Print
Retail

Top Stories No. 10: Changes In Local Retail Landscape

By Cece Nunn, posted Dec 14, 2018
The owners of the mall released renderings in March that show their vision for how Independence Mall is expected to be transformed into an indoor-outdoor center. (Rendering courtesy of Brookfield Properties)
Good times and bad times hit Wilmington’s retail scene this year.

For the local industry, some of the good news was revealed in March when the owners of Independence Mall, which is expected to eventually be rebranded The Collection at Independence, unveiled renderings showing how they plan to transform part of the mall into an outdoor shopping center.

A grocery store could be one of the new retailers coming to the Cape Fear region’s largest center, according to plans submitted in June for the redevelopment project by Brookfield Properties, the company that owns much of the mall.

The site plans showed that the 185,000-square-foot former Sears building and existing Sears wing – a total of nearly 300,000 square feet – could be replaced by 185,000 square feet of new retail and restaurant exterior-facing spaces, including a 25,700-square-foot grocery store.

The plans also showed that the largest retailer would be 50,000 square feet along the new outdoor corridor on what's now the former Sears side of the mall, along with two new restaurant outparcel buildings closer to Oleander Drive.

But Sears itself was part of the bad news. The closures that have hit much of the company for the struggling retail chain, which filed for bankruptcy in October, became evident in Wilmington when store closing signs for the Sears at Independence Mall began showing up in April. The Sears eventually closed, and space in the mainly empty wing was devoted to a base for FEMA and the Small Business Administration after Hurricane Florence made landfall Sept. 14 near Wrightsville Beach.

Another national retailer to close in Wilmington this year was Toys R Us, 4510 Oleander Drive, where the space was temporarily occupied by a Halloween store. By the end of June, Toys R Us had shuttered all of its toy stores in the U.S.

Elsewhere, service-oriented businesses began welcoming customers in new retail space, including buildings at The Pointe at Barclay, Mayfaire Town Center and the commercial portion of RiverLights. And developers at The Pointe and RiverLights were taking steps toward adding space to their projects. In another example, on Oleander Drive near Wrightsville Beach, numerous retailers were close to signing up for first-floor space in a new mixed-use complex called Bradley Creek Station.

Meanwhile, the Brookfield Properties site plans for Independence Mall did not indicate which specific retailers might be part of the redevelopment. Attempts to obtain an update on the plans were not successful as of press time, and the project was still listed as active but under review on the city of Wilmington’s project tracking website.

For a list of the Top 10 local business stories of the year, click here.
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Morton300x300

What Small Businesses Can Do Now

Jim Morton - Cape Fear Community College
Mike stonestreet 300x300

Things To Consider Before Renting In A Community Association

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)
Headshot2 3182020512

Strategies For Combating Coronavirus In Indoor Air Environments

Chris Jones - Green Dot Heating & Air

Trending News

OPENBIZ: April 2 Business Closures, Services, New Hours In Response To Virus

Johanna Cano - Apr 2, 2020

CastleBranch Buys Its HQ In Joint Venture

Cece Nunn - Apr 1, 2020

NHMRC Seeing Cash Crunch Over Coronavirus

Vicky Janowski - Mar 31, 2020

SBA Lenders Prepare For A Wave Of Relief Program Applications

Jenny Callison - Apr 2, 2020

South Beach Grill, Sweet N Savory Adapt

Jessica Maurer - Apr 1, 2020

In The Current Issue

Survey Seeks Workforce Info

Businesses around a six-county region are being encouraged to participate in an analysis of the workforce and employment challenges in South...


Area Attorneys Chosen For 2020 Legal Elite List

Hundreds of lawyers made Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite list this year. The group included Wilmington-area lawyers....


Apiture Partners With Texas-based Firm

Wilmington-based financial technology firm Apiture’s choice of a tech partner enabled it to move its clients from a legacy data system to th...

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WILMA Leadership Accelerator
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`