The owner of SouthPark Mall in Moline is hoping to attract new businesses to the mall by offering retailers six months of free rent when they sign a three-year lease.
The new offer is an attempt to help promote and expand local businesses in the community, according to mall officials.
“We’re enthusiastic about giving local entrepreneurs a boost to open storefronts in the SouthPark Mall,” SouthPark Property Manager Jerry Jones said in a news release Thursday, June 2. “We are committed to incubating new businesses and excited to help them add or expand their physical footprint at SouthPark and many opportunities to promote their brands.”
The lease-signing bonus extends to any use, including retail, entertainment and dining, for spaces ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 square feet. Businesses have the opportunity to open within weeks into flexible, move-in-ready spaces, according to the mall’s release.
Mall officials plan to keep the free rent offer in place for the rest of the year or until SouthPark is fully leased, according to Jeanne Butz, assistant vice president of leasing with Macerich.
“I’m encouraged by the creative solutions the mall owners are implementing and am looking forward to continued discussions with them about the possibilities for that space,” said Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati in a statement to the QCBJ. “We appreciate their collaboration with us in our efforts to make sure all corners of Moline are able to live up to their economic potential.”
SouthPark Mall, located at 4500 16th St., is owned by Macerich, a leading owner, operator and developer of top retail and mixed-use destinations in major U.S. markets. Macerich also owns NorthPark Mall in Davenport.
The 850,000-square-foot SouthPark Mall is anchored by Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dillard’s, JCPenney and Von Maur, with retail and restaurant stores including Ashley Furniture, Shoe Dept. Encore, Habanero’s Mexican Grill and Cantina, and Olive Garden.
SouthPark, like many malls across the nation, has faced some tough times in recent months as longtime businesses have departed. For instance, Chick-fil-A, which was at SouthPark for almost 40 years, closed its mall location there on Saturday, Feb. 26. At the time, an employee who asked not to be identified, said the restaurant was shutting down because business was down. The closing came on the heels of Victoria’s Secret closing its SouthPark location on Monday, Feb. 14.
This is not the first time the owners of an area mall have offered free rent to attract new tenants. In February, the new owners of the Northland Mall in Sterling, Illinois, – Brookwood Capital Advisors – said nearly all of the facility’s empty storefronts could be filled and open to customers with a free rent program to get new businesses to the mall.
That program has helped attract several businesses and fill Northland to near 100% occupancy in just a few months, according to the mall’s Facebook page. Some of the new businesses include The Toy Store and Elevated Beauty Supply.
Last month, Brookwood officials said the mall is in much better economic shape and it is time for new owners to take over Northland. The Nashville-based Brookland now is looking for local owners for the Sterling mall.