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Marshfield Common Council Hears Mall Redevelopment Proposal
Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 -- 9:13 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director

(WDLB) -Portions of the Marshfield Mall would get torn down, and new construction would be part of a proposed redevelopment of the property which the city Council heard about last night.

A new ownership group presented its plans to the Marshfield Common Council, in hopes there would be city involvement in the redevelopment plans. Ned Brickman of Midland Management in Milwaukee told Marshfield aldermen his company is a new co-owner of the Mall with the Fonti family which owns the furniture store in the former K-Mart location. His company has plans to save the Younkers and Kohl's locations, plus a portion of the former JC Penney space. But he would tear down the other existing space, and build new and separate retail locations in a strip mall-style redevelopment approach.

"We've done a number of these redevelopment in malls in markets similar to Marshfield. We just recently did one in Marinette, which we refer to because the towns are similar in terms of size and the mall itself. The one in Marinette had a closed JC Penny and a closed Younkers. And we redeveloped it and brought in a number of retailers and it's been very successful. As you know, when the mall is in the current state that the Marshfield Mall is in, it's not good for anybody. It doesn't make anyone feel good. It doesn't help attract people into the community to come want to live here because the shopping is going away. And also, money that you want to have spent in the community is going elsewhere. People are going to Stevens Point or Wausau to shop because there just aren't enough opportunities here."

Brickman said the Marshfield Mall is at a tipping point, and it's going to go one of two directions.

"The Younkers building would stay and, obviously, the Kohl's and Ashley building would stay, but the rest is just not viable. We wish it were. We do have serious demand for restaurants wanting to come in. This market is just under served.

Brickman said nothing will be built until he has leases in place with retailers wanting to locate in Marshfield.

"We're not going to build this and hope they come. We would be building to suit four or five other retailers who, we would expect, would be national retailers with national reputations that bring a lot to this market. You know, you get Kohl's here, and there was a tiff involved with Kohl's and, to be honest, if you hadn't done that, I'm not sure where we would be. Because the people we're talking to, if Kohl's wasn't here, they wouldn't be coming. And I think that's really the first domino. They all want to be where the other power centers are. And that's what this would become. Mall's like this just aren't real anymore."

Brickman said he's hoping to start construction soon, and said there's already interest from potential retailers. Brickman hopes to get signed leases within the next six months, and start construction next summer, with the new retail outlets opening in the Spring of 2020. He said the tenant he's nearly got lined up for the Younkers space could move in as early as next year, because the structure needs no renovation.

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