WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Major changes are coming to Wilmington’s Independence Mall. From its look, to its name, the new owner of the property has some big plans in the works.
Shopper Joanne Cura says she tries not to shop at Independence Mall.
“It’s outdated, it’s dirty and there’s really no good stores there,” Cura said.
Many people think Independence Mall needs a facelift.
“I think it needs to be updated, cleaner, nicer stores, more upscale stores like at Mayfaire,” Cura said.
The new owner, Rouse Properties, is in its planning stages right now. CEO Brian Harper said they are transforming Independence Mall into a contemporary mixed-use center with a new name, The Collection at Independence.
“We are really looking forward to unlocking the true embedded potential of the property and bringing to this community a retail experience that is unlike anything else in the market,” Harper said.
Harper said they plan to remove sections of the mall, opening it up to make it more modern. Although Harper could not comment on which new businesses may head this way, he said there are a lot of tenants interested that would be new to the area.
“Not only is Wilmington historic in nature, but it continues to grow and diversify,” Harper said. “We want to play our part in assisting with this revitalization, which we believe we can do by creating a lifestyle center that almost acts as a de facto downtown. I think people are going to be really excited by the finished product.”
It is a transformation aimed at bringing life back into the shopping center and one shoppers said would make them more likely to check it out.
“It would, ’cause I love staying in this part of town. With the traffic driving to Mayfaire is a pain, so I’d like to staying in this part of town,” Cura said.
Harper said they are happy with having Dillard’s and Belk as their anchor tenants.
Rouse Properties plans to share more details about what shops and businesses will be part of the new plan early next year.