Wally Kennedy: Longtime mall tenant moving to North Park Crossing | News

Table of Contents Mall updateNew ownerSoon to open A prominent store in Northpark Mall, Buckle,

A prominent store in Northpark Mall, Buckle, is relocating to a vacant storefront in North Park Crossing.

The exterior windows of the former Dress Barn property in North Park Crossing have been papered with signs that say Buckle will be the new tenant. A store employee at Northpark Mall confirmed that the plan is to open the new store in February after the holiday shopping season has passed. The Dress Barn property is located between Kohl’s and Kirkland’s.

The Buckle offers a mix of high-quality, on-trend apparel, accessories and footwear that caters to fashion-conscious young men and women. Known as a denim destination, each store carries a wide selection of leading denim brands.

Headquartered in Kearney, Nebraska, the company started as Mills Clothing, a men’s store, in 1948 at Kearney. Buckle currently operates 442 retail stores in 42 states, a reduction of four stores when compared with last year.

Mall update

Speaking of Northpark Mall, CBL Properties Inc., of Chattanooga, Tennessee, the owners of the mall, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week after reducing real estate holdings and debt. The company filed for bankruptcy in November 2020 after many of its mainstay retailers closed during the pandemic.

CBL, one of America’s oldest developers of shopping malls, in a news release this week, said it sees a bright future for its mall properties, outlets and open-air centers.

Stephen Lebovitz, chief executive officer of CBL and son of company founder Charles B. Lebovitz, said CBL’s malls remain vibrant town centers for business activity, unveiling a new website that urged shoppers “to meet us at the mall.’’

CBL operates 104 properties, including 63 malls with 63.8 million square feet of building space.

Nationwide, more than 9,300 U.S. stores closed in 2019. Last year, more than 8,300 stores closed, according to research into the impact of the pandemic on retail sales.

An issue facing retailers this year will be finding sufficient sales help to cover the holiday shopping season.

New owner

A property that was constructed in 1989 as a car wash will be the new home of Gerber Collision & Glass. The property, at 1030 N. Range Line Road, recently was home to an information technology company.

The property will undergo a complete makeover before it opens.

Founded in 1937 by Phil Gerber, Gerber Collision & Glass started as a single auto glass and trim shop in Chicago. It has grown into one of the largest auto collision and glass repair companies in North America, with over 500 locations. The company has six shops in Missouri, including one in Springfield.

This is the second collision repair shop to position itself on Range Line this year. Caliber Collision has constructed a new building at 2702 S. Range Line Road.

Soon to open

Bricktown Brewery, 3030 S. Range Line Road, is hiring in preparation for an opening later this month. Job seekers can submit an application online. The company also has been talking to prospective hires at the restaurant.

A company spokesman has said the restaurant could open before Thanksgiving. This is the site of the former On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina, which closed in October 2019 after a three-year run. The property has been renovated.

So far, Bricktown has 18 locations in five states. Most of them are in Oklahoma. The Joplin restaurant will be the second in Missouri after one in Springfield. Of those sites, 15 have been failed or underperforming restaurants that have been converted to Bricktowns.

Bricktown will offer a broad selection of small plates, burgers, sandwiches, artisan-style pizza, salad and soups. It also will feature what it calls “big plates” of chicken, meatloaf and seafood.

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