Adrian, MI (13abc Action News) - Another blow to the Adrian Mall. Elder-Beerman has announced it's closing its store there in the coming months. JC Penney shuttered its store at the mall in 2015. City leaders believe there are plenty of opportunities to bring businesses back to the busy corridor.
In fact, the intersection of US 223 and M-52 is the busiest intersection in Lenawee County. Even though stores are closing at the mall, city leaders believe the area will continue to be a prime spot for retailers. However, they add that the configuration of the mall will likely have to change, "The last thing we want is a large, vacant commercial mall. We want to see it grow and thrive, and our residents expect that as well."
Shane Horn was born and raised in Adrian. He's now the City Administrator."The owners of the mall are going to have to think outside the box and come up with ways to market and fill those spaces."
The Adrian Mall has been a part of the city's landscape for nearly 50 years. Elder-Beerman has been an anchor store for more than 30 years. Shane says the store will close in the coming weeks, "I think within the next 10-12 weeks that store will be closed."
The closing will leave just a handful of stores at the mall. Shane says the land the mall sits on is some of the most valuable real estate in the city,"They've done a great job of developing around the mall. The challenge is what to do with the rest of the facility."
Of course there's been a seismic shift in consumer buying habits, as many move from brick and mortar shopping to buying on-line.
City leaders say that could eventually force owners to make a change in the lay-out of the mall. Chris Miller is the Economic Development Coordinator for the city,"It may mean taking down some of the buildings and putting up new ones. Any smart investor recognizes when it's time to do things in a different way. "
While the mall is struggling,Chris says Adrian's downtown in in the middle of a major revitalization."We probably saw more investment in downtown in the last year than we have in any other period of time. There was $14 million worth of construction happening in downtown. It has seen a major resurgence in the last 5-10 years." The hope is that the owners can figure find a way to bring that same success back to the mall.
In addition to the store in Adrian, Elder-Beerman is also closing its location at the Northtowne Mall in Defiance.