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
Chheadshot

Overcoming the Opioid Overdose Crisis

Geofflosee300x300 10221511305

Got Flood Insurance? Get That Proof of Loss Form in Quickly!

Geoffrey Losee - Rountree Losee LLP
Headshot2

The Importance of Establishing a Support System for your Educational Journey

Dani Somers - North Carolina Wesleyan

Trending News

Hello Again, Henrietta: New Dinner Cruise Boat Floats Into Downtown Wilmington

Cece Nunn - May 21, 2019

Wheelz Pizza Aims To Revolutionize Pizza Delivery

Jessica Maurer - May 22, 2019

On Park Avenue In Wilmington, Developers Plan One-bedroom Apartments

Cece Nunn - May 21, 2019

Brother And Sister Team Up To Serve Family Soul Food Recipes

Jessica Maurer - May 22, 2019

Online Platform For Real Estate Investors Takes The Surfboard At CEA Awards Event

Jenny Callison - May 22, 2019

In The Current Issue

Preparing Homes For Hurricane Season

Hurricane season begins June 1, and with it comes the need for residents to prepare themselves and their homes as much as possible for poten...


MADE: Churning Out Profits

All the company’s handcrafted sandwiches are made in Wilmington, starting with homemade cookies and small-batch ice cream....


WAHA Kicks Off Membership Drive

The Wilmington Area Hospitality Association (WAHA) kicked off its annual membership drive May 15 at an event at the Embassy Suites by Hilton...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`
Transporting the Future - Power Breakfast 3.12.2019
Health Care Heroes 2018