MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - If you have driven past the Illinois Centre Mall in Marion, you have noticed some changes on the outside.
Black Diamond Project Manager Rodney Cabaness is excited for the future of the mall.
“We’re elated to be actually, to actually get started," he said. "Start fixing some things in there and kind of reversing the downward slide that mall has been in the last 10 years.”
Citizens, in general, are reaching out to Black Diamond with ideas for the open space.
“We have 400,000-square-feet that we can ultimately fill, so I’m not saying all of that will get filled but we may go down another path," Cabaness said.
There are plenty of projects to work on, but they are taking their time for their final decisions.
“Right now, we’re taking one project at a time and so rather than just getting involved in three or four different projects and doing each one of them halfway, we’re really, really trying to partner with each and every person that comes to the area and wants to be a part of our growth," he explained.
One of the projects they are working on is a new drive-in movie theater. Four massive poles are already installed to hold large SMD LED screens.
The mall has four anchors stores. Target, Dillard’s, Planet fitness and Anderson’s Furniture Store, which is adding more showroom space.
“We have 55,00-square-feet of showroom here and we’re going to be adding another 50,000 over there.”
Lowell Anderson of Anderson’s Furniture welcomed the mall’s renovations.
“When we first moved here, everyone was saying, ‘why did you move into a dead mall’ and I thought, ‘you know, it’s going to change.’ I knew something was going to happen, I just didn’t know it was going to happen this quick.”
Anderson can’t thank everybody enough.
“I want to thank Black Diamond for taking a chance on purchasing the mall. The city of Marion, all the customers that have helped us over the years," he said.
Cabaness said this is more than just a local thing
“At the end of the day, this, what we’re doing with the mall and surrounding area it is for this region. Not just Marion, not even just southern Illinois. I mean, I would like to see this benefit the entire region.”