Eastern Shore Centre gets new owner, promise of facelift
SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WPMI) —
Major retail mall, The Eastern Shore Centre in Spanish Fort may soon be getting a facelift.
City officials and the city's legal team have met with new owners and say they are encouraged by plans to bring in more tenants and to clean up parts of the mall's outdoor infrastructure.
Less than three weeks ago, New York investors paid $18.5 million for The Eastern Shore Centre.
A company called Allied Development of Alabama is the new owner. Change is coming but it may still be awhile.
The mall was foreclosed two years ago this summer and several big stores have moved out including Bed Bath and Beyond, Objects, Express and Pottery Barn.
Weeds are chest-high in some places and the outer roads are in disrepair. Pot holes in some areas have been fixed but it’s still a bumpy ride.
For store Manager Michelle Flach at "Bama Fever Tiger Pride" it's been a long wait. She hopes new ownership at the mall changes things. "Hopefully the mall will fill back up again. We need more businesses in the mall. They are going to other locations and this mall is losing a lot of the businesses," said Flach.
Spanish Fort city officials say they have been in serious talks with the new owners to make some progress soon. "You want some beautification to take place you need some clean up. The roads need to be repaired so there's some work to be done with fees collected by the new owners," said Mayor Mike McMillan.
High rent at the mall is also common complaint. Some say it’s the reason smaller retailers can’t make it here. "We need more business back into the mall. I tell on the weekends it takes longer for the mall to get busy. It’s not until after lunchtime, two, three o'clock when the mall picks up," said Flach.
Industrywide the future of every mall is changing. Most are going to smaller stores since so many customers are now buying online and what we will see more of , are restaurants and entertainment type businesses moving in.