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Macy’s Could Boost Mall Profile

With the opening this fall of a Macy’s as an anchor store, management at the Antelope Valley Mall hope to give a higher profile to the retail center and upgrade its tenant mix. Macy’s will move into the building formerly occupied by Gottschalks until it closed after the chain went into bankruptcy. Palmdale city officials and representatives from Macy’s and the Antelope Valley Mall gathered at the mall on April 29 to make the official announcement. “This is a great benefit and put us on an even playing field with other shopping centers,” said mall General Manager Scott Cummings. The closest Macy’s to the Antelope Valley is in Valencia. Forest City Enterprises owns the building and will lease it to Macy’s, which opens its doors in September. The store will be renovated over the summer to fit the traditional footprint of the Macy’s brand. The city provided a $5 million loan to Forest City for fixing up the building so as to keep the mall vibrant and a vital part of the city’s economy. Palmdale officials had let Forest City executives know that if the opportunity for an upscale retailer to locate at the mall came up the city would give its support. Top of the list Gottschalks put the 104,000-square-foot building on the market in 2008 and Forest City bought it for $12 million. In seeking out a new tenant, Macy’s was one of the first chains contacted, Cummings said. The deal, however, took a bit longer than expected to close as all the parties wanted to make sure the financial arrangements were worked out. Attempts to reach a representative of Macy’s were unsuccessful. Danny Roberts, the assistant executive director of Palmdale’s redevelopment agency, said the chain had been eyeing the Antelope Valley market because its demographics were right and the population was growing. “They see it as an emerging, growing area and wanted to plant roots in the area,” Roberts said. “There would not be anything to build from scratch; it would be retrofiiting the existing building.” Both visitors to the mall and existing business owners are excited about Macy’s, Cummings said. Having a well known name should help with leasing efforts to bring in other national retailers into the mall, he added. A 100,000 square-foot building previously occupied by another clothing store still remains empty at the mall but is not owned by Forest City. The owner is considering subdividing the space, Roberts said.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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