While bulldozers dig into Platte River Mall’s parking lot, Mike Works says, he’s adjusting its redevelopment plan to widen the range of businesses interested in going there.
The Rev Development LLC co-owner described his project’s progress, answered questions and took suggestions for recruitment targets at Wednesday’s North Platte Noon Rotary Club meeting at Another Round.
Landing a Target store as a major new tenant “is our No. 1 goal,” Works said. Rev has a much better chance, he added, thanks to the $16.63 million in assistance the City Council approved in May and June.
Works, who bought the declining 1972 mall in November with partner Justin Hernandez, launched Rev’s $75 million redevelopment in earnest July 6 when the first earth was turned for a four-story apartment-commercial building.
That structure, the heart of the reimagined mall, should open next summer. Other new outbuildings and the main mall’s renovation should be finished by mid-2023, with another multistory mixed-use building possible after that along East Francis Street.
Plans for the mall’s South Dewey Street frontage have evolved, Works said.
“We were going to sell off lots” for fast-food and sit-down restaurants, he said. “But the more we looked at it, we’d lose control” of the mall’s overall operation and appearance by doing so.
Instead of six lots for retailers or eating places between Verizon Wireless and Arby’s, Rev will develop two such lots — likely for fast-food outlets — and build a two-story building in front of the four-story one.
Retailers or restaurants would occupy the first floor of that building, with office spaces above, Works said.
The change should give Rev a chance to attract better sit-down restaurants along Dewey, he said. It also addresses interest from North Platte employers needing office space in relocating to the mall.
Further adjustments to Rev’s plan could be made as recruitment of new businesses continues, Works said. “We’ve got a lot of feelers (out) to a lot of people.”
Among other project updates, Works said:
» Nebraskaland Tire & Service will move in early 2022 to an all-new store next to the old Mann Theatres 3/Aaron’s building. The latter sits outside the mall’s boundary.
The current tire store, which opened in 1972 as J.C. Penney Auto Center, will be torn down. It sits in front of the fenced-in construction site for the new four-story building.
» The main mall’s remaining tenants, including the Buckle, Riddle’s Jewelry and Famous Footwear, will move to the ground floor of the four-story building.
Bling Glamour, a women’s boutique with a Kearney mall location, is interested in joining them, Works said. He urged his Rotarian audience to keep patronizing the remaining main-mall stores.
» Dunham’s Sports is expected to open next to Ashley HomeStore in February or March. It’ll be the redeveloped mall’s second new major tenant after Golden Ticket Cinemas, which plans a September opening in the old AMC six-screen movie theater.
» Other likely candidates to fill the mall’s department-store vacuum include TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. Both are owned by Massachusetts-based TJX.
» Rev remains interested in Hy-Vee Food Stores, but Works said he and Hernandez have delayed further talks because the grocery chain prefers some types of neighboring businesses over others.
“We’ll get the rest of the mall the way we want it to be, and then we’ll approach Hy-Vee,” Works said.
» Valentino’s, which left the North Platte market some years ago, is interested in locating at the mall.
The Lincoln-based pizza chain publicly declared its interest earlier this month in returning to North Platte. It probably would open a delivery/carryout outlet, Works said.
» Arby’s will stick for now with its current building, one of the mall’s original 1972 structures, rather than move to a new Rev-constructed building.
» Rev has put its earlier plan for a convention center in the main mall on the back burner based on local reactions.
Works had suggested the former J.C. Penney anchor space could house rentable facilities for meetings and banquets. Rev would be interested if a catering business wanted to locate there, he said Wednesday.
» The main mall’s area around the current main entrance likely will be divided into smaller bays with cheaper rent that could appeal to local small businesses.
Those bays would open outward to the parking lot under Rev’s plan to convert the main mall to an outward-facing strip mall.
Dunham’s will be the first new business to open under that plan, occupying all the space between Ashley and roughly the Buckle’s south end.
The rest of the original 1972 layout, with interior store bays opening to a central promenade, will disappear by mid-2022.
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