The Connection wrote today that Jeff McKay thinks Springfield Mall is actually going to begin turning into Springfield Town Center. They also published a couple of Vornado’s architectural renderings (which must be new, because the theater featured is not AMC as in the older ones):
According to the Lee District supervisor, who has worked closely with the developer and county officials to move the ball forward on the project, all of the mall’s interior tenants were given 90-days notice to vacate in March so the first phase of the renovation can begin July 1.
He said Vornado will leave anchor tenants Macy’s, Target and JCPenney open as the New York-based company guts and renovates the cavernous interior space, launching the first stage of plans to transform the 1973 suburban mall into Springfield Town Center.
THE FIRST PHASE, which is expected to take two years, includes construction of one central entrance instead of multiple entrances, and the addition of a state-of-the-art movie theater and food court.
“No one will be happier to see this move forward. We will pop open the champagne for this,” McKay said.
Later phases of the renovation – expected to take about 10 to 15 years – will complete the town center look, with a mix of upscale retail and commercial development, a 225-room hotel, pedestrian plazas, recreational facilities, 2,000 residential units and transportation improvements.
I don’t know about you, but my level of optimism about this project is now dependent on actually seeing something good happen. I don’t consider tossing out the tenants to be a positive step in and of itself – I want to see construction.