Westdale Mall tenants worried about future, development delays causing problems now
Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
Full of sweets and treats, the Popcorn Shoppe has been operating out of Westdale Mall for three years.
"The management made me a good deal and this is a start-up business, so I went with it," said Leo Young, co-owner.
The owners are excited about the $108 million Westdale redevelopment in the works. They've been offered a space inside the old Von Maur building and hope to be able to move their business there.
"I have no idea what it's going to cost me," said Young.
Several companies have questions over how much rent will cost including anchor store J.C. Penney. Store officials have been in negotiations with the Frew Development Group for months, and city leaders hope that a deal is reached soon.
"It's too important to Cedar Rapids for this thing to fall apart," said Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett. "We feel confident that they're going to come to a resolution. It just probably wasn't as soon as we would have liked to have seen."
Other plans have also needed to slow down. Crews were supposed to start demolishing the old Montgomery Ward building this fall. That's been pushed back.
The delays are impacting the businesses still operating out of the mall.
"It's affected business badly," said Young. "I'm not the only one."
Tenants hope their questions are answered soon.
The mall's general manager said that the developers are now working to complete all site design before beginning demolition. Originally they were going to demolish in phases. She thinks they'll catch up to their construction timeline next year.
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