The Shops at Westshore
At its peak in 1990, the Westshore Mall in Holland, Michigan had 50 plus retail tenants and its fair share of shoppers. Fast forward to 2015. The 26-year-old mall had suffered from a decade of retail downturn, and only a dozen of the retailers remained in the mall. The once robust shopping center had become more of a ghost town that was better known for its walkers than its stores.
In 2012 when the mall was sold to Versa Development, the new owners saw a diamond in the rough and started developing a new plan for the declining mall. A few years later, Versa hired CD Barnes Construction as their construction manager to “de-mall” the center and redevelop the 40-acre property in hopes of bringing it back to life. The goal of the project was to transform the enclosed mall into a boutique-style retail center, allowing customers greater accessibility to individual stores from parking areas — a recent successful trend in the retail industry.
The mall remained open during construction, which entailed extensive sitework and included: demolishing 25 percent of the interior space; upgrading the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire suppression systems; roofing; installing a new façade; and the construction of four new outlot buildings in front of the main mall, which added 14 additional tenant spaces.
In the last few years, West Michigan’s growing economy, increased tourism and quality-of-life rankings have made it an attractive market for retailers to take advantage of. With this enthusiastic outlook and redevelopment in progress, the mall hired a new leasing agent and rebranded themselves as The Shops at Westshore. While the mall’s three original anchor stores — Younkers, Dunham’s Sports, and JC Penney — remained in the mall, Burlington Coat Factory was added as the fourth anchor store during the project.
As the project progressed, additional tenants found homes in the revitalized mall. Strategically chosen were mid-priced retailers that wouldn’t be so vulnerable to a wavering economy. Build outs for these tenants included ATI Physical Therapy, Charles Schwab, Chipotle, Edible Arrangements, FedEx Office, Menchies Frozen Yogurt, MidiCi Pizza, Noodles and Company, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Sleep Number.