As Westdale Mall prepares to rebuild, shoppers reflect - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

As Westdale Mall prepares to rebuild, shoppers reflect

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - These days, Bill and Judy Schatz mostly use Westdale Mall as a place to walk. But they remember a time when things were different.

"We remember when it opened," said Judy. "It was a really vibrant place and a good place to shop."

Anytime you go to Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids, it's pretty common to see people like the Schatzs out here walking. But what you don't always see is a lot of people carrying shopping bags.

Developers hope all that changes after they rebuild the mall.

The plan is to knock down all but the anchor stores and build a new, open-air shopping destination.

"It's a bittersweet time for Westdale," said Lisa Rowe, Westdale Mall General Manager. "We're very excited about the new development but it's always sad to say goodbye to the great group of retailers that we have."

Only JCPenney and Younkers get to stay. The other businesses have to be out by the end of the month.

Locally-owned Something Special is still trying to find a special new home.

"Even with things starting to dwindle down, our customers have kept us in business," said Something Special manager Terri Dyrland.

Locker Room Legends will move across town to Lindale Mall. And the Popcorn Shoppe is heading south to North Liberty.

"I'm hoping that the move is going to help us," said Leo Young, Popcorn Shoppe co-owner.

As the final days tick by, you see more and more locks on doors. Closed gates. Final sales. Mall walkers continuing to come in for their last walks.

"We certainly hope it's a successful venture," said Bill.

"We're anxious to see what they bring in for businesses," said Judy.

Starting April 1, the common areas at Westdale Mall will be closed and only JCPenney, Younkers and City Looks Salon & Spa will remain open.

The salon will move out in a few weeks when its new space near the mall is ready.

New stores will begin opening early next year.
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