In recognition of its 40th anniversary this October, Briarwood Mall will receive a face-lift for the first time in a decade.
Simon Property Group, the commercial real estate company that owns the mall, announced the renovation plans Tuesday at a tile-breaking ceremony. Construction is to be completed by the end of October in time for the holiday season.
The renovations will include new bathrooms, a new children’s play area and a new lounge — “the relaxation zone.” In addition, interior elements such as the flooring, lighting, ceiling and color schemes will be renovated and exterior landscaping and entranceways will be improved.
Les Morris, Simon Property Group’s director of public relations, said the renovations are part of the company’s overall goal to dominate the market in shopping malls and outlet centers.
“We are always trying to be the retail destination in a certain market,” Morris said. “We want to be the preeminent retail location and own properties that matter, and we feel Briarwood is a great example of that.”
Disruption to customers would be minimal as construction will take place outside of business hours.
Denise Murray, director of marketing and business development for the mall, said the Briarwood staff will communicate with customers as much as possible to ensure that they are aware of any temporary inconveniences during construction. People will be able to text a number to get construction information such as bathroom closures.
Though Morris would not disclose an exact cost for the Briarwood renovation, he said it would be “a multi-million dollar project.” Simon Property Group is spending about $1 billion on renovation projects over the next few years at some of their 330 retail properties in North America and Asia. He added that, in recent years, it is more common for shopping malls to be improved upon rather than to be newly constructed.
“I believe that the shopping experience should be a very positive one,” Murray said. “I think that the customers deserve to come in and see a fresh and exciting shopping environment — someplace where they want to meet up with their friends.”
Murray said the mall hopes to welcome more national retailers to put alongside their existing retailers, including soon-to-open Brighton Collectibles, Vera Bradley and Michael Kors.
“We are pretty excited about the prospects of what the shopping center can become,” Murray said. “We just want to make sure that we’re creating a fantastic environment for our customers, and we are going to keep doing things and improving things to show people that we want their business.”
—Follow Danielle Stoppelmann on Twitter at @dstoppelmann.