Fifty-five years later, the original developer completed a remake of a Wyoming mall.
Meyer C. Weiner Co., a construction and development firm based in Kalamazoo, recently finished redevelopment of the former Southland Mall at 1220 28th St. SW into 28 West Place, a location it originally built in 1962. The site previously was known as Wyoming Village Mall.
In 2016, work began to demolish approximately 58,000 square feet of obsolete building space, and in 2017, 20,000 square feet of new, energy-efficient building space was added. Two out-lot buildings totaling about 11,000 square feet also were added to the property.
“This was our first large-scale development,” said Josh Weiner, CEO of Meyer C. Weiner. “We remember this property well, and it’s been a good location for us for over 50 years.”
The developer did not disclose the amount it invested in the project but said it did contribute funding for new construction, new lighting and renovated parking.
Weiner said his company had been working with the city for approximately four years to finalize the project. The question for his firm, he said, was whether to further invest in the aging facility or allow it to deteriorate.
“We had very little debt in the property,” Weiner said. “We didn’t need to do anything, but that wasn’t the right thing to do. We felt we needed to invest in the community by bringing this shopping center into the 2010s rather than leaving it in the 1970s.”
The work on 28 West Place was done in tandem with the city of Wyoming and its vision to lay a new road, 28 West Place Street, which bisects the mall property and connects 28th Street to Michael Avenue.
“One of the hallmarks of this development was the city putting in the new road,” said Megan Sall, assistant city manager. “That sets us up for carrying out our vision of making the area a bit more dense, more pedestrian-friendly.”
The investment made by the city and developer has resulted in the attraction of at least three new tenants to the mall. CSL Plasma, a blood donation center, leased 10,000 square feet and opened in April. Mr. Alan’s, a sneaker and clothing retailer, leased a 5,400-square-foot out-lot building and opened in June. Simply 10, another clothing retailer, leased 4,400 square feet and will open in late October.
The most recent additions to 28 West Place join current tenants Save a Lot, Payless Shoes, Wyoming Family Fitness, Sally’s Beauty, Once Upon a Child and Premier Rental, among others.
“There are so many opportunities inherent in this area, and we’re pleased to have a partner in Meyer C. Weiner Company as we set the stage for future growth,” Sall said.
Part of that growth will come a bit further west on 28th Street.
The Business Journal reported in September on the sale of a 20-acre vacant lot that was the former site of Studio 28. The lot is part of the larger 28 West sub-area plan, according to the city, but is not specifically tied to 28 West Place. The property was marketed by Colliers International West Michigan and is intended to draw more retailers to the area.
“We certainly hope future development on the Studio 28 property will tie in with the improvements that have occurred at 28 West Place,” Sall said.
Additional space at 28 West Place is available for lease, including another 5,500-square-foot outbuilding.