Westdale Mall retailers open during demolition---for now - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Westdale Mall retailers open during demolition---for now

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - After months of delays crews finally began knocking down parts of Westdale Mall.

"We are so excited that the public can finally see what we've been working towards," said Lisa Rowe, Westdale Mall General Manager.

The struggling mall is frequently empty. Leo Young at The Popcorn Shoppe says patrons are surprised he's still open, though he won't be at the mall for long. Like most store owners he has to move out by March 31st.

"It's been challenging," said Young. "I'm just not finding places that are viable for me."

As the mall becomes a new shopping destination -- complete with stores, restaurants, a hotel and even condos, just the anchor stores will remain in business.
The rest of the mall will be knocked down.

"It'll be a chapter and an exciting new development," said Rowe.

Shoppers like Gary Gray agree.

"I've used the mall mostly for the library up until they moved so it's been eye opening to see something new coming in," said Gray, who lives in Cedar Rapids.

Developers hope the building will demolished by this summer. Though it's a multi-year project, some new stores could open as soon as next year.

"We're seeking out new tenants that aren't already represented in the market and that's going to give us extreme value and pull people in from all over eastern Iowa," said Rowe.

Mall officials say they have letters of intent from future retailers, though couldn't give us any names because leases aren't finalized. Current tenants will be able to move back once the mall is finished, if they choose to.
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