Plans underway to redevelop West Park Mall

Plans are underway to redevelop West Park Mall.
Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 6:11 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 11, 2023 at 7:16 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Plans are underway to redevelop West Park Mall.

According to a release from River City Centre, LLC, a local development group, they plan to return the property to one of the region’s primary draws for retail and entertainment with new construction and renovations.

“The members of the team at RCC are all local real estate developers who grew up frequenting West Park Mall and understand its importance to Cape Girardeau and the tri-state area,” said president of Pilot Construction Solutions and RCC representative Nick Martin. “They’ve placed an intentional focus on ensuring the mall is once again a destination, and to do that, they’ve built a team that specializes in redevelopments similar to their vision. They’re working to ensure all current and future tenants make it an exciting attraction and look forward to working with the City of Cape Girardeau and the community to revive the property.”

This is project will happen in phases over the next few years.

“So creating these outfacing opportunities for entrance into the mall, changing from that dynamic that was considered standard practice from malls, into what is the current or expected practice in retail will be a significant change there to create more growth,” Rob Gilligan, president of the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce, said.

He said the new makeover will have a great impact on the community.

“Cape Girardeau is obviously a service center for not just our community for most of southeast Missouri, for southern Illinois as well and so these type of amenities, these type of investments, especially done by local investors, are great the region because we can now serve a broader base of customers,” he added.

The release also mentioned that RCC has partnered with The Lawrence Group, a St. Louis-based design firm that has redeveloped the mall projects Mid Rivers Mall in St. Peters, Mo., The District of St. Louis in Chesterfield, Mo., and City Foundry STL in St. Louis, as well as projects at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus and Academic Hall in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

RCC is also partnering with St. Louis commercial real estate company Pace Properties in Kansas City, Mo., commercial real estate adviser Integra Realty Resources and Cape Girardeau design and construction management company Pilot Construction Solutions.

West Park Mall General Manager Christy Easley has been in the position since 2012 and said past ownership groups have focused primarily on management and plant operations, neglecting the development and leasing aspects of the mall.

“As the only regional shopping center in more than an hour drive in every direction, West Park Mall is strategically placed, offering an unmatched advantage,” Easley said. “The mall has been waiting a long time for an ownership group like River City Centre to breathe new life into it. For the first time in a long time, I am excited for the future of the mall.”

With the exception of the redevelopment of Barnes & Noble, which opened in 2006, no group has sought to redevelop the mall since it opened in 1981, according to the release.

Carl Ritter owns Kacie’s Cookies inside the mall and said the investors’ plans to redevelop the mall are a step forward in the right direction.

“The mall’s kind of the thing of the past but they’re wanting to bring it back and what better way to do it than with local people that’s willing to take their time, their funds, and their investments and their ideas and give back to the community,” she said.

The development group expects to break ground on the first phase of the project in August 2023.