An H&M store, Flix Brewhouse and Lucky’s 13 Pub aren’t the only additions this year at East Towne Mall.
CBL & Associates announced Wednesday that the interior mall corridors will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation that will include new flooring, lighting, soft seating areas, color schemes and new furniture in the food court.
Work on the three-phase project will be done after hours — meaning construction crews will work from about 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. — and be completed in time for the holiday shopping season that kicks off in earnest in November.
The project, unveiled to about 30 managers and employees of mall retailers, will also include new skylights; upgrades to some restrooms, the roof and parking lots; new entrance doors and a new Santa’s Workshop, said Tammy Rozek, general manager of the 800,000-square-foot shopping center.
“We’re ever-changing, and this is making it fresh and new,” said Rozek, who has been at East Towne since 2001. “Retail is always evolving and changing.
In February, officials with East Towne announced that H&M, a clothing retailer for men, women and children, will open a 21,000-square-foot store in late October or early November that will take the place of six empty store fronts.
Four restaurant spaces in the food court will also be replaced with a Lucky’s 13 Pub, a national chain based in Minnesota. The East Towne location, scheduled to open in November, will be its first entry into Wisconsin and include entrances from the food court and the mall’s exterior.
In July, officials announced plans for a 39,000-square-foot Flix Brewhouse facility that will include nine movie theaters and a 134-seat restaurant. The facility, which will be built where Steinhafel’s had been located, was initially scheduled to open this fall, but the opening has been pushed back to next April, said Tiffany Schultz, the mall’s marketing director. Steinhafel’s is moving to remodeled space in the former American TV location, 5215 High Crossing Blvd., while its old building will be removed to make way for Flix, Schultz said.
The mall most recently underwent a renovation in 2003. Since that time, internet sales by retailers have continued to grow while more shopping opportunities have blossomed in the area, including the Shoppes at Prairie Lakes in Sun Prairie, home to major retailers Cabela’s, Costco, Target and Woodman’s Food Market.
East Towne opened in 1971 and, other than department stores such as JC Penney and Sears, Spencer’s is the only remaining original tenant, Rozek said.
There are no plans for a similar project at CBL-owned West Towne, Schultz said.
Paula Butina, a district manager for the 2,500-square-foot Hallmark store in East Towne, said the improvements to the mall will help sales and help keep the mall more relevant in the highly competitive retail sector.
“We’re thrilled about the new remodel,” Butina said. “I think it will be really advantageous to attracting new tenants and increasing traffic.
“One of the biggest challenges is traffic for brick-and-mortar stores, so this will absolutely, with these new tenants, bring additional foot traffic.”