Crestwood Court owner to present mall redevelopment plans to board

Mayor tells Call he’s excited to hear more detailed plans

By Kari Williams

Centrum Properties, the owner of Crestwood Court, was scheduled to present redevelopment plans for the mall to the city’s Board of Aldermen earlier this week.

The Board of Aldermen was set to meet Tuesday — after the Call went to press.

Mayor Jeff Schlink told the Call he is excited to see “some legitimate activity” in the redevelopment process.

“I’m excited to hear something that’ll be a little bit more detailed than what we’ve heard in the past,” he said.

Crestwood Court representatives said last November they anticipated the long-awaited redevelopment of the shopping center at Watson and Sappington roads would begin sometime this year. At that time, discussion focused on transforming the mall into an entertainment-based development, and Schlink said he believes Centrum is prepared to start “putting some names to the pieces of property,” though the names may not be definite.

Rebecca Hawkinson of Centrum Properties previously told the Call the company is trying to bring “more unique concepts to the center.”

“… Definitely an upscale theater, an upscale bowling alley, some great restaurants, hopefully some entertainment/music concepts …,” she said.

In January, Hawkinson told the Call Centrum hoped to submit redevelopment plans in a couple months. Sol Barket, of Centrum Properties, is expected to make the presentation to the board, according to Schlink.

Crestwood Court sits on roughly 49 acres and had roughly 1.1 million square feet of retail space.

The Board of Aldermen voted 6-2 in March to indefinitely postpone selecting special bond counsel for the redevelopment of Crestwood Court.

Aldermen Darryl Wallach of Ward 1 of Paul Duchild of Ward 3 were opposed.

Schlink said the board wanted the presentation from Centrum to occur before making any decisions.

Centrum Properties and Angelo, Gordon & Co. bought the mall from the Westfield Group in March 2008 with the goal of redeveloping it, but plans have been on hold due to the economy.

On Dec. 29, Sears Holding Corp. released its list of 79 of the 100 to 120 Sears and Kmart stores that will close due to lower-than-expected holiday sales, which included the Crestwood Court Sears, the mall’s last anchor. The department store closed this spring.

Crestwood Court’s other anchor stores, Macy’s and Dillard’s, closed in 2009 and 2007, respectively.

Additionally, Crestwood Court’s AMC Theatre closed in May.

Since 2008, Crestwood Court housed ArtSpace, a low-cost rental option for a variety of arts ventures, including artists, dance and craft shops.

ArtSpace tenants’ leases were not renewed for the current year.

The RFPs for Crestwood Court were approved in January.

Proposals for planning services and underwriting services for Crestwood Court were approved with the stipulation that RFPs will not be issued until Centrum presents a redevelopment proposal for the mall.