Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jamestown Mall to be Reborn as Mixed-Use Center

Carlyle Development Group, the owner of Jamestown Mall in North County, has unveiled plans to convert the property from a traditional enclosed mall into a mixed-use commerce center where area residents can live, work, dine and shop.

“We're developing an economic driver for North County," said Thomas Fear, senior vice president of Carlyle Development Group, the firm that owns and is redeveloping the property. “Our goal is to restore energy to the mall and make it an exciting, fresh destination.”

The project master plan contains four phases with many significant changes taking place in its initial phase. One of the major components of Phase I is the conversion of the vacant 215,000 square-foot space, formerly occupied by Dillard’s department store, into back-office space. The plan also calls for the closing of 100,000 square feet of other retail space in the Dillard's wing. “The level of vacancies in that particular wing is detrimental to the overall success of the mall,” says Fear. “Our goal is to reinvigorate the property by bringing all of the retail occupants together in designated parts of the property while taking the excess retail space out of the picture.” The excess retail will be furloughed until it is the right time to lease it as traditional retail, service retail or ancillary office space.

Existing retailers in the Dillard’s wing will be relocated to the north and east wings of the property. This shift will increase occupancy in the mall and result in a more vibrant retail environment, Carlyle Group said. The estimated cost of the master plan is in excess of $120 million and is projected to commence in the first quarter of 2009. Carlyle Development Group is actively pursuing office tenants and is anticipating announcing newly signed tenants over the course of the next few months.

“The vacant square footage may never return to retail,” Fear noted. “It was time for some fresh thinking. Retail is no longer the sole driver for successful development. We analyzed the property and knew we had to change the mix.”

Future phases of the plan include The Residences at Coldwater Creek, a 200-unit, active adult and senior living community which will be located off of Old Jamestown Road and approximately 360,000 square feet of suburban low-rise office along Lindberg Boulevard (Highway 67). A small service retail component along Lindbergh Boulevard is also planned.

“North County needs a vision for the future,” says Michael O'Mara, councilman for St. Louis County's 4th District. “The redevelopment of Jamestown Mall is central to that vision.”