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Merced Mall has some big changes in sight

Mike Conway

Post Date:11/08/2016

For more information on the Merced Mall project please contact William Kenney at 949-675-7038.)

The Merced Mall in North Merced is planning a growth spurt that could possibly add another 90,000 square feet of new retail, food and entertainment space to the Mall becoming an entertainment destination, as it continues to be the City's major retail hub.

The proposed plans for Merced Mall include possibly adding a theater complex as a second level. All of the changes are intended to appeal to the shifting tastes of the American consumer; many of whom still like to shop, while others prefer entertainment and dining experiences.

'They hit it out of the park with these plans,' said City Manager Steve Carrigan. 'This will make Merced Mall a regional destination for shoppers during the day and a fun place to go for people at night.'

'We want to match Merced Mall to the developing face of Merced,' said Lisa Codding, Codding Enterprises Chief Operating Officer. Codding Enterprises is the owner of Merced Mall. 'The changes we plan for our mall will reflect the vibrant, exciting lifestyles that are burgeoning in Merced as a result of many factors and efforts by others including UC Merced and the rapidly growing student body, faculty and support staff.'

The preliminary designs produced by Clay Fry of Studio FCF in Lafayette feature new store fronts facing Olive Avenue, a redesigned interior courtyard and stunning signage for the Mall.

'We have seen that consumer shopping habits are changing the look of retail,' said Economic Development Director Frank Quintero. 'For example, the Millennial Generation prefers to put their money into experiences rather than physical things. For them dining out, going to bars and entertainment venues are preferred over clothes and accessories.'

The Mall will be pursuing entertainment venues and dining establishments that will appeal to their target audiences as well as unique retailers not currently in the region.

Codding said they've been working behind the scenes for some time to lay the ground work for an expansion and rehabilitation. Some of the current vacancies in the Mall have been planned so redevelopment efforts could begin.

The upcoming expiration of the CVS Pharmacy lease and the kick off of the UC Merced Project 2020 campus expansion are catalysts for the Mall's plans.

Codding said it will take a few years to secure the desired new tenants, develop the plans and complete construction for the revitalization of the mall. 'We have a good team ready to start work on this exciting project,' said Lisa Codding.

Merced Mall is located on Olive Avenue between M and R Streets., The mall has more than 638,000 square feet of space and is the only enclosed regional shopping center in the area. Anchors are Sears, JC Penney, Kohl's, and Target. Smaller nationwide retailers catering to a diverse group of consumers can also be found in the Merced Mall.  They include Panera Bread, Chipotle, Tilly's, Panda Express, Baskin Robbins, Bath & Body Works, Footlocker, Lane Bryant, Claire's, See's Candy, GNC, Sunglass Hut, and many more.

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