The mayor, speaking at a Roxbury Republican Club meeting, said the mall’s new ownersbelieve the Walmart, Marshall’s and Ashley Furniture stores will continue to operate at the site. However, the developers are likely to give up on the current design which has many small storefronts with only interior walkway access.
Rilee stressed that no formal plans have been presented by the partnership, which bought the mall in August. “They came to us with a concept plan,” he said.
However, the owners seemed determined that the current enclosed mall design will not continue, said Rilee. “It’s not going to be an internal mall,” he said. “The Macy’s building will be gone and it will be completely external” with the number of retail buildings reduced to several large entities with separate, outside-only entrances.
Razing the former Macy’s building would significantly improve traffic flow of the site, said the mayor..
The property owner, JV Partnership, is also thinking about erecting a new building near the current Red Lobster restaurant, said Rilee. He said he’s excited about the thought of new life being breathed into the 43-year-old mall, a place that has long been in decline and saw Macy’s pull up stakes in January.
“I will be quite happy (to see the mall reinvented),” said Rilee. He said town officials, in discussing the property’s potential with the new owners, “mentioned some businesses we’d like to see there.” The owners “seem very optimistic about getting some positive stores into that area,” Rilee said.
The site is about 43-acres and includes not only the currently enclosed 445,000-square-foot building along Righter Road but also a 60,000-square-foot building and a 12,000-square-foot building. Current tenants of the outbuildings include Sports Authority, Barnes & Noble and Ruby Tuesday.