Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Break out the Mrs. Fields! Oak Park Mall getting a face-lift

Posted By on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge Oak Park Mall keeps rocking.
  • Oak Park Mall keeps rocking.

Cities around the metropolitan area are reckoning with aging shopping malls. A number of enclosed shopping centers built in the 1960s, '70s and '80s -- which once were sales-tax machines lubricated by Orange Julius -- have been torn down or are begging for demolition.

A mall increases its odds of survival if it's located in an area of town where people have money. The company that owns Oak Park Mall says it plans to update the Overland Park shopping destination.

Oak Park Mall opened in 1975. It has survived the trend toward "lifestyle centers" that shun escalators and atria in favor of faux public squares. The multimillion-dollar renovation will attempt to put a lighter and brighter face on the mall, which is owned by CBL & Associates, an outfit in Tennessee. CBL says Oak Park Mall and one of its shopping centers in Chattanooga "will receive the most extensive renovations" of all the malls it tries to un-dowdy this year.

From the presser:

The upgrades will incorporate contemporary design improvements including updated entrances, new interior décor, tile flooring, new restrooms and a modern graphics package. The food courts will receive a completely new design, including new tables and chairs. Oak Park Mall will also receive additional exterior improvements including mall signage, parking lot resurfacing, new landscaping, parking lot lighting, and a Park and Ride parking lot and shelter. The transportation related improvements at Oak Park Mall will be funded through a Transportation Development District (TDD)
Put in place in 2007, the TDD is funded by an additional 0.5 percent sales tax on mall purchases.

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