By Nolan Patrick Smith
High Desert Daily
(Victorville) Already two months into 2012, The Mall of Victor Valley is looking at a bright future for this year, and for years to come. As many can tell by the construction fencing on both sides of the shopping center, there are some positive changes coming soon. So how has 2012 been for the center so far?
The Mall of Victor Valley’s Marketing Manager Vito Bello went over some of the changes and additions coming to the Mall in a phone interview with High Desert Daily Tuesday afternoon. “The first quarter for the shopping center is traditionally a slower period as shoppers are coming off of the holidays. What I can tell you is that our retailers are very enthusiastic about the changes and the opportunities being provided here at the shopping center, and we are seeing some continual development. We are hoping to lay out some new stores in the next couple of coming months, and we are continuing to obviously push to bring in some brand new retailers in the High Desert. We are hoping to have two new stores open in the next few months, one is in the food court; we are looking at a Subway. Then, we are working with a cosmetic company named Mica Beauty; they are finishing up and it should be open in this first quarter.”
Another addition to the Mall’s retailer list is one the community has been talking about for a while now: Macy’s. The soon to be 103,000 square foot, single story, full line department store will be joining the Mall of Victor Valley as an open tenant in Spring of 2013. Macy’s is estimated to hire around 140 employees. Bello spoke of the newly erected construction fencing, which residents have no doubt seen this week around the former Gottschalk’s building. “We have, in fact, started laying out the space for their construction as early as this week. That is all the construction fencing on the side of the shopping center closest to Olive Garden. With the expansion, they are actually reaching out into the parking lot, which means we can expect some modifications to the roadways that surround the shopping center as well as some new landscaping elements. It’s going to be a very attractive Macy’s.”
Last week, the Mall of Victor Valley’s Facebook page announced that a team of Macy’s representatives were in the High Desert, speaking with residents about what they want to see in product lines, services and everything that else that encompasses Macy’s. It is clear that the company wants to understand the needs of this community in order to deliver a store that meets those needs. Another major change to the mall comes in the form of a familiar name to the High Desert community: jcpenny.
A major retailer at the mall, jcpenny will be expanding into a much larger space, changing its location to the former Forever 21 building. Measuring at nearly 100,000 square feet according to the press release, the store will be approximately twice the size of the current jcpenny location. “The Mall of Victor Valley has tremendous momentum, and jcpenney’s decision to expand here reinforces the property’s position as the key shopping destination in Southern California’s fast-growing High Desert region,” stated Liz Hewson, Property Manager of The Mall of Victor Valley in the press release. “jcpenney has built a strong connection with local shoppers, who will certainly welcome a new and bigger version of one of their favorite stores.”
As for the current state of the project, Bello gave an update on where it stands, “jcpenny started construction in early February. The interior of the building is currently going through demolition. We will be sharing more on the progress of it on our Facebook page. They are currently slated to be open in the fall of 2012, so they will be opened this year.”
Just like all of the High Desert residents, the Mall of Victor Valley will no doubt feel the impact of the Nisqualli/La Mesa interchange, which has already begun construction. In regards to the project, Bello stated, “It will make it easier for residents of the High Desert to get around, which is a huge factor when it comes to deciding to go out and being entertained. Any improvement to the infrastructure in the High Desert is going to be an improvement for everyone. We are reaching out to SANBAG, which is the organization actually handling the construction of the project. Working with SANBAG, we are going to continue to blast out information on detours and some of the programs that might affect how our shoppers get to the shopping center and how residents get around the area in that interim time while the project is being built out.”
If you would like to follow the progress of the Mall of Victor Valley’s projects, including the Macy’s and jcpenny, make sure to visit them online at http://www.themallofvictorvalley.com/ as well as on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheMallofVictorValley.