ROSEVILLE — Though rain kept the festivities indoors, Macomb Mall’s owners from Lormax Stern, alongside local dignitaries and mall shop owners, hailed the planting of the first steel beams June 4 at the Dick’s Sporting Goods construction site.
Karl Zarbo, director of operations for Lormax Stern Development Company, said that Dick’s Sporting Goods has an estimated opening date of Oct. 24, 2014 — mere days before Macomb Mall’s 50th anniversary Oct. 29.
He said Daniel Stern and Chris Brochert, partners in the company, were the driving forces behind buying the property and getting the renovations underway.
Brochert said he had run into Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel at the Mackinac Policy Conference at the end of May, and Hackel told Brochert he used to go to the mall as a child.
“You have no idea how many people I heard that from,” Brochert said. “This was one of the original malls in the area, and renovation of the mall is long overdue.”
Hackel praised the work being done at the venerable mall and said it was important to see it healthy and thriving for businesses farther north along Gratiot, as Roseville is a gateway community for the county.
“I know how important the Gratiot corridor is not just for Roseville, but for the whole county,” Hackel said. “So I’m grateful and happy to be here for this ceremony.”
He added that he loved coming to the mall as a child for the movie theater and Craftsman tools, due to an early obsession with tools and building.
Mayor John Chirkun said that after the recession hit, the city was struggling to right itself with the loss of tax revenue, but it has been able to get its finances stabilized in the years since.
He said when he heard that someone was interested in taking over and renovating the mall, he started to get excited.
“I felt like the city was on the way, and so was the mall,” Chirkun said.
Brochert said that in addition to Dick’s Sporting Goods, they would also see Bed Bath & Beyond, Shoe Carnival and Lane Bryant coming to the mall, while existing stores like Champ’s would be expanding.
Stern said in his remarks that renovating the mall had been dependent on the support from Roseville and Macomb County, and that both entities had “delivered” on their promises. The city supported and passed a tax abatement for construction at the former Crowley’s store, which is the new site of Dick’s Sporting Goods, as a way to help reduce costs to Lormax Stern for the work.
Zarbo said that it could take about two years for the mall renovations to be completed, which will include updating the interior and the Macomb Mall sign on Gratiot Avenue.
At the end of the ceremony, Zarbo invited everyone in attendance to sign the steel beams that would be placed as part of the Dick’s Sporting Goods skeleton.
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