Changes are on the way to Independence Mall, one of the most high-profile commercial properties in the Cape Fear region.
In December, officials with the mall’s new owner, Rouse Properties, said that the more than 1 millionsquare- foot Independence Mall in Wilmington will be rebranded as The Collection at Independence. The aim is to modernize the aging development and bring some of its offerings outside, to a consumer base that has been increasingly demanding outdoor shopping centers in recent years.
On April 5, the Rouse executive in charge of The Collection at Independence project, Eric Dinenberg, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the WilmingtonBiz Conference & Expo luncheon at the Wilmington Convention Center. The event is presented by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.
According to Rouse’s website, Dinenberg has been executive vice president of development, construction and operations for Rouse Properties since March 2013.
Prior to his current position, the website states, he served as the company’s executive director of development and construction, responsible for overseeing all development, redevelopment, construction and design activities for Rouse. Before joining Rouse, Dinenberg managed a portfolio of development and redevelopment projects for Vornado Realty Trust, including redeveloping the 1-million-square-foot Bergen Mall in New Jersey into The Outlets at Bergen Town Center.
“Throughout his career, Mr. Dinenberg has executed projects within a wide range of asset types, including strip centers, enclosed malls, urban retail parcels, multi-family dwellings, office properties and renewable energy sites,” his Rouse website biography states. “An active member of both the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Urban Land Institute, Mr. Dinenberg holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from George Washington University and a Master in Real Estate Finance degree from New York University.”
Rouse Properties purchased a majority of the Independence Mall property last year, including the Sears building in transactions valued at more than $50 million.
Rouse officials said late last year that they were “in the process of designing a plan that will transform the currently enclosed Independence Mall into a contemporary mixed-use center that will be rebranded as The Collection at Independence. This will consist of us removing sections of the mall’s interior to allow for exterior-facing retailer entrances and the construction of an engaging restaurant streetscape that will house several high-volume restaurants and first-to-market retailers.”
That information came from Rouse CEO Brian Harper in an email in December. A description on the Rouse Properties website that showed up during the summer last year said the redesigned mall would also “feature a grocery-anchored power center.”
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