DeWitt: Shoppingtown gets stripped

The World Series was broadcast in color for the very first time. "The Caine Mutiny" was a popular movie across America, Boeing tested the first jet-powered transport plane, and ShoppingTown Mall in DeWitt was born. These events all took place in the year 1954.

More than fifty years later, after abundant advancements in all of the above, ShoppingTown Mall will soon undergo another transition to keep up with the times.

"We've gone through some significant changes since 1954 when we began as a small strip center," said Nanette Carbone, marketing manager.

Changes throughout the years have reflected consumers' changing preferences and current industry trends, according to the company's press release. In 1974, the mall was converted from a strip mall to an enclosed shopping center. The center developed again in 1992 to its current layout of nearly 1.1 million square feet.

On March 12, Macerich, the company that owns ShoppingTown Mall, disclosed proposed plans to create an open-air plaza that would introduce new shopping and dining options to the center.

"We are making public for the first time that it is our intention to move forward with a proposed redevelopment of ShoppingTown in DeWitt," said Mike Nevins, vice president of Leasing with Macerich.

On March 22, they will formally come before the town of DeWitt Planning Board for approval. They are seeking support from both the town and the New York State Department of Transportation.

"What we envision is essentially demolishing the wing that sits between Sears and Dick's Sporting Goods and creating an open-air, pedestrian-friendly collection of shops and dining alternatives," Nevins said.

The new outdoor lifestyle addition is designed to be a casual gathering place for the community, providing new amenities in a relaxing environment that blends the best practices of indoor and outdoor retail formats, the press release stated.

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