SouthPark Mall to close food court, Sears

Walking into SouthPark Mall has become a shock for those who haven’t visited the shopping center recently.
The SouthPark Mall will begin renovations later this month, causing the closure of the food court and one of five anchor stores, Sears. Both will be knocked down for the renovation, losing 125,000 square feet, and replaced with a new mall entrance.
The mall, which was built in 1974 in Moline, is due for a major face lift. The mall has gone through smaller renovations in the past decade. The recent plans consist of updating the mall with an entirely different look. However, there are still questions on what retailers, national or local, will fill the space.
The mall is going to need more than new retail stores to attract customers back to the shopping center, seeing as many Quad-Citians opt for a trip over the river to the larger, more recent NorthPark Mall in Davenport.
“They are trying to get other restaurants over here that’s not on Davenport’s side,” said Andrew Payner, sales manager of Furnish 123. “The problem is why come over here when everything is over there? You’re going to see a lot of interesting things. They want different businesses in the mall other than what they have.”
Furnish 123 was one of few stores asked to stay and be a part of the renovation. However, not everyone wants to be a part of the new changes, which include having to relocate to a temporary store, agreeing to a temporary lease and repeating the process once the mall is completed.
For the next six months, the process and the state of the mall will be hectic. There is a lot of positivity about the project, especially considering a similar transition was made for NorthPark Mall. Macerich, the company that owns both malls, plans to distinguish the two malls from each other.
After 40 years, the mall will remove its addition and opt for a smaller square footage but renew its revenue and have new retailers mixed with local ones. Businesses like Sam’s Club will be alongside local operators like Trade Mart.
While community members may think the mall is the sole renovation, there are plans for more than a new interior and exterior improvement. Macerich is also considering utilizing the many lots on its property for new free-standing retail and commercial businesses. Space for hotels, restaurants and medical offices are being considered.
The renovations are scheduled to be completed in November, before the holiday shopping season.