DeWitt: Shoppingtown gets stripped

"Anyone who has shopped here knows the challenges of the Sears wing and the grade change from going from one end to the other. There's redevelopment taking care of that grade change. The mall will be on one single grade level and will be accessible by a new parking structure and a new interchange that we are proposing to install on Erie Boulevard."

The interchange, along with a new traffic signal, would lead customers from Erie Boulevard directly onto their property.

"The upper level of parking is currently not used that much so this is going to give it easier access to the deck," said Alan Lipsey, senior manager, Property Management. "Now you're going to have a direct access off [the boulevard].

"We're essentially knocking down 183,000 square feet of buildings and only creating 65,000 square feet," Nevins said. "So we're going to condense and maximize. We've done this before."

Approximately 310 brand new parking spaces will be produced as well, giving an overall number of approximately 4,800 spaces for vehicles.

DeWitt Community Library

"The library continues to be a very integral part of Shoppingtown -- it's past and certainly it's future," Nevins said. The library will be relocated to a temporary spot within the mall. Evaluation of the facility will help to determine where to keep them on the property. Discussions will be ongoing, Nevins said.

Once approved, demolition of the Sears wing will commence early this fall and culminate during winter of next year. By late fall 2008 the lifestyle addition will be complete and a grand opening ceremony will take place.

Town of DeWitt Supervisor Jim DiStefano has shown considerable support.

"We are very excited about plans for the future of ShoppingTown Mall," DiStefano said in a press release. "Macerich and the team of ShoppingTown Mall have spent a great deal of time looking at the opportunities for the center, and we are looking forward to working with them through the public approval process to bring this new venue to the community."

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