fronting Sergeant Road, as well for developing a multi-tenant building on the exterior for upscale retailers that have yet to penetrate the Sioux City market.
For leasing information, contact Wendell Nault, assistant v.p., The Macerich Company, 2040 Valley View Center, Dallas, Texas, 75240, 800-661-3309.
The Macerich Company, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., is a fully integrated self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust, which focuses on the acquisition, leasing, management, redevelopment and development of regional malls throughout the United States. The Company is the sole general partner and owns an 82% ownership interest in The Macerich Partnership, L.P. Macerich now owns approximately 60 million square feet of retail space, including interests in 59 regional malls. Additional information about The Macerich Company can be obtained from the Company's website at www.macerich.com
Susan Valentine, Senior V.P.
at Parness & Associates Public Relations,