COLUMBUS, OH – January 29, 2020 – Washington Prime Group Inc. (NYSE: WPG) today announced redevelopment efforts at The Mall at Johnson City, located in Johnson City, Tennessee. The Company proactively executed an agreement in 2019 to gain control of the Sears site for planned redevelopment. Planning for this redevelopment effort, which includes a series of initiatives to enhance the guest experience at The Mall at Johnson City, has been thoughtfully completed with input from the City of Johnson City and existing tenants.
Planned redevelopment initiatives include the following:
- HomeGoods, with its first location in the Tri-Cities, will anchor the replacement of the former Sears location (demolition is expected to commence in the first half of 2020);
- Demolition of Sears Auto Center to make way for new food and beverage offerings along N. Roan Street (demolition is expected to start in the first half of 2020); and
- Renovation of The Mall at Johnson City interior common areas and exterior entrances.
These aforementioned efforts are expected to be complete by fall 2021 and opened in connection with a community event celebrating The Mall at Johnson City’s 50th Anniversary.
In addition to the redevelopment efforts, there will be significant tenant openings at The Mall at Johnson City in 2020, with Rose & Remington, Curve & Cloth, and Palmetto Moon slated to make their debut in the Tri-Cities. These coveted additions to the tenant line up further demonstrate a focus on adding relevant and in-demand concepts to The Mall at Johnson City.
- Palmetto Moon unites the flair and comforts of southern living with stylish apparel, footwear, gifts, and collegiate wear. With more than 25 stores in the Southeast, and the closest location being in Knoxville, this new to market concept is excited to call Johnson City their next home;
- Family owned and operated since its 2013 inception in southwest Ohio, Rose & Remington is a women’s clothing, accessory and lifestyle concept in a boutique setting;
- Rose & Remington’s sister brand, Curve & Cloth, is dedicated to women with curves and focuses on empowering fashion with sizes XL-3XL, gifts, and accessories; and
- All three fast-growing brands are deeply rooted in a sense of local community.
Exciting recent development activity in the vicinity of The Mall at Johnson City includes:
- Renovation of the adjacent AMC Theatre with expanded food and beverage options; and
- Construction of Universal at Mockingbird, a new residential component being developed by Mitch Cox with up to 265 for-rent multifamily units, located behind The Mall at Johnson City.
These efforts collectively reinforce The Mall at Johnson City’s location along North Roan Street as the premier retail corridor in the Tri-Cities. With many unique and market-exclusive retailers, The Mall at Johnson City is well positioned for long term success.
Lou Conforti, CEO and Director of Washington Prime Group stated: “Combining open air or lifestyle tenancy with a right sized enclosed venue accomplishes our Company’s strategy of serving as the dominant town center within robust secondary catchments. As a matter of fact, 88% of our Tier One Enclosed assets are currently or are in the process of representing this hybrid format.
“The renovation underway with respect to The Mall at Johnson City best illustrates our objective of comprehensively serving a vibrant trade area comprised of the Tri-Cities. In addition, Johnson City is the home of Eastern Tennessee State University with over 14,300 students as well as major employers including Mountain States Health Alliance, Citi Commerce Solutions, Quillen VA Medical Center and American Water Heater Company.
“The bottom line is the residents of Johnson City, Bristol and Kingsport deserve relevant goods and services including fashion, home furnishings, entertainment and a wide array of dining options. By the way, Northeast Tennessee is absolutely beautiful, its residents are friendly and ETSU is the only place I know where you can major in Bluegrass and Country Music Studies.”
The Mall at Johnson City will undergo a planned renovation of the interior common areas and exterior entrances, which will see aesthetic upgrades including new seating, lighting, flooring and finishes. The new look-and-feel will encourage guests to hang out and extend their visit.
Pete Peterson, City Manager of Johnson City, stated: “The Mall at Johnson City has been the center of shopping activities in Johnson City and the surrounding area since its creation, and we are proud to have a strong partner like Washington Prime Group that can adjust to the changing landscape of retail. The City of Johnson City is committed to working with Washington Prime Group and the Mall at Johnson City Team to ensure the continued success of the town center, which we deeply value.”
The Mall at Johnson City continues to benefit from an incredibly talented local management team. Ashley Grindstaff, General Manager, is instrumental in executing the long term vision for The Mall at Johnson City. Tembra Aldridge, who was promoted to Director of Training and Development for Washington Prime Group in 2018, is also based at the town center. Together with Marketing Director Sheila Reed, the team has implemented a robust schedule of community events. The Mall at Johnson City hosts over 100 events throughout the year which drive guest traffic, encourage extended visits and strengthen the town center as the gathering place to shop, play, eat and drink in the Tri-Cities.